Today was my first post-treatment Doctor’s appointment. It was not to make a determination of whether the chemoradiation did its job. Today’s point was to check my progress, health, and needs.
My white and red blood counts are low. The Doctor said they are fully what he would expect at this point. I am a “little anemic”. Yeah? Maybe that is because I hadn’t eaten for so long and have not been able to cook meat for myself.
That is about to change. My son drove me to the appointment this morning. He missed half a day at work. Luckily, he works for the most amazing person and with equally generous people. They give him all the time he needs without any negative repercussions.
On the way to the appointment I talked to him about the possibility of my driving. I asked the Doctor if he thought it would be ok. He said that it would. However, he wanted someone with me the first couple of times. So, I drove my son back to his house to pick up his scooter. He needs to be able to freely get to and from work and wherever he wants to go.
I was worried that I might not drive well. I checked with him as I was driving and he said I was doing fine. We decided I do not need him in the car beyond this. So, I am MOBILE!!!!!
I am thrilled! Free from being a shut-in! A friend had taken me out the day before yesterday. She invited my dog along. I did not even ask. I was not going to ask. I guess she looked just pitiful enough. We picked up Arby’s and she drove us to Mt. Tabor. She parked in the shade. We stayed in the car. It was a busy day at the park. It was after all, Labor Day. All the shelter’s were already occupied or looking like they were about to be fully occupied.
That’s ok. We rolled down the windows, stayed in the car. Jewel would have preferred to have been allowed out. But, I had not brought her leash. Had not even thought about it. Bad doggie mom 😦
It was really wonderful to be in the park. We had incredibly tall conifer trees on either side of us. Really rather large stands on either side of the road. We were able to look out over the city. Through, the trees we could see the darkly clouded blue sky through the cedars branches.
After being stuck in the house for two months this was a TERRIFIC Day! I cannot thank E.I. enough. She has been a good friend throughout. Bringing in dinner one night and then, another day taking me for a picnic in the park.
It’s difficult to express the gratitude I feel towards everyone who helped me. Those who cared enough to help me are so appreciated. Those who called or wrote are wonderful letting me know they were praying for my good health. I wish I could open my soul to show my son, most of all, just how meaningful his dedication, care, and assistance has been these past nearly THREE months.
I cannot, of course, split open my soul, much as I would like. I have been thinking for weeks now about what I can do to show my son my love and appreciation. His dedication was beyond what I had expected. I guess I should have known better. He has always been a very loving and caring person. He is very loyal. Being his Mom triggered all of his best qualities to their greatest extent. I am the most grateful recipient of my son’s love and dedication. So what does one do to show how much his dedication to me means? I have gone through a huge list of possibilities: Cash? A pre-paid credit card? A clothing store gift card, tickets to a concert,…? Clearly, I have to figure this out.
During our picnic we were talking about how long it had been since my chemoradiation started. I could not recall the date. It was E.I. who remembered the date of my first treatment. July 1. I had not, no I could not even remember the date regardless how I tried. We realized it had, at that point, been TWO MONTHS since my first actual treatment date! The chemo knocked me so hard on my ass that I went down and did not come up for two MONTHS! That is a long ass time to be stuck in the house. And now I AM FREEEEEEE!!!! My first thoughts were of cheeseburgers and fries. My next thoughts were that I felt guilty about wanting cheeseburger and fries since I am still fighting Cancer. But, that pull a lifetime of emotional eating had thrown its lasso around my neck and was pulling me in.
After dropping of my son at his house I went to the grocery store. As I said my original thought, since am a “little anemic”, is to do what is not unusual for me to do. Go grocery shopping, stop for Five Guys Burger and Fries, and go home. I had a clear plan in my head. I would shop for better foods. Buying more fruits and vegetables. Those that I like. The next part of the plan is that I intended to put away all the items that needed freezing or refrigerating. Note: Five Guys has in the past been WeeB’s, or McDonald’s my first stop on the way home from shopping. From the time the kids were babies, this was my pattern. I knew I had to try to cut that lasso rope around my throat.
While I was shopping I realized that I should just go home and put away the items needing freezing or refrigeration. Then, making something from all the stuff I just purchased. In my head I heard me say, “REALLY????” “You are going to skip Five Guys cheeseburger and fries?” It was so LOUD. I knew I had to fight against that Godzilla part of me. So, that is what I did. I fought myself on the Five Guys and won. It was especially difficult because, it had been over a month since I had their cheeseburgers or fries. I try to keep my indulgence in that particular establishment to once a week.
I realized while I was shopping that I was becoming more and more tired. Exhausted, actually. But, I was determined to restock my kitchen, and house with the basics. That means an awful lot after two months of using all the basics up. MILK! That was my first requirement. Laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and all sorts of food. From potato chips to paper towels, and beyond. As I made it through the store I realized my back was bending further and further over the cart and my steps were slowing. I was determined to finish. I forced myself to stand up straight (for however long or short that lasted) and pushed the cart on.
One of the most important things I had to replenish was…. wait for it……..
Toilet paper. Even though I have been using the bidet which, you think would mean I was using half the amount of toilet paper. Especially, when you consider I was using baby wipes just as often. Yet, my stores of toilet paper dwindled from some SIXTY rolls to eighteen. However, the intention for this shopping trip today was part of the effort to replenish these particular stores. Not entirely. One does not replace forty odd rolls of toilet paper in one (forgive me) sitting.
After getting home I had to transfer all those bags and bundles from the car into my home. One or two bags (or gallons) at a time. It took a few minutes to get them all into my house. I threw everything I needed to refrigerate or freeze into their proper places (oh shit, I hope I threw them in the proper places.)
When I first opened the trunk of the rental car to put groceries in I saw and smelled my son’s running shoes. I texted him to let them know where they are. What I did not tell him was how much they stunk. The trunk has been infected. Uhg. He asked me to drop them back by his house tonight. I thought and told him, “Sure. I can do that.” I can drive now, right? Right!
Except that after doing all of this stuff today I have been sitting down. I had to walk the dog at 5:00 pm. Which I felt barely strong enough to do. But, I did. Then, I came back in and sat again. Breathing hard. I sounded like a slow bellows trying to grab enough air for my lungs and body to throw into the fire to replenish it. Now, a couple of hours later, I got up to go to the bathroom and realized I was stiff, sore, and OMG TIE ERD. I (said in my whiniest four year-old voice) don’t wanna drive his shoes over to him. I want him to come get them. He has done so much for me this is the least I can do for him. But, damn I am tired and sore and feeling like a pouty four-year-old who just doesn’t wanna sure was not going to encourage me to lift my buns out of my La-Z-Girl chair.
I will. I DID! I just did not wanna.