Wednesday, December 23, 2009

good news!

Hi folks. So I will start with the big news. I got a good result on my CT scan. It showed the liver metastases significantly reduced. Some of them were gone. The lung mets shrunk and changed shapes. The doc thinks that the shape change is due to me getting some scar tissue in my lungs, not cancer. I can live with that, for a while.

So the last few posts I did were very vague about how I am doing. I now understand why that is. I had kinda checked out of my body. Not really focused on myself, but on the world instead. That is the kind of behavior that gets me sick. So I had a period of time that I felt ok, because I was not paying attention. I over did it and did not notice. Andy was slowly taking on more and more responsibility for household stuff and I did not even notice. A couple of weeks ago, I started to pay attention and took a nose dive in how I felt. Not surprisingly, it happened while Andy was away and I had so much more on my plate. By the time he got back, I was in bed and stayed there for the next week and a half.

I have been slowly recovering and noticing the depth of my sick pattern. I start feeling better and the list of things I need to do comes back into my head. I do one, then another day I notice that I can do more that one and still feel good. I continue to increase what I do till I am going again. These are not big project things. They consist of regular mom and house stuff. Drop kids off, go to doc apts, cook dinner, do dishes, do a load or two of laundry… I really want to break this cycle and think that it will be the best thing to do to keep me around for a while. The challenge is that I want to do all of these things, yes, even the laundry is satisfying. It makes me feel valuable to the people around me and I enjoy that aspect of life. And, there is just so much to get done. I also think I am shifting from being an extrovert to an introvert. I love having people around still, but it makes me tired afterwards. The hardest part is that it is not consistent. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. I feel like I do not post often, but that I am starting to sound like a broken record. But hey, aren’t we all?

It is hard to know what help I need but here are a couple of things
• I need help finding a good reliable housecleaner who is willing to clean a house that is not tidy before they get here. I have systems for where they need to put the stuff, but I might not get everything put away before they come. Other than that, we are asking for a couple meals a week again, on the days that Andy works in San Mateo. I can cook sometimes. If you want to be on our support people’s list and you are not on it already, and then let us know and we will get you on it.
• Another thing I have asked for is respite for dog care. The dog is not well and wakes me up every night at some point. I am doing as my spiritual guide has instructed and not putting him down. He has a life cycle to go through and I am learning about the death process from him. It is not pretty or easy, but I feel it is important to watch. This does not mean that I do not need breaks. The dog could use walks around the block, very slowly… and I could use a night or two of sleeping through the night. If you are able to help, it would be lovely.

If you can think of a way to help me that I have not thought of, even if you do not want to do it yourself, I would like ideas. It is hard to see it from the inside.

So this holiday, we are laying low. No vacation or big trip. We are going to visit a friend who is just a couple hours away for 2 nights and then we are going to take the kids to fun stuff around the bay area. For Ze’ev’s b’day, we are going ice skating and maybe for dim sum. The big treats are that Merav and Rebecca are going to see Wicked and Ze’ev and Andy are going to swim with dolphins at Marine World. Very exciting.

Because I am doing well even though I had inconsistent chemo during Thanksgiving, We have changed my chemo regime. I am getting a week off, the one between Christmas and New Years. Then I am having 2 weeks on and one week off, instead of 3 weeks on one week off. That is 66% instead of 75% chemo. We will see if that combined with a (hopefully) slower lifestyle can keep the cancer at bay.

Sending all of my love.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Steady As She Goes

Hi Y’all,
I guess because there is a rhythm to my life, it seems somewhat normal. I do chemo most Wednesdays. I often get a fever from it, sometimes for just a couple hours, sometimes for a whole day. The next day I recover and I move on. I have discovered that a big part of feeling good is getting a good night’s sleep. So now I take drugs for that. It had been so long since I was sleeping through the night that I did not recognize what a difference it makes.

I go to doctors. Sometimes I feel social, sometimes not. I do not blog as much because of the predictability of life. I guess I do not feel the need to have you ride every up and down in my life. I think I have also gotten less social. I am not able to talk to and see everyone that I want to. I spend a lot more time alone, and do not mind. For those of you who have known me forever, it is good that I am learning to enjoy my own company. I also find that when I have energy, which is often, there is a lot to get done in life.

Right now I am working on balancing our books and doing the financial aide forms that are due Dec 11th. We are throwing a fundraising candlemaking party for Ze’ev’s school on Dec 12th. We have Andy’s brother visiting on the 5th and a bunch of other stuff going on. I have to get a metal rack under my bees before it is too cold (if it is not already) to keep the ants out. The dog is getting worse, but I am following my spiritual path and not putting him to sleep. He is here on this earth for a reason and I want to support him to get through at his own pace. I know most of my people disagree with that, but I feel I am doing the right thing. He is not in too much pain, and he knows he is loved. It is extra work, but I can use it to remember love and slowing down in my own life. So life does seem to be incredibly busy. I am trying to make it less busy.

I want to find a way to create a calmer life so that I am not running from activity to activity when I have energy, but slowing down. I do not know how to do that and get wound back up to a frantic speed before ending up on my back, feeling yucky. It is a cycle that is very old for me and is hard to break, hence I get sick.

We have not been having people helping us with food because I have been so active. I am beginning to feel like life is being overwhelming and I might need to get help from everyone to slow down. I do not know if food is the answer, but I will keep you posted. I feel like if I have energy to do my projects, I should feed my family first. It is part of the prioritizing and slowing down thing. Honoring my body and eating well. Honoring life and taking care of it….all challenges…

So much love to you all.