Sunday, December 2, 2007

The old woman of Noe Valley

Dear sisters,

It has been awhile. But now I am back. The old woman of Noe Valley.
Treatment # 4 has been digested. We are now half way and counting. Yeah.

This time the recovery was lightened by the arrival of N and MC who flew the 11 hours from Amsterdam to fold my washing, bathe my children and cook meals for five days. These good friends of mine, just as an example, iron their sheets, -uh, have their sheets ironed - unlike me, so not surprisingly the running of my household went smoothly again. After 19 years, our friendship has reached new levels of intimacy; I had told them often enough, but now they have witnessed first hand what good taste Allard has in underwear.

As for me, I am a bit fed up with this chemotherapy treatment. It' a very tiring thing. And not getting better. The fatigue physically hurts, concentrating in the shoulders when it comes. I also have a good case of brain fog, which means I cannot concentrate for very long and am somewhat forgetful. My children stiffen at the first screech of the words "WHERE ARE MY KEYS!?" It happens everyday now.

Movies are a challenge. Series of about 25 minutes are perfect.
This is why I - or, I should say we - are so, so sad that
Californication has ended. For 13 episodes it was the perfect ending to yet another weekend at home. You Europeans, it will come your way. Watch it. David Duchovny is great. We laughed. I cried during the last episode, but that does not say very much at all. I cry at the drop of a television hat.

Another side effect of brain fog, in my case, is lack of sleep. I lie awake at night worrying about things, which my brain cannot accommodate. For example, I lie awake and worry about the fact we have not got our earthquake packs ready, and what would we do if the BIG ONE came NOW. Or did I leave the iron on downstairs? And what would we do if the room downstairs was on fire? Not inducive to sleep. Luckily my Lorazepam pills are within hands reach -also given to relieve anxiety. After treatment I go into rehab.

I don't want to stress the point but the similarities to pregnancy are continuing, although superficial. I am having strange food cravings: chocolate croissants and blue cheese being recent ones (now I understand how one gains weight). Luckily I have switched to cooking Vietnamese, three nights in a row already, which is at least getting the vegetables back into me.

I have discovered sucking Werther's originals temporarily takes away the horrible metallic taste in my mouth.

This week was my 'good' week, so I have been focussing on Christmas shopping. The thought of entering a 'Toys R Us', with chemo, in holiday season, was daunting. But not necessary; long live the Internet!
The shopping for the kids has been done. A whole load of plastic junk is on it's way. They should be delighted.

And your gifts are in the posts sisters. It is so timely, I scare myself.

My car does not look like this anymore. I went to the car wash, where four pairs of hands polished my car, inside and out. It almost feels as good as a new haircut. It will have to do for the time being.

Treatment #5 and Christmas lights in the next post,

Love S1

1 comment:

scatteredsisters said...

Yo Sis.
Don't wish to make light of it, or anything, but these chemo brain symptoms sound quite similar to my regular forgetfullness (of which I have a generous degree)! So I have some tips for you: always leave your keys IN THE SAME PLACE. Make it a ritual. If needs be get yoursel fa really fancy KEYHOOK. Another good trick, which I have been using for quite a while, is to attach keys to your mobile phone to a toggle string thing, that you wear round your neck, I think it's called a...a... what ya ma call it, one of those ties you wear round your neck. This way, in really busy moments, you just hang it round your neck. If you do take it off and lose it, you can always call your phone with the house phone and follow the sound. Also, the coloured ribbon of the tie gives you more to look for than just keys, so get a bright one, and the ribbon also allows you to pull it more easily out of a full bag.
Good luck with this. You sound, despite it all, like you are doing great. So proud of you. love! Kiss those two bambini for me will ya!