Friday, November 09, 2007

Acts of Kindness

Well, first of all, a check in on the body functioning for today. Yesterday was an all time low (not since last April's pre-spring break fiasco have I felt this bad). At radiation, I got seen by my nurse and a doctor, and all sorts of suggestions, more meds, etc. were discussed. They were concerned I might be getting dehydrated, so even transfusing liquids into me was put on the table. I went home, but before I did that, I made myself eat something. And wonder of wonders, it stayed in.

This not eating thing, I have to say, is so bizarre. My whole life since childhood, there have been concerns about eating too much. I cannot ever recall a doctor or anyone saying "are you getting enough to eat?". I tend to have a moment of an out of body experience when these talks happen. As in "who the heck are you talking to?" Cannot be Debra, she eats. But it is me. And eating or not eating has become a focus of this week.

When these times happen, I have noticed I usually focus on a particular food, until such time that the food becomes rejected or just over-done. A long time ago, it was the Hardee's Twin Burger, until the big day when I ate them then puked them up. Haven't been able to even think about them since then. Then it was bagels and cream cheese. Now it seems to be a six inch tuna sub with provolone cheese from Subway (which is because there is one across the street from where I get the radiation). Anyway, I ate one yesterday and didn't puke or get sick or anything!

Friends Betty and Delma came over last night with Chinese food, Sofie's favorite stuff, and fed us and then took over the practicing of the spelling words (there are weekly spelling tests on Fridays for my little second grader), then the bath and bedtime routine. Delma did the bath stuff while Betty helped me fold laundry then massaged my feet for nearly an hour! Pure bliss. I realized by the time they left around 9 something that I was feeling better than I had the whole day. Sure, I had taken more pain meds and anti-nausea stuff, but I really was feeling better. I managed to drink a glass or two of water (to prevent that dehydration stuff) and slept a pretty restful sleep for me, which means I was only up about four times. Including around 3:45 when Sofie arrived with her blankie, snake and stuffed dog. I was too tired to make her go back to bed and besides, she smelled great from her bath, so she slept next to me until I got up, wide awake, at 5:30 this AM. I felt pretty good, but took the anti-nausea meds for prevention and started our day. Got Sofie up and did flash cards and a practice spelling test (she did great!) and got her off to school.

Today is the day I try to get her early, so I plan to head over to radiation a bit early today, and see if I can't make it back to Sofie's school on time for afternoon pick up. We can spend a bit of time together, then she is spending the night with Jamie.

It really is remarkable how the help from friends or folks who offer to help can make such a difference. Last weekend, a covenant group of about six folks from ERUUF came and did yard work, scooping up 18 bags of leaves and generally tidying up the front and back yards. And as an extra bonus, someone with a tall ladder helped change some burned out bulbs. These are things I could not have hoped to get to on my own. And it was fun to get to meet everyone over pizza lunch in my living room. This was pure goodness, offered and received with gratitude.

Same with friends who continue to offer help with kid stuff, food, etc. All of it makes me realize that I have support, even on the days where things seem the most bleak. And that is a wonderful thing.

I am hoping to get past this nausea/pain/bowel/fatigue thing and have a bunch more months of functional time. I have plans, dammit! There are meds for the fatigue (seem to be working) and the radiation is having a positive effect, I think. So it is mostly the nausea and the bowel thing we need to work out and I suspect there is hope there too. I have to have faith that if we keep tweaking the meds and such, there will be a combination that works well. I sure hope so.

Tonight, I am looking forward to sleeping peacefully, reading some from Eat, Pray, Love, the book I have been reading for the past month. I haven't really focused enough on the middle section (Pray) but I love this book and I really want to get to the third section, so that is a short term goal for this weekend.

Sofie has some play time planned for Sunday so I know I have some respite time and things should be fine this weekend. Assuming that the movement towards feeling better continues.

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