Almost like a vacation

I’m starting three days of no appointments, no needles, no new chemo.  Three days when I can rest and relax and get ready for the next appointments.  It’s almost like a short vacation, a three-day weekend.  I’m still weak but feeling a little stronger each day.  I’ve not felt faint since Friday, and I can get around much, much better than last week.  I’m in the time period between my last chemo of Round One and my surgery, which is now scheduled for Monday, December 5th.  My blood thinners are working, and I don’t have to have shots, at least not these few days.  I can tell the thrombosis is improving, though I don’t think it’s gone based on the way the veins above the port and in my upper arm look.  But I don’t have arm swelling as I did last week.  I see my surgeon on Tuesday and will know more about the surgery then.  The last time I saw him, he said a lumpectomy is what’s indicated, and yesterday’s mammogram and ultrasound should help with the final determination of that.  The ultrasound did indeed verify the tumor shrinkage.

Karla, my sister, started her trek back to New England on Sunday and arrived home yesterday afternoon.  She’ll fly back the weekend before my surgery and stay with me that week while I heal.  I’m so grateful that she can come down and take care of me.  She was such a comfort to me the last couple of weeks, along with being so helpful.  She did so much for me, and “thank you” seems insufficient.  She did one very difficult task for me, and that was to take Big Boy, the stray cat that took up residence here in January, to the vet on Saturday.  He had gotten very sick between the time she was here in September and this time, and we knew it was likely he had something fatal.  He did, and she was there with him when the vet put him to sleep.  She’d fallen in love with him, so it was very hard.  He was a very sweet kitty, affectionate and loving.  She brought his body home and dug a grave for him on Saturday afternoon.  That was a hard day for both of us.  I’m so grateful that she did that for me, especially when I know how difficult it was for her.  I can say “thank you,” but that doesn’t seem nearly to cover all that she’s done for me.  I know that my treatment path has been much easier because of her.

I see my treatment path as a series of steps, and I’m almost through with Step One of the first round of chemo and its effects.  Step Two will be the surgery, and Step Three will be the next round of chemo, and Step Four is radiation.  That is unless there are intervening steps that I don’t anticipate.   I keep having situations, like the thrombosis, to show me that the future is unpredictable, so I don’t have a set idea of when these steps are to take place.  I’d like to say that surgery will take place when it’s scheduled and that the recovery will be fast, as the doctors say it can be.  But I don’t have any way of knowing how it will all unfold.  I’m trying to become more comfortable with unpredictability and live in the moment.  To enjoy today’s cloudy, rainy day and the new bareness of the trees.  To enjoy Sophie, my 14-year-old cat, when she talks to me.  To appreciate being strong enough to drive to Huddle House for a late breakfast.  To appreciate having a good appetite.  To look at these three days as a vacation, a special time “away” from illness and treatments, just for a bit.  To have gratitude for all of this, all that’s in my life right now.  And to know that what is, is enough.

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2 thoughts on “Almost like a vacation

  1. Don’t worry about thanking your sister. She knows how grateful you are. She’s your sister, and that’s what sisters do. =) Still keeping you in my thoughts. I’ll never understand why good people have to go through such horrible things. Stay strong. Sending good vibes!

  2. Yes, Hazel, you know how good it is to have a sister 🙂 And the why bad things happen to good people. . . well, I struggled with that for many years, but now I’m starting to understand it. Part of it is our idea of what constitutes bad things. For me, understanding it has been a long process with lots of reflection. Maybe it only starts to make sense when you’ve lived 50 years or more.

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