Archive for May, 2010


Sleepytime Station

I have been sleeping.

A lot.

Typically, with chemo on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday are big sleep days for me. This week, I spent most of both of those days sleeping, but also Friday I got up around 10:00, and went to bed at 10:00, after taking several naps.

Today, guess what? That’s right, yet another day of major sleep. I got up around 7:30, fed the dog and myself breakfast, then fell asleep in my recliner until 10:30 (I only stirred around so Brian could feel like he was allowed to make noise). I had a glass of iced tea, closed my eyes, and woke up at 1:15 when Brian headed off to Costco and Petco. I then slogged my way upstairs, where I lay down from about 1:30 – 5:30. We had to put my library steps next to the bed because my knee won’t take climbing on the bed using the footboard.

While I was down at various times during the day, I slept through the dog going ape over the neighbors across the street opening their garage door (now *there’s* a threat!), through Brian cleaning spots where mud got tracked in, Brian putting groceries away, and a few other noisy things going on. The thing I was having trouble sleeping through is some liver pain – I don’t know if it’s the good kind or the bad kind. The good kind would be the “tumor’s shrinking” kind, the bad kind would be, well, obviously, the other kind.

I even slept through more weird dreams. I’m not sure I want to remember them, so maybe it’s just as well that I seem to have a block against remembering.

But tonight I ate dinner (I often haven’t been having dinner, usually just a late lunch), and I’ve bumped up my water intake by drinking a cup an hour. I’ve been feeling dehydrated, and I suspect all the sleeping isn’t helping.  But here I am at 9:30, after watching Men In Black, ready to go to bed. I’m trying to stay up until 10, but am not sure that’s going to happen.

Barely managed it, though.


What Dreams May Come

I’m not so concerned about those *after* I have shuffled off this mortal coil as I am taken aback at the intensity of some of the ones I have under the influence of either chemo drugs, pain medications, or the combination.

I usually don’t remember them, mostly I remember bits and pieces (this one involved a lost dog somehow, or that one was a scary one involving people being tied up, possibly in a home invasion scenario).

What I do remember is that they are often disturbing on some level, even if I don’t remember the specifics; I can still feel the fear or strangeness that pervaded the dream.

I’ve mentioned them to the doctor before, but Brian is lobbying for me to tell him again. I figure it won’t do any good if I can’t give him details, but maybe Brian’s right, and just knowing that they’re scary dreams will give him an angle to work with.


Regrets, There are Always Some

Many of mine are things that I *didn’t* do, although some are things I did do.

When I was quite young, my mom was taking me for swimming and diving lessons. I remember that the diving instructor was excited about my potential – mom said he was pushing me too hard, and that he was thinking I was Olympic material. I don’t know if that is true, but I do remember taking a dive, arching my back too much, and hitting the water such that it arched my back more.

I also remember seeing my mother freak out because I was hurt (I don’t know if I cried or just told them that my back hurt) and yelling at the instructor to save me, even though I was swimming to the ladder. I learned early, then, not to make a big deal when I was hurt, but I think I also absorbed my mother’s fears. Lessons were dropped, and I don’t know if I was the one who said I didn’t want to continue, because mom scared me out of it; or if mom was too scared for me to continue. I think early on she was a helicopter mother before there was such a denomination; which it’s too bad she later grew into not wanting to take us kids out for sports, dance, or anything else. I have no idea how much of that might be related to her fears, but I’m sure at least some of it was her alcoholic detachment to us kids.

Another example of not making a big deal out of being hurt was when mom & I were visiting her friend Mrs. Denning, and I was out on the corner of the block. A couple boys on bicycles came tearing around the corner and rode me down. They asked if I was OK, and I said yes, through my tears, and the boys kept on going. I waited until I stopped crying, thinking that would be the only sign of trouble, but of course there were marks, and maybe a torn dress. Mom went out to find the bicyclists instead of taking me home right away.

I was a shy child, and so I developed a dry sense of humor, where I sometimes would say something true in a serious manner that adults would take as a joke; mostly because I’d more often say outlandish things in a serious manner. This, by the way, is not a regret, more something that I still appreciate about myself; even though I keep it tight under control, because it can still get me into trouble occasionally.

Briefly I took ballet lessons – one of my friends was, and somehow I was invited to join. I remember very little of it, except complaining that I had a headache, which may or may have not been the case. If so, I think it was brought on by fear – even at that age I didn’t fit in, and I seem to recall a male dance instructor who was very demanding (and maybe a bit of a prima donna?), so it was probably fear.

In grade school, I took violin lessons, but I never caught on. I was too shy to practice in front of my family, and besides, I’d wanted to take flute lessons like the girl across the street. So after the first obligatory lessons, I never took lessons until piano in high school, when I was still embarrassed to practice in front of family, but managed to become good enough that I was the bethel musician several terms for the Job’s Daughters bethel of which I was a member. Although somewhere along the way I picked up playing the recorder.

When I was very young, I used to lock myself in the downstairs powder room and sing, because I thought nobody could hear me in there. How wrong I was! Finally my mom and older brother started teasing me about singing, what was I thinking about while I was singing in the bathroom? Just singing, of course. After that I made sure nobody could hear me by locking myself into the bedroom and turning on classical music very loud. Mom never even suggested I get singing lessons – I never asked because I was really entering my pathologically shy stage by then. Being ganged up on by mom and my brother didn’t lend itself to building confidence.

So many potential talents that were cut off from fear; the one I regret most is that I never took singing lessons – as it turns out I have a pretty good voice and a good ear; and my mandolin teacher says I have perfect pitch. Secondly, I wish I’d learned to play more than just the piano, and I wish I’d carried on with the piano, too.

So often life gets in the way, and you set things aside for something that seems more important at the time; or you put things off for the same reason. Long term, sometimes the new things are more important; but you should try to find time to continue working on the skill all the same, because it may become more important to you again in the future. The trick is to make the evaluation at the time of which is currently more important, and which is long term more important. And if you’ve stopped working on it, or delayed it, and a time comes when you miss working on that skill, don’t delay. Find a way to make it work into your schedule and your budget. Just do it.

Emily Rose, I heard your mom teasingly tell you to stop dancing everywhere; but I say dance everywhere, all the time. Just do it.


Robin – In Search Of: The Cube

Here, for you to watch while I’m off at the chemo “spa day”, is a video starring Robin and Brian demonstrating how Robin searches for his treat-filled cube. Because it was shot in one take, it ends up being a fairly simple search. We really need about 5 cameras, clip-on mics, and some editing software to turn this into a professional-looking video, so please forgive the faults.

Robin searching for his cube


A Granola Bar, a Little Whine, and Now . . .

It’s not fair!

I want to see Emily Rose dance the Sugar Plum Fairy. I want to see her graduate. I want to see her become a professional ballerina.

I *might* see the first; the last is probably right out, especially if she goes to college first.

Why do I have to have cancer? There’s so many things that I want to do. I want to go back to school for a Masters at least in literature, and maybe history. I want to fill my house with quilts I’ve made as well as give away a whole bunch. I want to knit my own wardrobe. I want to bead beautiful jewelry and have plenty of occasions to wear it. I want to keep learning to play the mandolin. I want to do some voice training, so I can at least hear the ghost of the voice I might have had if I’d had training when I was younger. I want to get back into shape (if not the shape I was in at 17, at least the shape I was in when Brian and I got married). I want to read so many more books. I want to play with the friends I’ve already got, and make new ones to play with. I want to travel. I want to get to know my nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and get to know *their* kids. I want to continue my job where I left off, taking more responsibility for the event planning, and getting to know more about designing websites. I want to touch people’s lives, and be there for them the way so many people are being there for me in my time of need. I want to play with my cats and dog. I want to love my husband and spend a longer rest-of-my-life with him than it looks as if I’ll get.

And this is how I’m feeling 6 days after getting such excellent news on Monday. Guess it’s a good thing it wasn’t bad news!

OK, now that I’ve gotten that whine out (and had a granola bar), I feel much better. Don’t worry, Ma, I’m doing fine now.


Brian’s Knee Update, More Photos

Brian’s surgery on Friday went fine, and although there was a significant enough amount of pain for Brian to actually resort to the prescription pain pills on Friday evening/Saturday morning, by Saturday evening he was down to just ibuprofen.

It just amazes me that they can fix knees with three little holes in an in-office procedure these days – when my first husband had knee surgery, he was in the hospital overnight (at least), and has a big scar running down from the top to the bottom of his knee – I think it’s around 6″ long or so.

Thanks again to cousin Jeanette for taking Brian over and waiting with him while he had surgery. I’d planned on going with them, but as the week wore on, it became obvious that the chemo was still hitting me pretty hard. So I waited at home for them.

And because I don’t really have the brains this morning to blog about anything else, here are some pictures for your delectation.

Robin's definition of foot rest

And April the cat gets in on some of the action:

April's definition of back rest

We’re going to the ballet today, and I have to remember to wear a mask, since I’m probably immune-compromised at this point. I’ll know for sure tomorrow, but around all the kids, probably best not to take any chances.


Another Robin Video

This is one of his favorite pastimes, given the opportunity.

Robin licking Julie’s toes

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May 2010

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