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Cover Your Mouth
Every other weekend, my step son, Ethan, comes to stay with Nat and me. Typically this would be no big deal, but we learned that he has been struggling to overcome a cold which eventually turned into bronchitis. Normally, knowing that we’d be nursing a sick child would not have been an issue for me – I can handle a runny nose, a punky disposition or giving reminders to “cover your mouth.”
This time around, however, I felt myself becoming panicky that an ill Ethan was coming over to our house. What did him being sick mean for me? Ethan’s doctor felt that he would not be contagious - if he was at all - after being on antibiotics for a few days - therefore, it wouldn’t be an issue being around me.
But I was still concerned that my own health was in jeopardy given that I'm recovering from surgery, and I'll be moving into chemotherapy soon. I didn’t know if this was even something to be worried about, but the truth is I'm more worried about getting sick than I've ever been before. So, the question I had was, should I be concerned that I’d be in close quarters with someone who is sick?
I decided to be in touch with my doctor’s office prior to Ethan’s arrival just to be sure. The thought crossed my mind while placing the call that surely other folks who are in a similar situation as me have children around them seven days a week. These parents are certainly confronted with their own children bringing home colds. Plus, it’s also inevitable that I’ll walk through a sneeze or cough if I’m out in public. So there must be a reasonable way to deal with this.
It was a good thing I called. The nurse I spoke to did not take lightly the fact that Ethan was sick. Although she recognized that I could not live in a bubble and that other people have children with colds around them more so than we do, she emphasized that I would need to be even more careful and thoughtful about protecting myself than in the past. I learned that there were two things to be looking for – a cough and/or a fever. If either of these two things were present, Ethan and I were to wear a mask if we were close to each other.
Additionally, whether there was evidence or not of either of these two things, while he was on antibiotics, we needed to extra vigilant about hand washing and covering mouths when coughing. Plus it wouldn’t hurt to spritz Lysol in the rooms Ethan frequented. She mentioned that right now my “counts” are good, but once I begin chemotherapy, the drugs they’ll give me will not only seek out the “bad” cells but will lower my white blood cell count, as well. Therefore, if I come in contact with a cold, my body will have a harder time fighting it.
Well – the good news is that by the time Ethan arrived at our house yesterday, he was on the mend, no real cough and no fever. He did meet me at the door donning a mask - waiting to announce that he knew what he needed to do to make sure I didn’t get sick. Sooooooooo cute!!!
The other good news is that my attention has been diverted. Instead of thinking about my cancer, I’ve been admiring Ethan’s latest Lego creation – General Grievous’ ship. I’ve opened a Light Brite for “both of us” to play. I sat with him as he wrestled through a bad dream, and I even played Lego Star Wars on the X-Box this morning. It feels good to be distracted
It appears that it’s time for me to gently prod E to brush his teeth, make his bed and get dressed for the day.
Lots of love to everyone, Lisa
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Saturday Lisa When I read your update, I let out this spontaneous "oooooohhhhh!" when you talked about how Ethan came to the door. How adorable! I'm so glad you got a good dose of "play therapy"! I hope that by the time you have read this that C. has made her house call to you! I just love that woman! You will have had two essential "P's" today...playing and pampering!
I read something today that was so cool, and I just have to share it. It was an article about learning to sit in your discomfort because it is only temporary. When all the "what if's" regarding chemo creep into your head...just remember that it is only temporary. I know we women put so much emphasis on our looks. When I think of you, I think of your smile, your laugh and that gusto walk of yours! All those things will still be there when your hair TEMPORARILY falls out...so to me, you will still be the same!!!! Give E a hug for me!!!
A million ones... M.
From Port Edwards Lisa, I have totally been emotionally overwhelmed with your Carepages. You need to save them all and perhaps sometime it will be a published diary for others to share????? We are always praying for a complete and speedy recovery and as much as we miss Mom and Dad, we know they're where they should be. Much love! J.
for Lisa. Lisa, H. and I are overwhelmed with your postings. Your ability to write of your deepest feelings with honesty and clarity takes us to the depth of your joys and sorrows. We are all part of your journey.I feel that I have really gotten to know you. you are a remarkable young woman. Love C. A.
LEGO LAND LIVES Lisa, I cannot tell you how many hours I have enjoyed watching the my boys play Legos. When they would get bored in the middle of the summer, I would start a Lego Contest. They would build for hours until their creations were just right. They are now grown. They have traded in their Legos for cars, girls and guitars. Last Friday night, the family laughed while we competed racing around a track with cows knocking over scarecrows on the WII game system.
Keep yourself as healthy as you can and know that everyone is standing behind you during this time. Love, J. T.
Thinking of you all Prue just told us about your Carepages, and I've just read through every word of your postings. Lisa and Nat--please know that M. and I are thinking about you, admiring your courage, appreciating your honesty, and sending our best vibes to add to the multitudes sent by other well-wishers from which you draw strength for the road ahead.
GREAT NEWS!!! I was so happy to read your news on Friday, but I was running off to a meeting and didn't have a minute to write! This "job thing" is cramping my style! But I did want to take a minute and tell you how happy I am for you! I hope you feel "wrapped up in love." Now is the time to take care of yourself. Love, M.
Darn Colds Hi Lisa, Sorry to hear that Ethan had a cold. Not to keep going back to A., but I know what you mean about suddenly freaking out about being around someone who is sick. Now that A. is supposed to be unable to create his own hormones normally, when he is sick it is even worse. When Dad came to visit and had the chicken pox virus, my mind was frantically wondering what was going to happen with A. If he coughed or even sneezed my heart jumped, and I was watching him intently. I called the pediatrician and asked Dad's doctor what we should do. A. had not been vaccinated from the chicken pox virus as of yet. Anyway, he is fine, he did get an ear infection but I don't know if that was even from being around Dad or just bad timing. I didn't even have to increase his medication like they warned me I should. Heaven help me if I ever have to give him a stress dose (I carry around a shot of medicine to give him if he is unable to take it orally). Enough about A. I am glad you enjoyed your day with your step son. I hope you continue to feel great. Love, L.
Hey, Lisa I'm so glad to hear you're taking care of yourself. A lot of people wouldn't have given thought to being around "sick" people. I'm thrilled to know you're putting your own interest at the forefront of your mind. WAY better to be overly cautious than to deal with a set back.
C. and C. had a wonderful birthday. S. bought a ton of fireworks on New Year's Eve and had them hidden away for this special occasion. The kids oohed and aahed to see fireworks at the end of the party. (Is that illegal? Not sure...) We had such beautiful weather. They got those bouncy balls you sit on and hop around (did you have one as a kid?) - and C. hopped up and down our street a hundred times yesterday. So fun.
Continue to take care of yourself. I'd like to visit again soon. Love, D.
take care of yourself! I think you were right to be hesitant when it comes to colds and fevers! You can't be too careful. I think sometimes we have an inner voice that speaks to us, if we are smart enough to listen. It sounds like you were! :) Most of us, as women and moms, friends, daughters, etc. take care of everyone else around us and sometimes forget that we need to take care of ourselves FIRST. We feel selfish if we put ourselves above others and yet, how can we expect to be there for everyone if we are not well?
This weekend felt very LONG! Which I suppose is a good thing, although I sure did a lot of cleaning. I have a most wonderful husband, who went to buy a new mop and proceeded to move everything out of the kitchen (including the refrigerator!) and did all the "nitty gritty" cleaning and mopping. I once sat down to take a break and he said, "Ok, no time for breaks! Let's get moving!" So I went back to my laundry and cleaning. Before I knew it, we had the entire downstairs sparkling clean! It sure felt nice going to sleep last night, knowing everything was in its place. :)
Only 24 more days of school! We're on the downhill slide now. My son is in 5th grade at Farney and he will be visiting Goodson on Wednesday; he is SO excited! He wants to see the gym and the cafeteria!!! Of course, PE and lunch will be his favorites, just like every other 6th grader! I still can't believe I'll have TWO in jr. high next fall.
Well, I'll sign off for now. Continue to listen to your instincts. You are an inspiration to me every day! Continued prayers, M. ((((HUGS))))
A Blessing I have been so happy to read that all has been going ok. I was very excited about your pathology report and on the day that you had not really felt any pain (even though you were on pain meds), that made me smile too because I had prayed that for you; that just one day and only for a little while you would experience no pain:) My prayer today is for you to continue to regain strength and for your body and mind to prepare itself for the next stage in your treatment. And I also pray for your family and their bodies and minds to also prepare themselves to help you get through all of this. What a blessing E was for you this weekend. Isn't Lego Star Wars the best! Their purpose is far more wonderful and beautiful than people want to give it credit for. Have a wonderful day.
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