Midlife necessities

Midlife necessities
Midlife necessities

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Resolution Time

Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas. Mine was different and fantastic, filled with family, a few easy errands, baking, some of our traditional movies (Little Women, The Holiday, White Christmas), great gifts, yummy food and fun games. I felt better last week, not as tired and more energy, of course because of the excitement of the holiday and having one of my kids home.

Chemo #10 December 29

Sylvia, my sweet friend from church, actually took the day off work to take me to my morning appointment, breakfast, and chemo! On her day off, she spent the whole day with me, and I'm sure grateful. She brought me a necklace that a friend of hers made and a blingy travel cup, both perfect for my "situation". I love them both.

I can fight like a girl because the Lord is my strength!

The pharmacist was worried about my low blood pressure. The staff is always worried about my low blood pressure! I guess it's my normal, and better than high blood pressure. I gained a few Christmas cookie pounds. My nurse, Berta, was happy with my blood flow through the Broviac. Apparently not everyone takes good care of their catheter or port. Of course I follow directions, and have never missed a flushing. She tried to give me Benadryl again, saying it would prevent a bad reaction from the Paclitaxel but I told her I didn't have a reaction without it last week so I didn't need it, so I just got Zyrtec, Pepcid and Dexamethasone for premeds. Learned something new again. In the infusion room where I get my treatments there are many different types of patients, not just chemo patients. There's a blood disorder that causes a person's body to make too much blood, so they have to remove some of the person's blood because it will become the consistency of sludge. What? Our bodies do some weird things sometimes.

Chemo went quickly with no issues, only felt a bit lightheaded at the beginning and then fine. The older woman next to me was having her last treatment. Her daughter had brought her two little kids and since they don't allow children under 12, the daughter had to leave. It didn't seem like it was the woman's last day, no happy signs or balloons or anything special. But I'm sure the fact that it was her last treatment was special to her!

This is the only moment Sylvia and I stopped talking!

I felt good when I got home. The dogs seemed to have a lot of energy so I thought I'd play a game of hide and seek with them. I tried to covertly go up the stairs to hide but they kept following me. The third time I tried I made it up without them seeing me, and hid behind the bathroom door. However, I was breathing so hard that I couldn't wait for them to find me, and had to come out while they were still looking. I had a hard time catching my breath just from that short burst of activity - that's what chemo does to you.

I was tired early and probably should have gone to bed before I did. I woke up thinking it was later than it was - the darn clock said 1:48am. I stayed in bed and read "I am Malala" until around 4am, and then I think I was able to take a few cat naps until around 6, when I read some more until coming downstairs at 7 to light the fire and a candle and get my first cup of coffee. Corona is having a cold snap and it's supposed to rain today. So nice.

At some point during my night of insomnia I started thinking about new year's resolutions. I seem to always have the same ones, and this year is no different, except this year getting healthy takes on a whole new meaning. So often in our daily lives we focus too much on what we can't do. It's too hard, I don't have time, I don't have enough money, I'm too (name it), I'm not (name it), other people continue to hurt me/stifle me/prevent me from/cause me to, etc. When you have the kind of wake up calls that I had this year, you better heed the call to change. I am determined to do what I can do right now. And friends, why wait until you have these kinds of wake-up calls? You don't need to lose your job, get divorced, or have a cancer diagnosis to make a change. Have that hard conversation with yourself, have it with the loved one in the important relationship you are struggling with.  Life is short, and you seriously NEVER know what's going to happen to mess up your carefully laid plans. Don't wait. Take steps, whether baby steps or a giant leap, to create your happiness NOW. Not when you retire or when your spouse retires, not when your kids are older or when your parents are no longer around. We fool ourselves into thinking it will be easier sometime down the road. We avoid confrontation, both with others and with ourselves. We avoid going to the doctor when we know we should because we are afraid of what we might hear. But you know what, it doesn't get easier, no matter how long we wait. And maybe we end up wasting a lot of time when we could have been happy, and helped others to be happy, too.

I'm a big advocate of counseling, and would recommend it to anyone. If you are having marriage issues and your spouse won't go, go by yourself. If there are any challenges, questions, decisions you are hung up on, working through them with a counselor is a great option. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a professional help you to move forward to create the life you deserve. And when you feel good about yourself, and have hope for the future, you can experience joy in your present circumstances regardless of what they are and you'll be enough and have enough to give and receive the love God wants for you.

As 2015 quickly approaches, I resolve to put my health, relationships, and the creation of a new and fulfilling future as my priorities. And I will do this by putting God first. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may OVERFLOW with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

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