Saturday, August 8, 2015

Week 53

I think I got my grumps out in my last pity-party blog post, perhaps that was a little case of writer's block?  Thinking if I get that out of the way, I can write about the good stuff again.  The fact that I have gotten away from my writing hobby is an example of how disconnected I have been feeling from everything.  

I have mentioned before that I don't feel well, I am not myself.  I am not as quick or as clever as I was before, but, having said that I want to describe what other things I have been up to.  

As a typical Gemini personality I seem to be able to function on both sides of the happiness spectrum?  Comparable to a "functional alcoholic" perhaps, I maintain a "functional cancer patient" lifestyle.  I go out in public and people compliment my "healthy" appearance, but inside I am screaming UGH!!! I feel YUCK.  I cook meals and drive my kids places and do my errands, but I also go to my appointments and consume my prescriptions and bear countless needle pokes.  I should be grateful for all of it, and I know somewhere inside I really am.  

Until I am able to truly embrace that gratitude my plan is to keep busy with the stuff I have always wanted or needed to do.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

I have been busy indeed, trying to just live the life I keep complaining that I am missing out on.  Obviously I am not yet back to work, that is still a long way off.  I do not even complete this clinical trial until November, and there will still be plenty of physical and (obviously) mental work for me to do after that.  

I often fantasize about being back at work and happily greeting my old customers and then I turn around, visualizing the complicated weekly cashier schedule it is my responsibility to write, and I cringe... I know my co-workers would have a field day with my dim nature these days and my forgetfulness, and the debilitating fatigue which habitually turns to outrageous irritability.  hhmmm... I don't think I would last long back at the office, not ready yet. LOL They would eat me alive!!  Or I would eat them  Aaarrrghhhhhh!  ;-) 

I have been trying to think of how to explain the type of fatigue I am experiencing... cancer friends please feel free to comment!  It is some unique heavy-in-the-bones feeling that just stops me in my tracks at any moment.  I DO push myself all the time - I am more active now (especially with puppy and kid on crutches!?) than I have been in a year.  But there are days when there is just not a drop of energy left in any single one of my cells. At noon!!

It is physical but also mental, it is what makes me shy away from visiting at this time.  It is not that I don't WANT to visit my friends I haven't seen in forever... it's just that I CAN'T.  Yes, there is such a thing as can't, I know, because I am living it.  
I am easily (unexpectedly!) overwhelmed, especially by noise and commotion.  And usually I hide it, but suffer over it later. 
I DO push myself all the time, and it barely covers the bases.  I have to pace my activities and my timelines. If I had a full staff of housecleaner, cook, gardener, chauffeur, timekeeper, executive assistant, problem-solving Mother bandaid-applying stand-ins then I'd be laughing!  Yes please sign me up for visits in between my naps and lymphedema massages.  hey...this actually doesn't sound like a bad idea........

At the end of June I had my seventh of eight pacmen (ipilimumab) treatments, and at the time I had planned to write a blog post about how quickly time had flown.  I was being hard on myself for all of the things I had not accomplished that I thought I should have in that three month time span.  

Instead I turned my attention to all of the things I HAD accomplished, namely adopting our lovely chocolate lab puppers, getting some work done on my little house, and getting the girls through their very difficult school year of the awful grade seven. 

I had planned to list them but never did write it, somewhere between the insomnia and the broken ankle (Cassie's, not mine!) I have lost track of time and I am now closer to my next treatment than my previous one?  And my NEXT dose of CT scan water stuff.... bleccchhhhhhhh

<--- This is them, "encouraging" me to drink my huge bottle of hateful CT stuff while they drink their Pellegrino. *sigh*  ;-)

In any case, I have plenty of photos of what I have been spending my precious time on.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I have:

First off - hummingbirds!  I have never had a hummingbird feeder of my own, and one item on my summer bucket list was to get one, and more importantly, host a birdie at it.  Sure enough.. a few short days after I hung it for the first time, I got one!  We have a little hummingbird that visits every morning and every night (as long as I keep the liquid inside clean and fresh).  I managed to snap a little pic of him the other evening - not great quality but still, my first and happiest bucket list item - check! 

In May I had the electrical work done in my house that I have wanted to do for 12 years.  New electrical panel and all matching outlets all operational, modern, and safety-approved.  Happy camper!  

We did get away for a tiny camping trip, courtesy of Grandma and Grandpa Richardson we loaded up 3 kids, one dog, and all of our gear into 1.5 vehicles and took off to the land of no cell service.  It was great while it lasted!

Sadly this is where Cass had her longboarding accident and broke her leg, ending the trip in an operating room in Owen Sound.  

I have been teaching the girls Ukrainian, reading writing and spoken.  They are taking to it like fish to water.  :-)

I have been planning for a little renovation of our kitchen, including new cabinetry with drawers that will be easier for me to use, and new flooring without the grooves in it that trip up my heavy leg.  That should be happening in early Fall so stay tuned LOL  Here is a teaser of the flooring, cabinetry and countertop:

The girls had a little yard sale and lemonade stand one Saturday morning.  Went well and they did a great job!  Even got up at ssiixxxx  aaaaa mmmmmmmmm to set up.  Needless to say we did all nap in the afternoon that day. 

The other day I had an Arborist/crew in to properly prune the big trees on my property.  Another job that has been waiting for 12 years!  I am so excited to report that the trees are properly trimmed and are forecasted to continued healthy growth into the future.  Take a look at the before and after pics of our back yard-maker:

Oh and another bit of excitement here, Claire went on a trip out west with Scott!  They left last Sunday all loaded for deliveries in Winnipeg, Regina, and Saskatoon, then they loaded cattle in Alberta and they are now on their way home. She seems to be having a great time, Cassie and I have received countless giggly phone calls at all times of the day.  Scott may be ready for a break from pop music by the time they get home tomorrow? ;-)  

<---- I'm told she was allowed to get actually IN the truck LOL

Off they go!  --->

It has been an excellent experience for her, I have dubbed her the world-traveller and told her she now understands Canadian time zone changes better than I do (Saskatchewan is different in summer and winter apparently?). 

I have had a glorious (quiet) few days with Cass all on my own - the longest Claire and Cassie have ever been apart!  Our stress levels have decreased a bit, we have been able to bond with each other and the dog and cat, only having to agree with each other about our dinner menu (no three other bodies to interfere!) 
Just kidding... but we have had fun, and though I wasn't able to slip away on a little holiday this weekend I do not regret it, as I have been able to soak up my Cassandra.  We have had a couple days of movie marathons as well, she is a horror film buff, and TRULY one now that she has seen The Shining and Psycho! We watched those and then cleansed our scared souls with 80's comedies and romantic French films.

It will be nice to have everyone back under one roof next week... thankfully I go to Toronto and Barrie!!  ;-)   

The rest of the summer should be quieter..?  But we shall see.  Above all I hope to get to some writing.  And get Cass back on her feet, and keep from going broke with back to school shopping, and get some visiting in...  And and and...  

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