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.


Denise Wolf said...

Rebecca, that is fantastic news!! I'm so glad the chemo is working well, and how nice that you get to reduce the dose. I bet you anything the control will still be there. Per usual, the things you say are both particular and universal. I (and most of us, probably) struggle with adding more and more 'yes's' until my body says 'no'. Yes to more work, more social activity, more travel. And then what happens....surprise surprise, I get sick, or tired, or depressed. Depleted. You've described the universal conundrum of modern life. That is hard to say 'no' not because of guilt or fear, but because we really want to do all these things. Because busy life is yummy. But our bodies and spirits and relationships need care, and will take whatever we don't freely offer. Thanks for watching out for yourself in this regard, and for reminding us to do the same.

love (love)

Bridget Wynne said...

Great news, Rebecca! I thought about your dilemma, which I can totally relate to, and here are my ideas. The question is whether you can afford to pay for these things, or if there are people who can do them for you for free. Unfortunately I'm too busy to volunteer to help. (In fact, I'm in bed sick with a virus, which keeps happening because I'm worn out. I can't take much time off when I run my own organization and need to raise funds.) Anyway -- how about having the house cleaner also do the laundry? Or if the house cleaner can't, someone else? And how about having someone, either friend or a person you hire, handle paperwork for you, like bills, banking, filing, and so on. This plus family laundry can both take a good bit of energy.

Do you have the feeling that part of your "value" as a person is based on what you get done? I wonder if that's one factor that encourages you to take on more and more. If so, maybe there are ways to challenge and reshape that belief.

I hope you're managing to rest, and to enjoy yourself!