This is all quite ironic, because for years I have avoided getting my hair wet in the pool so I could keep it safe from the damaging chlorine. Now the only thing I want to do at the pool is get my hair wet! Never satisfied, I tell ya!
OK, so I had a point when I started writing this post. I was going to talk about the gamut of emotions (or lack thereof) that I go through on a "first weekend." I never feel like writing then, though I usually clear my calendar so I have plenty of time. I just jotted down some notes, so that I could come back and write it out when I felt better.
Things that I can do ahead of time:
I am very fortunate that my "yucky" days are predictable. Those who struggle with depression or Lupus never know when they are going to have a flare, and can't be prepared for them. I have determined that chemo days are similar to, but not as bad as, these conditions. I loose my energy, don't feel great, but mostly it's that my energy and emotions just shut down. Friends who suffer from these diseases, I salute you.
These are things I can prepare ahead of time (whether I will or not is always a pot-shot) to help my rough days go smoother.
- Start with a clean house. If you have ever visited my house once, it was probably clean. The kind of clean that makes the kids wonder who is coming over. If you have visited more than once, you probably know that I am a little lazy in the housekeeping department. The last round of chemo happened right after we had our new carpet installed, and everything was put back in place, the piles of junk had been sorted through and mostly eradicated, and there was in general a nice, fresh feeling about our home. While I was not feeling my best, this was a nice thing to look out at and see. Just made me feel a little more peaceful.
- Prepare food ahead of time. I got all the grocery shopping done, prepared some freezer meals, and had plans for people to bring us meals for a few days. This was good, because I didn't want to make dinner any of those nights, but everyone in the house (including me) wanted to eat. How obnoxious of them. I also had some easy, healthy snacks on hand. Homemade granola bars, fresh fruit, homemade popsicles, yogurt, cheese sticks, etc. These all came in handy for the kids as well as me.
- Make plans for the kids. It is really nice to have something for the kids to do while I watch episode after episode of "30 Rock" on Netflix. They both had sleepovers at friends' houses, and someone to play with most every day of my blackout.
- Make an entertainment stockpile. Go to the library and check out some books, we started a Netflix account this month, get all the laundry done ahead of time, make plans to exercise with a friend on the worst days.
- Prepare, prepare, prepare, then relax & clean up later. It took me a little longer than usual to come out of the fog this time, but eventually, I got around to cleaning up after myself. I have to say here that my husband is an absolute saint and treats me like a princess on these dark days, so I'm a pretty lucky girl.
This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory, so that God's Son may be glorified through it. ~John 11:4
And of course, my super hero of a husband is a huge help as well, as noted several times here. He is so sweet when I go through these blackouts, and exemplifies this scripture for me:
The greatest among you must become servant to all. ~Mark 10:44The best part about my blackouts is that I know when they will end. By Tuesday morning, I will awaken with a pep in my step once again. It did take me a few days to get back to doing anything this time around, and my tongue always feels like cardboard until about the following Tuesday, which makes it still really hard to drink enough water.
I have been chewed out multiple times for not getting my blog updated more frequently, because people don't know how I'm doing. I apologize for that! When I'm in a blackout, I have plenty of time, but no motivation. When I feel good, I sort of get maniacal about things and don't allow myself enough time to sit and write.
I am nearing the end of my 3rd week for this round, I feel great, and my weekend is packed. I had 3 opera performances over the last 2 days... (this is one of my favorite things to do all year long! I love doing children's opera)
I have a bassoon band rehearsal/ performance tomorrow afternoon and evening...
and Sunday, I will be playing for all 3 morning services AND the evening service at church...
As you can see, stupid old cancer is not getting in the way of me doing the things I love. Two more rounds to go. The end is in sight.
My next blackout will be over the 4th of July holiday weekend. If you want to sign up to bring a meal, you can click on this link. There are still a few spots left. Thank you so much to everyone who has provided us with meals. It has been such a huge blessing!
I want to say a special thank you to my hometown church, the Sheldon Church of the Brethren, who sent us a substantial Hy-Vee gift card. It covered our groceries for a whole month! And our current and former small groups who got together and purchased a quarter share in a community agriculture group that delivers fresh veggies to our house every week. We are so very blessed by these gifts. Thank you all so much for the gifts big and small!
This week's plan is to go in on Wednesday since Thursday is a holiday this week, so I will be done with the dark days one day earlier than usual, right? :) And by the end of July, I'll be DONE with chemo! Wahoo! Counting the days!