I can see you out there, shimmering away in your busy, busy world, running from one thing to the next, chatting on phones, tapping away on your devices. I don't feel part of that world anymore, but it's okay. Just the thought of rushing anywhere makes me too tired
There is a freedom in this kind of tired.
When I was kind-of-sort-of-tired-but-not-totally-tired I was way more frustrated; I had that nose-pressed-against-the-glass feeling, like I should be out there participating but just can't. Now that I'm full-on-bone-weary-tired I'm happy to let go, to lie down and rest. I don't have the energy for anything else, anyway.
I'm about halfway (well, almost halfway) through treatment, and the honeymoon phase of this is over. The reality of what I'm up against plunked into my lap last week, wiggled around, and made itself comfortable.
I am no longer driving myself to treatment, because it's too tiring to sit up that long. My appetite has all but disappeared, and I can't taste anything anymore. Except for COFFEE. I can still taste coffee - thank God for small miracles. I'm down about 16 lbs in two weeks. The ulcers/sores in my mouth make it impossible to eat anything solid (although in a fit of desperation and determination last night I sent Steve out for a cheeseburger from McDonald's and damned if I didn't nibble that thing half to death) so I'm on a liquid diet.
The feeding tube will go in this week, and now I'm actually looking forward to it. My body craves nutrition.
I spend most of my time sleeping, or reading. I don't get on the computer much these days, and I'm way behind in responding to emails. If you sent me an email in the past week and haven't heard back - I'm sorry. I'm here, shimmering beneath my pool of water - and I'll slowly work my way through them.
I didn't set out to give a laundry list of all my symptoms and struggles, though. Although it does feel good to get them off my chest. And maybe it will make what I really wanted to talk about more powerful, because what I wanted to talk about was how overwhelmed and amazed I am at the generosity that surrounds our family. It is hard to admit that you need help - at least it is for me - and I balked at the idea of needing people for the first couple of weeks. I'm over that, now. We need you, and we are so very grateful for all your help.
To all of you who bring meals to our front door step - THANK YOU. I'm usually coming home from radiation around 6pm, dog tired and weary, and to walk in and see my family sitting around the table eating a nutritious meal means so much to me. The mommy-guilt part of being sick is tough - all the things I can no longer do -and your delicious meals do more than feed my family - they feed my spirit.
Thank you for all the cards, notes and emails. I read them all, sometimes again and again. I can't respond to every one of them, but they matter to me. They matter a lot.
Thank you for the Amazon gift card - so many of you contributed to keep me up to my ears in books (and apps!) for my Kindle. Thank you for the Grocery Delivery gift card - we used some of it this week and it was a life-saver during a particularly difficult time.
Thank you to my incredible Mom, who is steadfastly by my side during treatment, keeping me company, coming to my house to watch the kids so Steve and I can sneak off to a movie. The other night she came armed with her favorite recipes and putting them in my blender. She knew it was difficult for me to to smell the delicious meals coming into my house and not be able to taste/eat them - so she blended them, one by one, into delicious soups. They are so good; even the kids like to eat them.
All of your generosity keeps my little family trucking along, keeps their lives as normal as possible during this less-than-normal time.
My friend Sean, and his lovely wife, Sue, came by a few weeks ago with a Prayer/Hope Box. I have known Sean for over fifteen years now - we worked together back in the 90s and have remained friends ever since. Sean and Sue have been through their share of health struggles, and their unwavering faith has always been inspirational to me.
It's a pretty bejeweled cigar box, and inside they filled it with inspirational Scripture and Psalms. I take them out and read them when I need a boost, when I'm feeling at the end of my rope and my own faith is wearing thin. This morning, I pulled this from the box:
Be strong and courageous;do not be frightened or dismayed,for the Lord your God is with youwherever you go
Sean encouraged Steve and the kids to put messages/pictures in the box, too. When his wife was ill, he would put tickets to things they would do together when she felt better, along with messages of how much he loved her.
The box sat on my bedside table, forgotten by everyone but me, I thought.
The other night I had a bad reaction to some medication and was throwing up for most of an evening. The kids were still up, and Steve got them into bed as I was retching in the bathroom.
When I finally stopped dry heaving and made my way - slowly - into my bedroom, I saw the Prayer Box sitting on my pillow.
With tears in my eyes, I opened the lid, and saw this:
A note from Greta that says: "Cancer has the word 'can' in it."
She knew I was having a rough night, and she remembered the Prayer Box and added this note all on her own. She was still awake, so I tiptoed into her room and gave her a big hug.
"Thank you," I said. "Your note was just what I needed. I feel so much better."
She beamed. "I'm sorry you're sick, Momma," she said. "But I know you can do it."
And I can; with all of you to help me along - all your prayers, generosity, words of support, encouragement and advice.