we asked the question of how to judge when i can’t “tolerate” a chemo drug. is it only my blood lab numbers that decide? or does morale count? (the “scratch n sob” easy tears, and the 10 pounds lost each month the last few months which is easy to spare but reflects the joy gone out of food and eating. the weariness of “stomach ache all the time”). my oncologist assured us that there are other things besides lab numbers to consider. so i’m on a reprieve from the harder drug, not because i’ve earned it in less cancer, but just because i want to. my body wants a little breather.
older daughter visited with me while i infused the sidekick chemo drug that doesn’t cause as much trouble. we talk with the nurses about jewelry and childbirth and christmas gifts and kiva loans.
after chemo we went to a celebratory lunch for older daughter’s birthday. the daughters and i talk about work and holidays, graduate schools and herbal magic. when we got home we ate the dairy free cheesecake desserts younger daughter had made for her sister. and looked at oregon grape roots and leaves she has harvested with her apprenticeship.
older daughter showed us a video on her phone from two years ago. i don’t know if i was filming. her dad and sister and i had come to her apartment to celebrate her birthday. the video is her smiling face, all of us joking in the background as we encourage her to light a candle which is also a sparkler. and comes with instructions for “adult supervision” and danger warnings and us singing when the exciting thing was lit. her dad singing “happy dangerous sparkling birthday to you!”.
we still miss him, at every turn.
in the evening i went over to visit jasper’s plants and give them drinks of water. my stomach was full of grumbles and i needed more light, so i took a fast walking tour around the mall. which isn’t as picturesque as my usual nature jaunts but will do for these darker times of the year. then i went to the meditation group. we are reflecting on pema chodron’s “when things fall apart”. there was a story about a young woman warrior facing fear and saying “I don’t know how to defeat you”. fear told her that it is always very loud, and talks very close to your face, but doesn’t really have any power except to suggest reactionary things. if you wait to decide whether the things will really help. if you pause.
and now it’s the next evening and i am soft and pausing and gathering my thoughts gently after a nap. younger daughter has started a new job today, with other possibilities in the hopper. but means i will have the evenings to myself and maybe more writing.
food still isn’t settling quite right. it may take awhile for this beleaguered body to feel better.
i made my dental office happy. we’ve both been trying to figure out who the heck i’ve been paying premiums to all year. my faithful premium i set up an auto-pay for in january, but never received id cards from. i tracked the outfit down and got my id number so someone can pay for my teeth getting their cleanings.
and i felt useful today hosting the small meeting. two others came and we talked about the topic of “self will”. a resonance with the feeling of passivity, or not enough will in some situations. and also the feeling of wanting to control everything, including the messy game of trying to manage other people’s opinions. trying to will the self into perfection. when really, the comfort is just to relax into the divine, and be as good as/bad as everyone else trying to figure it out. (i still need my group for spiritual reasons even though overeating is the furthest down the list of activities i want to do these days).
i may go out for some errands. i’m getting used to doing things in the evenings which feel so dark in the pnw, this time of year.