To us, our house was not unsentient matter -- it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in its confidence, and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benediction.
- Mark Twain
(my house in snow...may we see it again one day...but for now, over 100 F each day. Sigh.)
It's been so long since I blogged that I had to think THINK about how to open the program. Hm. That should tell me something. Maybe just that it's been a long time.
So here we are at the end of The Cancer Treatment Phase. K. only has ONE more radiation treatment, on Monday, and that's it. Unfortunately, that means he is really quite sick and miserable, because radiation is cumulative and even continues to act on the body for a few weeks after the treatments end (just like a sunburn continues to burn you after you go in the house...)
So now we start another phase, which I am calling Early Recovery. This (I imagine, but may be proven wrong) will be the part where he still feels like crap on toast but is not actually getting any WORSE. Estimate is 2 weeks on this, but everything I have been told or assumed has turned out different than I thought, so I'm hanging loose on it. Rather than continuing with a steady diet of Ensure and other canned-sugar delights in the g-tube, I am working on blenderized meals for him with a variety of fresh veggies and fruits. So far, so good.
And then, at some point, then we get to Full Blown Recovery. Which is where I shall encourage him to (insist that he)
exercise (just by walking around the house right now...it's still over 100 every day and he'd collapse if he stepped outside)
continue to enjoy blenderized treats,
start back to looking at his work a little at a time (because I'm ready to stop looking at it so much)
and start working toward eating and drinking by mouth.
Who knows when this will happen? I have to say it's a little daunting, because in The Treatment Phase, we knew (mostly) how many and when. In the other phases, we don't really know a damn thing. Just that every day you have to get up and walk through that one day.
Sounds like a lesson we've learned before, right? That's what cancer seems to be good for: lessons we've already learned but clearly haven't gotten right yet.
Here's another one, that I'll recommend to you. Every day, when I wake up, I give thanks for my body. It is not sick and it works together in a miraculous way. My legs work, my arms work. My brain chemistry is whack, so I take meds for that, and darn glad to have them. I can deal with that. So, if I don't have to go in for chemotherapy or radiation or some other kind of heinous assault on my marvellous God-given physical plant that day, I will be giving thanks and rejoicing!
Next question: Within each of your groups, do you see commonalities?
The colors are all soft ones. The cities are, all but one, places I've been. Same with the landscapes...ones I know. The interiors are all places that feel safe to me. And the clothing is all comfortable.
(from prior post):
1. Five colors.
Lavender, mint green, sage green, buttercup, cream.
2. Five cities.
New York, Denton, Portland, ME; Portland, OR; San Francisco
3. Five landscapes.
My beach, any beach, mountains, prairies in North Texas, Southwest Texas with mesquite, juniper and prickly pear.
4. Five interiors.
My library room. My office at the university. Chapel at St. Francis, College Station. Sanctuary at Annunciation, Lewisville. My interior room (in my imagination).
At RevGals, Kathrynzj says, I'm wrapping up a two week vacation that has taken me from beach to basement. WHAT?
It's true, I took a week off of work to clean out the basement. Sadly, to look at a before/after photo would not make it look like my time had been used wisely. Just about everything is still down there, it's just in a different pile. BUT... our church rummage sale this year is going to be very, very blessed.
I'm wondering if anyone else out there takes a week off of work to do a different kind of work:
1) Have you ever 'staycationed' in order to work on a project? If no, would you? Well, I mentioned in yesterday's post that this summer has been our Staycation to Beat The Hell Outta Cancer. But I think I'll choose something else for this play. So....one time on Spring Break I painted the kitchen. It was just part of it, but instead of unrelieved white, I got a nice little yellow wash on the walls above the stove and counters. It was very satisfying.
2) What project did you or would you tackle first? What I'd REALLY like to do is remove all the ugly, dark 1970's kitchen cabinets and strip them, and apply a much lighter finish and some different hardware, and remount. But gosh: I'm pretty certain that'd be more than a week's worth. And I can't bear to have it go on for 2 years...ugh.
3) Any other projects? Need to remove the storm windows and wash all the windows. Repair 2 porch lights. So, so many things. But here's one that really happened: My sister in law Gail repaired my kitchen drawer yesterday...we have lived in this house for 11 years and it's been broken since we moved in. Yeah. She has the tenacity of a bulldog, in a very gentle way. I love her insanely (and not just because she fixed the dang drawer!!)
4) What are the pitfalls of a staycation for you? I end up napping and reading instead of the project!
5) Never mind this staying at home business, where do you want to go and what do you want to do there? I want to take my hubby to Galveston for a week in our motor home. Just hanging out and resting, and he can go wade-fishing past the third bar when the blue water comes in. We can eat out on patios at seafood restaurants with our dogs, and watch the city we love as it comes back from Ike. And, I need to get to my beach in Florida soon, too.
It's damned hot out here in this field, that's for sure. I mostly run through it and hope I don't collapse before I can get to the air-conditioned space at the other side.
This is a big cicada year; they've been racketing all summer. Usually they don't start until late summer. Clearly, there was a warning there, if only we had heeded it; we could have moved to Canada while there was still time. Now, all our car tires are melted to the asphalt roads...
Also there are these huge grasshoppers everywhere. Yellow ones about 1.5 inches long, and orange ones over 2 inches long. I've only ever seen them like that before in Florida and Georgia. It's creepy, but they are kind of beautiful. I say this, hoping I won't wake tomorrow to find they've eaten the foundation of my house.
Ken, as many of you know, has been in treatment for throat cancer this summer. I have been able to be with him for much of the time, thanks to a very supportive workplace and several hundred hours of vacation that I've saved up, working for the State of Texas over the last 27 years. However, I would definitely say that this qualifies as "the worst staycation ever," to quote a young friend of mine. Maybe it would be worse to be washing all my windows, given how hot it's been outside...but, no. This is it. The ickiest.
I've been so fortunate that my sister in-law Gail has come to stay several times and been a huge help and support and friend through this. Sister Sarah has come to clean house, brought meals, and checked in regularly. And many others have prayed, brought meals, prayed, sent us a prayer quilt (thanks to St. Patrick's of Pagosa Springs!), prayed, sent cards, prayed, sent waiting room games, and prayed, prayed, prayed.
The end is in sight. Thanks be to God.
I had my hair shined today...this time the shiny is called "Copper Gold." The stylist asked how I felt about strawberry, and I said, "I was born strawberry blonde." So now I am again. I'm still getting used to it. But it was nice to just sit still and have someone fix me up for a little while.
I hope all of your summers have been amusing, edifying, or just plain peaceful.