Wednesday, August 05, 2009


It has been a while again. It is early Wednesday morning. I am about to go back to chemo today. I had a chemo vacation of two weeks. That is I did a round of 3 weeks, had my usual week off, and then had another 2 weeks off. It has been a good learning experience. There is subtlety to what the chemo does to me. I have clearly had more energy, which is really nice, but also a general feeling human, sleeping better and better gut mean that life has just been easier. I am ok going back to chemo today because I know that it is part of the medicine that makes me feel better. I remember back to before I started it and I was in pretty bad shape. I am not in bad shape anymore, relatively speaking.

This all leads to people saying, ‘so are you getting better?’ That is a complicated question. I am not getting worse, but I am not ‘all better.’ Connee described it for me well. I am in a no mans land. The whole family is. Life is kinda normal, but not really the way we would have it if we could. The proverbial shoe could drop any time from now for a couple of years, according to the medical establishment. That would mean that I would have to change chemos to one that makes me feel worse. But I am doing a lot of other stuff and last time I had 5 years between flare-ups, so… I am holding out for longer. It is still strange though because we are really living with the cancer again with it affecting us more than it used to. So there is an underlying tension, but on top of that we are living our lives, talking about it and having fun where it is available (which is more than one would think!) so that life is not about cancer (‘cause that is a drag).

I am very grateful for people who are helping us. I do not know if that is clear to you all or not, but I am. I also feel like some people may start to think that we are getting back to ‘normal’. Well normal has just changed so there is no returning to what was normal for us when I was not sick. That is the confusing part. We may look more normal, but the help is still appreciated. Being the good Jew that I am, there is guilt associated with receiving help when I do not look like I need it. So I keep looking to the practice that tells me that I can give others opportunities to do good deeds by letting them help me. So by you helping me, I am helping you to do good (which is good for everyone).. We currently get 2 meals a week and the usual last minute calls from me to people to pick kids up or drop them off somewhere. This summer has been nuts with logistics. That is another way that the chemo is affecting me. I am just not able to think as clearly and hold any balls in the air when it comes to family scheduling. It is frustrating to make so many mistakes that affect so many people. That is the next step for me. To figure out how to be more coordinated. At this point I do not make any plans without my ‘book’ in front of me, so thank you for all of your patience.

We took a real vacation too: I have to run but to keep it short, we went to Santa Barbara with Andy’s siblings that live in the states and their families. It was mellow, beautiful and relaxing. I did not realize what a break it was until I came back and tried to start thinking about everything that needs to be done around here. It was a real break. Andy and I had a date too to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary J. We took a recumbent bicycle for two and went on a 4 mile round trip. He did a bunch of the hard work, but I was able to keep up pretty well. That is an example of what I can do these days. Lets see how the chemo vacation affected my tumor marker. We should know in a couple of days. We are planning for me to have one round of chemo, then another two-week vacation for the end of the summer. We might not go away, but it would be nice to be around the house and not feeling ucky…


Brad Topliff said...

We are so happy that you are finding some solace in your new normal. We have all of our fingers and paws crossed that the markers are low and the normal keeps getting better!

Bridget Wynne said...

Thanks for your latest update, Rebecca. Even though we don't see you all these days we definitely think about you. I LOVE it that you said how you are giving people a chance to do good. It's so right, but so hard to truly accept and believe.

In fact, we are struggling with the same thing. In our case it's that we are healthy -- which is truly wonderful -- and we still need help from people because Julia's so involved in caring for her parents. They're in Oakland in a dementia care facility and she's working on selling their house to get money to pay for their care. Plus of course she has a full-time job. So we are chronically overwhelmed and behind on things. It is incredibly hard for me to ask for help, and incredibly meaningful when we get it.

I hope hope hope your tumor markers are good, and that the chemo is as un-wearing and un-disruptive as is possible this time around.

Mazal tov on the 15th anniversary, and the date!

It wonderful that you had a relaxing vacation and got away from the family and house and other daily responsibilities.

Love to you and the family and the chickens,