Where to start....
Jack ran fever Sunday night and Monday, so we took him to the doctor. His ears and chest were clear, so the doctor felt that is was likely something viral. Kevin was working in Texas this week, and he wasn't comfortable leaving Jack with me. I was totally up to taking care of him, but we were worried about me being his only caregiver for the week while he had fever. Kevin flew out of Birmingham Monday afternoon, which is halfway to Granny and Papa's house. So, my dad met Kevin in Birmingham Monday afternoon to pick up his favorite little brown package, Jack. Jack has stayed with family and friends for a day or two a few times in the past, but I have NEVER been at home without him for a few days. I missed him SO much. Luz Andrea would agree it was pretty quiet around here...no questions, no sports TV. I missed my boys, but it was kind of nice. Jack was very well behaved for Granny and Papa. I know they enjoyed his visit. Jack is looking forward to doing it again sometime. He especially likes playing with Mallory and Savannah. Jack and Mallory are both 4, and Savannah is only 18 months behind.
This week I really started to feel like myself again. SO nice! I think not having to drive kids to or from school helped me keep my own schedule. Thanks to BJ's visit last weekend, I was able to rest up plenty for the new week. With family gone, I didn't have to cook. Luz and I pretended we were on vacation and ate out more than usual. :) We watched some "girl" TV together, including a rental of Leap Year with Amy Adams...cute movie! One of the first indications that I am beginning to be Cindy again is my sense of humor returns. I like that.
Physically, I felt better, too. I am doing much better at keeping my headaches away. I have done very well with getting plenty of water, but I have to make sure that I get some caffeine in, too. I do that first thing in the morning now, or at lunch. So, no headaches! What very little hair I have left is coming out again this week. I'm good with that. I have actually considered using tape to just pull it out mess-free, though I haven't...yet that is. My bruises from the very first chemo treatment without the port are starting to go away. That's another plus, I hate looking abused. My appetite is back. I eat all the time...CRAZY! I guess it's the increased metabolism from the chemo. The jittery shakes from the steroids have passed from last week. I do get tired by nightfall, but I think it's because I'm having so much fun. When you don't know how many years you have left in life, it changes ordinary days into something much more satisfying. I expect my chemo regimen will take care of the cancer, but let's face it aggressive chemo can't be good for your body over the long haul...of course neither is too much cheesecake. :)
I have felt some sensations (I don't know how to describe them otherwise) and knots in my left side this week. I'm not sure what to think of those. They don't hurt, but they do call my attention. I wonder if it is the chemo working or the cancer fighting back. I try not to dwell on it. There is nothing I can do about it right now. I am already doing all I can. No, WE are already doing all we can...praying, staying healthy, treatment, you get the idea. I refuse to dwell on things that I have no control over. I will not become a victim to this. There are too many wonderful blessings in my life to think about rather than complain about the signs God gave me to know I needed treatment and the potentially life-saving treatment itself. God has blessed our family with so many supportive friends and loved ones.
Last night I read my Praying Through Cancer devotional, a wonderful gift from Dr. Keri Miller who has become my sister's "local big sis." It's an easy read by Susan Sorensen and Laura Geist with contributions from cancer survivors. Kayleen Merry talked about the feeling of being overwhelmed when learning of her leukemia diagnosis. She was a missionary teacher, mother of five (2 adopted and 1 born in the three years just before her diagnosis), frequent moves, and then THIS. I can really identify with her because Kevin and I have had some pretty crazy years ourselves. We married, started the adoption process, I left the public school classroom, Jack was born, we moved, I had cancer...In just the past 10 months, we've lost our beloved dog Birdie, gained an exchange student, and fostered two precious little girls both under age 2. The author talked about being reminded of God's faithfulness through the huge and sometimes traumatic changes in their lives. Kevin and I have both reflected on that in recent months. Like Kayleen Merry, we recognize that God has blessed us through this cancer diagnosis so that we could once again experience His amazing grace and plan, and so that He could be glorified through us.
Wednesday evening, I took Luz to meet her friend to play tennis. Rather than drive all the way back home and then all the way back across town to pick her up, I decided to visit the Sanctuary Hospice House. I wanted to finish reading a book I've been reading and enjoy some quiet time. I always feel so peaceful at the hospice house. It's beautiful and quiet, very comfortable. Everyone there is so kind and nurturing. It's sad to me that families only benefit from this beautiful place at the end of their lives or the life of a loved one. Occasionally, I try to take Jack by there to wave and smile in the common area, so that the families can see life. They usually enjoy seeing him, and he stays pretty quiet. This week, however, I sat in the common area and read, one of the highlights of my week.
Thursday, was full of surprises. I had a very nice lunch and did a little shopping with Kevin's mom, Joyce. It was just the two of us, and much easier to talk without the distraction of kids. Thanks, Grandma! My nurse from our health insurance company called, Denise. She is very nice. Apparently, when you have cancer, or some other serious illness like that, the insurance company assigns you a "case nurse." She is not responsible for claims or anything like that, just me. She checks in to see how I'm doing and feeling. She answers any questions we may have about my situation, and we are free to call her. I think that's pretty awesome. The best part of yesterday was when my two guys made it home. Jack was wide open!
I would like to wish my Dad a very Happy Birthday today. Happy Birthday, Poppy! I love you and miss you. Can't wait to see you again! Have a great weekend!