It is not lost on me that this is Holy Week, and I hope you have a very blessed Seder or Easter (or both). And for those of you who celebrate neither, then simply a very blessed week!
I decided to write BEFORE chemo this time, because it has been such an AWESOME week and it is way more fun to spread that kind of positive energy!
I believe that several things that contributed to this most incredible week:
I am finally pulling my head out of the sand and noticing more of what is going on around me.
Two things stood out:
I read a book called Making Toast. It is written by a father who moved in and helped to care for the young children of his daughter, after she died suddenly at 38. It was not as depressing as it might sound. And a line from the book stood out (at the risk misquoting this):
"You are not the first family to experience this, and you are better equipped than most to handle it."
I feel like that is so true of our family. Though this path isn't easy, it is much harder for many others, and we are very aware of that.
And, the priest on Sunday asked us to pray for an 8-year-old with a brain tumor. THAT was sobering.
So, I think I feel better because life is finally not "all about me."
My energy level is back to normal, and I've been thrilled to do very normal things. For example, we were invited to a birthday dinner party, said yes, actually were able to go, had a great time, and stayed till the end. On top of that, Tiron and I didn't think about cancer once that whole night. It was so fun; I am still carrying the glow from that!
I started my Chinese tea. It is truly (and maybe literally) wild. It looks like a bag full of things that my kids might gather from the woods: tree bark and twigs and dried mushrooms. You put it in a glass or ceramic pot, cover it with water, and cook it down slowly for about 3 hours. It leaves a woodsy smell in the house, which I don't mind, and I don't even mind the taste. The most difficult part is that I need to drink it at night, three hours after eating anything, so I am no longer snacking after dinner.
I wasn't sure whether this was doing anything, but at some point I realized that, since I started drinking the tea, my chest pains disappeared! Yay! (Both this time and two years ago, after starting chemo, I had strong chest pains every night.)
I started acupuncture. Since my surgery, I couldn't get off my duff to make any appointments with any kind of complementary medicine, including the acupuncturist I love (Kiiko Matsumoto). So Marilyn booked an acupuncture appointment for me with her acupuncturist (Marisa of Newton Center Acupuncture), then picked me up in her car and drove me there.
After the first appointment, I wasn't sure that anything shifted. But within an hour, I told someone to buzz off (in stronger language), which was really unlike me, and really freeing! Hmmmm. I ended up going back to Marisa (again, mostly out of laziness), and that time, within an hour afterwards (warning: possible oversharing!), food starting moving really quickly through my system. It was really wild. I do want to return to my own acupuncturist, but I have to say that I will first return to Marisa, mostly out of curiosity. I want to see what might happen next!
I have a couple other complementary medicine avenues I am doing as well, and lots of aromatherapy.
I ran into old friends, everywhere, and learned of some really cool connections among friends. All week, I kept running into people I've thought about but haven't seen in years. After a few days of this, it started to feel like that old show "This is Your Life." What a wild ride. I really loved seeing everyone!
I look pretty normal. Well, as normal as I look. For those of you who live outside Boston, I look pretty much the same as I always do. That helps!
The only downer -- and I'm not complaining! -- was that I have this sore throat that I can't seem to shake. I am one of those people who never gets sick (if you don't count cancer - ha ha) so I have a new appreciation for what everyone else goes through when they get a cold. For those of you who get colds, my apologizes if I haven't been as sympathetic to you as you needed! I had no idea you were that uncomfortable!
Our six-year-old son asked this week why we aren't making dinner for our friends, because they are making dinners for us. (By the way, the kids totally eat all their vegetables if someone else cooks them! Go figure.)
We all really appreciate all your help and support, and our son voiced the sentiment that I've struggled with recently: How to give back in some way? You are all carrying us, in so many ways, and it would be wonderful to share all that we receive back with you.
So I will leave you with one more high point from this week: Someone told me, "I live my life differently because of you." That touched me and I carry it with me.
I hope you are enjoying life sooo much -- there are so many cool things that are going on, and you are part of all of this uplifting energy.
Again, thank you for your prayers and good thoughts and for banding together to help us all. It truly makes a difference in so many ways for us, and I pray it is all coming back to you, and more!