Thursday, July 22, 2010

Just home from another rotisserie event. I'm feeling pretty well and have already taken a short walk. Carpet cleaners are here so it FORCED me to work on the blog.

Before I started the fourth cycle of chemo I dug up the iris near the front door. They were so profuse this year that one could hardly walk past them. Also, many of the flowers just bent over and lay on the patio. It gave me a chance to give some away as well as get some exercise. I'll plant a few this evening when it is cooler. They went wild in a small triangular area near the front door and backed by a post supporting the roof of the front porch. It is known as the Gypsy memorial garden. Gypsy was our first yellow lab. I had been babying a dark purple clematis that had come with the house. Gypsy, after watching me weed there, walked over and pulled the whole plant from the ground, effectively destroying it. You can't expect garden perfection when you own a large dog. But you do get lots of good company.

Lola, the current destroyer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benefits of hair loss:

No need to wear a shower cap.
Forget the shampoo.
No worry about the last time I shaved when wearing cropped pants.
Forget the hair dryer when traveling.
Cooling off after gardening in the heat is accomplished quickly by removing the wig.

I'm sitting in the Cancer Center getting an infusion, drowsy from the Benadryl pre-infusion med. This is the fourth chemo cycle and I still feel great. We spent a few days in Boise as John had a meeting or two there. It felt like a vacation, very far from hospitals and infusions, and I got to spend time with Caitlin. She gave me a pedicure so my nails are now beautiful. We also learned about a wonderful Thai salad called larb. Tastes much better than it sounds.

There was an article in the paper within the last 2 weeks recommending exercise for cancer patients, even during chemotherapy. Much as I hate to say it, John was right when he tried to get me moving even when I felt miserable. So my goal is to take a walk every day this cycle. It will make Lola happy, too.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Having received books from concerned friends, I found myself re-reading Steinbeck's Cannery Row. When I was growing up in the Bay Area my family spent many spring breaks in Monterey and Pacific Grove playing in the tide pools and admiring the ocean . Father would fish on the beach while Mother and I wandered. Though the sardine canneries were not still operating, and it was the flush fifties and sixties and not the Depression, one could still see many of the things Steinbeck describes. More recently the waterfront has been dominated by the aquarium. It is harder to imagine Doc and Mack living there. Though none of us played golf, we always took an afternoon to drive the 17 Mile drive, admiring the expensive homes and golf courses, finishing up in Carmel with its gift shops and art galleries. None the less, the book brought me back.

Now I am deep in a spy novel, less socially significant but just as distracting.

This evening we spent with John(former Clinic administrator and CEO) and Shirley Houser getting caught up in their retirement experiences. Had a wonderful time on the deck at Rooster's, cool enough now due to a brisk wind.

Saturday we drove to Dayton to get out of the heat (ha) and out of the house. The drive was lovely with ripening grain and other less identifiable crops. The next day we went to pick peaches. Well, we actually just picked up peaches that had been picked that morning. This is something we have never done in our 30 years in the valley.

I have felt much improved since Saturday, day 12 of the chemo cycle. So far that improvement has been predictable, and the rest of the 21 days are much easier than the first 11. I hope that things continue in a similar way for the next 3 cycles of treatment.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This third cycle of chemo has been more trying than the prior 2 for some reasons. But my way has been cheered by the beautiful things people have made for me. For instance, today I received a pair of hand knit socks from one of my patients. I have often admired hers in the office. She even sent washing instructions. Aren't they great?

Last week my friend and fellow book club member , Elizabeth, brought me a bag of knit caps, one even festive enough for the 4th of July. You would be surprised how good a warm cap feels once the wig is off, even in summer.

Then there is Kathy's incredible comfort quilt. It has lived up to its name many times over.

Dixie sent me a Courage mug from our local potter. It was glazed with Mt. St. Helen's ash. Somehow appropriate. And Lynn sent a small metal piece of yard art representing we two BFF's . I feel blessed with all of this friendship.

Time for a wig wash today. It apparently needs to be done every 2 weeks or so. It hasn't dried over night as advertised so a hat will be in order tomorrow.

Judging from the last two cycles I will feel considerably better by Saturday. I'll keep you up to date.