My standard line of the day was (my returning to work) was "a nice break from my routine of going to the doctors and the couch". Really, my body was aching, I left the house with out my Vicodin (I felt fine when I left the house), with out my thermometer (anything over a 100.5-degree fever requires a trip to the doctor immediately) or any thought to my dry mouth and developing mouth sores. Yeah, I was really prepared. I muddled through, though. I talked to a lot of people I care about (which is really hard to do with a dry mouth); went to lunch with the girls; I got through my email; and set out my work plan for the week. All-in-all, a fairly successful day. It was good to be "seen", but by 4:00, I was exhausted.
The drive home was a nightmare. Torrential rain made hard to see and flooded the streets. I almost pulled over and waited the storm out - but I was just too tired and could not fathom getting home a minute later. I picked up Harrison and got home to admire the progress of my beautiful bedroom remodel. Tom and my dad had been working all day. My dad had gone home, but Tom, Steve and I watched the storm for a bit and then Steve and Tom went to the hardware store to buy paint and get dinner. I went to bed. I put on my pj's, took an Adavan and a Vicodin and handed the kids our home phone, instructing them that if anyone called, they should answer and tell them I was asleep. Of course, I was not asleep. I was freezing cold and just kind of lying there. It was 5:30.
Steve was great. When he and Tom returned, Steve helped Maddie serve me dinner in bed and checked on me regularly. Tom went home, having avoided the horrible traffic precluding him getting home at any reasonable hour. At 8:00, Steve, Harrison, Maddie and I watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" in our bed. At 9:00, I took a sleeping pill and succeeded at sleeping until Steve woke me at 6:15 this morning. The first good night's sleep I have had in a long while.
So I had "a day" on Monday but instinct told me that each day was bound to get easier. I am proud to say I was right. Today was much easier for me. I still suffer from the physical symptoms that started yesterday, but I have energy. As long as I have energy, I can handle just about anything.
My beautiful friend Shannon is struggling with some personal issues right now and has posted this quote on her Facebook page:
This quote is incredible and is advice I take to heart, especially given my current state of health. This being said, I am grateful to have been able to work for the past two days. I pledge to revel in my next eight days of work, have chemo and then repeat. I am OK with that. And if I have several more nights of going to bed at 5:30, then I will be grateful that I am still working. The smile on Maddie's face, so proud of herself after serving me dinner, is worth the exhaustion in itself.
"Although I may not be able to prevent the worst from happening, I am responsible for my attitude toward the inevitable misfortunes that darken life. Bad things happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself.” ~Walter Anderson