I continue to learn about the recovery-after-surgery process. I’ve thought since coming home from the hospital, I’d have a fair amount of energy. I’m not lifting heavy items and am not doing any sorts of exercise except for slow walks and physical therapy exercises for my arm. I’ve given in to having people help me with things like clearing the dinner table, unloading the dishwasher, folding clothes, vacuuming, cleaning the litter boxes and making the bed. So how is it possible that occasionally standing up and sitting down during the day makes me so tired, I need a late-afternoon nap?
Today was a much better-paced day, especially since I figured out what sorts of things I need to do to preserve my energy. I devoted a few hours in early-afternoon to lying down to rest my arm – something I did not do yesterday. I noticed that when I’m sitting upright or standing, I hold my arm rigidly, and this seems to cause my arm and me to tire. When I lie down, I feel more relaxed and, ultimately, rely less on meds to relieve pain later in the day.
I also learned today that I shouldn’t educate myself about cancer especially if I’m tired. I read a little bit about chemotherapy and radiation therapy this afternoon; both are at the forefront for me. Even though I only read two or three pages about the treatments, that was enough. There are just some times, and today was one of them, that I found myself less comfortable with the inevitability of upcoming treatment and quite frankly, coming to terms with having to deal with all aspects getting/having cancer. I try very hard to keep things in perspective and not get too far ahead of myself – and that stance has been pretty easy to maintain so far. But the truth is that there are moments when I am more afraid and unsettled than at other times.
On a lighter note, Mom and I found some great ribbon “yarn” that she’s already knitting and purling into my first hat. The words “cancer chic” and “cancer cute” run through my head when we’re planning my head coverings. This helps to temper dealing with a not so cute or chic disease.
Back to thinking about the fun yarns, ribbons and fabulous colors! Lots of love, Lisa
Thanks for reading Popcorn and Patchouli! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
the wonderful world of scarves Hey Lisa- Have you thought about the wonderful world of scarves? There are so many pretty ones, and I know that Target has a great selection. My sister ended up with a crewcut by way of some really bad hairdressing karma and she used scarves and dangly earrings to get her through the grow-out process. She said she never got so many compliments. Not to say I am not a huge fan of chic knitted hats. I hope you post some pictures of the finished products. :)
Cousins for Lisa Dear Lisa: I am one of the many cousins who are thinking about you and missed you and Nat last Saturday night in Philadelphia. Nat can explain who I am and how we are related. Nat is one of my favorite cousins, I've always appreciated his spirit, humor, and warmth since I first got to know him when he was eight or so. The big message is: may your recovery be as easy as possible and nurtured by all the care and love that your family and friends have for you. So glad I can stay in touch with you two this way. Your NY fan club is there for you. P. S. and family
early morning message It's early morning for Ami and me. I am downstairs making him some hot cereal because the radio tells me it is 35 degrees out... Too cold for April 17!! I can hear the floors upstairs creak as Ami moves from to bedroom to bathroom to closet... we usually just mutter to each other so early in the morning, about where we will be when and who can do what for whom... we think of you and Nat, when we've visited you, doing the same things. I hope that as the days pass you'll get back to your routine of passing each other in the hall/bathroom kitchen getting ready for a "normal" day... It WILL happen... We hope today is a good day of getting even more into the rhythm of your body as it heals. We LOVE reading the care pages and so does most of Ann Arbor! Your writing is lovely, honest and funny!! Much love.
Good morning Sunshine! Hi Lisa, I've got just a few minutes...it's TAKS day! I'm sitting here writing you as I listen to my dogs eat breakfast and growl at each other. It's like they double dare the other to even come close to the respective food bowl. It's a boxing match...puppy style! You will put a new twist on the term bald is beautiful! I'd be proud to walk alongside my beautiful bald friend. Don't let all that cancer knowledge freeze you into place. I don't know if you have connected with a cancer support group yet, but I know you will. There is strength in numbers. There are things that they can give you that a textbook can't! My friend was assigned to a "buddy" through Cancer Care that walked her through the whole process. It was great because she had someone that she could call that could support and encourage her in ways that the rest of us couldn't! Take care my friend and enjoy another day! Million hugs! M.
Grizzlies Grizzlies are growling; Grizzlies are prepared; Grizzlies are ready to go Big TAKS day!! Good grief, is this what we have been working so hard for? I guess so. The kids are pumped, the teachers are pumped, and we are ready to go. I will let you know later how the first day went. Know you are loved. P.
Hugs! I'm up to my nose in laundry, my company is here and my 20-year-old washing machine decided to quit. Hot dog! I get to go shopping. You will never know how hard I had to work at breaking that old thing! But don't tell E. Now I can have a nice fancy one with all of the bells and whistles. Seriously, "Letting someone else" is one of the hardest things to do. Very soon you will be back to and enjoying all of your everyday chores. You have been so courageous through all that has taken place. Here's a verse that I keep with me and read quite often when I need a little boost of courage.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God,
I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Now the washing machine thing is our little secret, OK?!!!!! Lots of hugs, A. P.
Stress Management Dear Lisa, My daughter sent this little note this morning and it sure makes one chuckle. Here's a stress management technique recommended in the latest psychological texts.
Picture yourself near a stream. 2. Birds are chirping softly in the cool mountain air. 3. No one but you knows your secret place. 4. You are in total seclusion from the hectic world. 5. The soothing sound of a waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity. 6. The water is crystal clear. 7. You can easily see the face of the person you are holding underwater. 8. See, you are smiling already.
Have a great day and know that we are smiling with you always. Love you, D.
TAKS day Lisa It's TAKS day!!! I am sure you are thinking about your students and teachers, and I know you are in their thoughts as well. We just got our kiddos started about 45 minutes ago, and now we can breathe a sigh of relief that the big week has started and trust that our kids will do their best. (We sure have)! On a personal note, Carson celebrated his 2nd birthday on Friday, so yikes...I am now officially the mother of a 2-year-old! It's been fun, and it seems like each month I find myself saying, "This, now this is my favorite age." He's talking so much now and using actual sentences, and he's quite outspoken when he wants to protest (just like his mommy). :) I love him so much, and it makes me think about how much your mother loves you. When I read all that you write about your mother, I know the kind of love she has for you, and I am so glad that you have so many people in your life to help and support you. We are all lucky to have you in our lives!!! Much love, T.
Wonderful writing Lisa You are a wonderful writer. What you are doing for yourself in this journaling is, of course, of paramount importance, but what you will be doing for others in keeping this beautifully documented account is clear. For those of us who care deeply about you and Nat and Ethan, it is also compelling reading. I commend you. And I send you all our love. J.
Blessing of support I am glad to hear that you are taking advantage of your home support team. At one point in my life, my mother had to spend weeks on end at my house helping me care for the kids, do laundry, cook, etc...It was so hard! My doctor told me that pushing a vacuum and taking clothes out of the washer were two of types of activities I should avoid the longest. I'm sure you have a similar list of high avoidance activities. Lying on your back for so long is not in your nature, but you may have to adapt for a while. Continue to take care of yourself.
Hello, dear Lisa and Nat Techno-idiot that I am, I have FINALLY found your CarePages and, with help from Prue, discovered that I must not put a space, Lisa, between your first and last name! Then , and only then, you and your entries magically appear. And your words, so beautifully written, keep us apprised of all the ups and downs, the humor and sadness and complexity of your days. If the thoughts and prayers of others can indeed heal, which I think they can, you are already on your way, with an army of family and friends keeping you at the forefront of their minds, towards full recovery.
But the journey isn't easy, we know, and N. and I send you both our love and support (and, if you feel like reading, lots of ideas for great fiction to lift you into other worlds for a spell.) I apologize for coming so late to your CarePages; it was not for lack of thinking of you. And so we shall continue to do, sending more love and awaiting your thoughtful updates. XOXO, E. and N.
Prayer for you Hi Lisa, After reading your latest update I wanted to write and tell you again, how often I'm thinking about you. It's ok to be afraid but my family and friends (and much PRAYER) always helped me get over that fear. It's best to not read too much about what's ahead, because everybody's case is different and everybody's reaction to chemo and radiation is different. Just have faith in God, in your family and your friends. On a lighter note, we finished our math TAKS testing this morning and I'm feeling relief and worry at the same time!! The kids worked hard, so hopefully they did well. One last word of advice is to take those naps and let others help you do everything. Love from 6th grade math, C.
Love and Support N and I just learned about your condition and your CarePages. We are so grateful to have an update on how things are going by the most important person of all-you. Your journal is compelling and honest and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing. You, Nat, and Ethan are in our thoughts and prayers.
Having just completed Richard Ford's "The Lay of the Land", I wanted to share one of the insights of the 59 year old narrator who is struggling to reassess his life and how to live it now that he has discovered he has prostrate cancer. "I'm thunderstruck by the simplest, most common place events-or non-events-as if the regular known world had suddenly illuminated itself with a likable freshness, rendering me pleased. " (p. 139). Be pleased with the simple and ordinary and find its fresh beauty. I think you are already doing that as your journal so touchingly reports. B. and N. D.
Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa All is well here at Goodson. Very smooth TAKS day. Monitoring was a piece of cake.
I'm glad to hear you're "learning" to relax. When I was there Sunday, I thought you were doing an awful lot of moving around and entertaining, just because it's your nature. Granted, it's 90% less than you are used to, but your 10% is more active than a lot of people's 90%. I'm thrilled you have learned that resting is successful in your pain management. When I had a difficult pregnancy with the twins, my doctor told me to throw away all my books and stop my internet searches because it increased my worry. I had diagnosed myself with all kinds of extra stuff (wild imagination again.) You're such a reader; I'm sure your doctor will steer you in the direction of what to read. You never know what's scarier - to know what's going to happen or fear of the unknown. Such a dilemma. Please know if there's anything you need, let me know. I wish I had the perfect comforting words for you...oh wait....maybe I do. I love you, Lisa, and I wish you the best.
sending you smiles and wishes... I found this quote by Helen Keller & I thought of you and your wonderful support system:
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." XOXO, M. :)
Hang In There! Dear Lisa, I was glad to get your update. I enjoyed reading it and thought about you a lot. Remember my tooth emergency? The root canal sealer had leaked in my nerve canal and 2 reputable surgeons told me to wait 6 months. I finally decided not to wait and my surgeon found part of the dental file had broken off in the nerve. I would have suffered needlessly had I waited and possibly permanent damage to my nerve. I am so glad that I decided to do what I thought was best for me. I know the Lord gave me the courage to follow the right course. So don't get too caught up with worrying about what the medical profession is forecasting because every case is as different as the individual. You have a strong and beautiful spirit and I know you will make it through this in your own way. Take Care and take a nap for me! lots of love, J.
One day down three to go Today went very well. Kids were on task and teachers actively monitoring. The potty situation got tense with 13 or so kids waiting to go one at a time. But we will manage tomorrow, and then it won't be a problem Thursday and Friday with just 8th grade testing. I sent G. out of here at 4:30 p.m. and told her to go get "are you gelling" for her feet. She was limping because of all the walking. The counselors did great, and V. L. was our ISC person. She loved coming here and wanted to know all about you. Our grade on the testing will be great from her. You should be getting a couple of packages in the next day or so. Be on the look out for the package fairy to arrive. I am slowly getting summatives done correctly. I have to make errors every year because I forget from year to year how to do it. I am back in the saddle again now. I put two names on the master schedulers board today. That's progress. Write to you again tomorrow. I love you. P.
p.s. See you Saturday. I will call for instructions or you can e-mail them to me. I will come after the beauty shop. You know I don't miss a beauty appointment. It's scary to think about.
Hi Lisa Shoot, I sure am missing my "stay late" buddy! It's awfully quiet around here by myself! I have two more TAKS bins to get through before I can call it a day, but I was starting to see cross-eyed and decided I'd take a break and write you a note...After all, if you were here, we'd have taken a break a LONG time ago to visit, stress together, complain together, and ultimately laugh together! I read your latest posting and truly can't imagine how scary this is for you. It definitely falls into that "surreal" category. You always seem to find the right answer though... to take it day by day and moment by moment~ I hope you know that for each of those moments there are friends and family thinking about you and keeping you in our prayers. Stay strong. Love ya, M.
Thanks for reading Popcorn and Patchouli! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.