To sleep at 8; awake at 4. That is eight hours of sleep, right? I do not think I moved a muscle all night long. If there was one side effect of chemo that I wish I could eliminate it might just be the reliable alarm clock that goes off in my head right around 3:30. Who am I kidding? There are so many side effects of chemo that I do not think I could choose just one. However, this morning, my undesirable sleep pattern is the front runner. Something tells me that I may be able to alter this sleep pattern rather simply: STAY UP LATER. I have considered this often. However, around 7:00 every night when every muscle of my being is crying out for bed, it is easy to forget the game plan. Hence, the cycle continues.
This week has been full of ups and downs. Number one down: chemo induced stupor. Or maybe it is the fact that my youngest has pneumonia. Not the walking kind. Where did that come from? As I filled my cup with Emergen-C this morning, I contemplated this fact. Surely, her cough alarmed me the week through and her 103.7-degree fever alarmed me the night before last....but pneumonia? I want to snuggle with her so badly, but also know that my white count is probably actively dropping as I type this, as it traditionally does 7-10 days after chemo. I keep my distance. It kills me.
A shining light in this week: a beading workshop sponsored by Young Survival Coalition, or YSC. One of my YSC colleagues picked me up at home as I am too tired to drive, mostly, enabling me to attend. I had never "beaded" before and it sounded like fun. Secretly, I also knew that I could use more time with my YSC family, a fantastic group who have provided vast knowledge and support throughout my cancer journey. The beauty of it is, we are all women who have suffered from breast cancer before the age of 40. This group is special. We laugh, we tell stories, talk about doctors and what comes next, even when we do not exactly know what comes next. After the beading workshop, I came home charged and invigorated with bracelets that I made for me and for Madison.
Last night, we celebrated my mother-in-law's 75th birthday. Now suffering from advanced Parkinson's Disease and increasing dementia, Nancy lives in assisted living. Dear people, truly, Nancy and Milt (deceased) raised a wonderful son. Despite her problems now, Nancy will always hold a special place in my heart. A very kind soul, she is the type who adopted wounded and stray animals, whatever they may be (she is famous for knowingly feeding raccoons and possums). She liked to tinker. It was she who would jerry-rig the air conditioning in their old motor home. A beautiful soul, she currently cannot keep her words straight and loses track of her surroundings. However, she maintains the pure heart of a child that I grew to love her for. Last night, we shared stories about her around the dining room table and she smiled and even laughed a little. Pure joy. What a gift.
The perfect cap on my week was learning of our upcoming Disney World trip. My brother-in-law, a noted Optometrist who has spent his career building a brilliant practice and network of advocates in his industry is putting together a dream trip for us to Disney World at Christmas. Eric has spent his week calling in favors of his colleagues and travel agencies, and we have successfully booked a room for the week after Christmas in Orlando. It is my dream vacation. I can hardly wait to experience all that this trip promises. I will be forever grateful to Eric and Lorie for making it possible.
Well, it is now 5:00 and I am not sure if I am going to make it back to bed. I will definitely need a nap later. I do not hear my daughter coughing and that is good. I know she and I will be fast buddies watching movies today....not snuggling, of course. Separate blankets and cups. Both of us drinking lots of water for very different reasons. And one more thing...I had a massage yesterday from my friend Holly. Many thanks to her and for Terri at Home and Soul for making that possible. I am back in balance and ready to take on the world. From the meal delivery to the massage and Reiki, to those who just text to say hi, thank you to all who contribute to making that possible.