A reason to celebrate

Published by pam on Fri, 03/23/2012 - 7:04pm


So here's the choice, watch Desperate Housewives or write something for the blog.  It's a tough choice, I know.  

Now I should say that ordinarily I am not the Desperate Housewives sort of girl.  But I have two of the world's greatest daughters and one of those daughters is a fine connoisseur of questionable television.  She has been doing a wonderful job taking care of me (they both have).  One of the things she did right away was load my iPad with the first season of Desperate Housewives.  She says it's the perfect thing to watch through chemo.  I have been watching in her honor.  And I must admit, it seems like a fine thing to do at 4am in the hospital.  And sometimes at 3 in the afternoon, just because.  


But even though there are plenty of episodes waiting for me, I thought it might be wise to write, rather than squander my brain cells on iPad-sized tv.  So here's how things are going.  I'm not happy about losing a kidney.  I worry most about my remaining kidney.  Maybe that's silly.  I mean I would have ripped the kidney out with a kitchen knife if one of my kids needed it.  But I can't help but feel like I'm being cut up for parts.  I don't particularly miss the breasts.  Maybe I will when I realize how ridiculous some of my clothes look on me.  But for now, they seem like a fair price to pay to get healthy.  The kidney, less so.  I should remind myself that I was lucky to find the tumor.  It could have become dangerous.  But the night before my surgery someone mentioned that we'll never know how many people live with these kinds of things forever with no ill effects.  They grow slowly and it's even possible, she said, that they  spontaneously disappear.  


Not what I wanted to hear.


On the upside, I am feeling quite a bit better.  I've been home from the hospital for about 24 hours, and it's amazing how much better I feel.  Tomorrow, I plan to walk - slowly of course.  But I'll be outside, getting air in my lungs, doing what I can to get healthy again.  Sitting around is not my idea of a good time.


And also, on the upside, we are surrounded by a community of very kind people.  Really.  It's been amazing. Several spectacular meals have been delivered to our house along with some of the most wonderful snacks.  Trays of cut up fruit, nuts, and dips, and salsa with chips.  The first night home from the hospital, we had lasagna with homemade pasta.  It was a meal we will talk at for years to come.  At dinner, one daughter said, "If i ever doubt the goodness of people again, remind me of this." And she's right.  The world seems like a very kind and generous place.  I'm not sure how we'll ever be able to make it up to people, but Marc has a plan.  He wants to throw a party.  A giant party.  It sounds l Ike a great idea.  A party.  I can't wait.  Mark your calendars



I would like to come to that party--the sooner the better--you and Marc have always thrown the best parties.  But, I am thinking that I would like to get on the ferry and see you sooner.  Let me know when a good time to visit is, when you are feeling better.  xoxo

Recovery is actually going well.  I have about three weeks before chemo, so I still look like myself.  If you'd like to hop on a boat and go for a walk through the bainbridge woods during that time, then we'd love to have you.  Marc and Ryann are off at the end of the week to go visit colleges. But I'm around.  Once chemo starts, I'm told it's a good idea to use the time to meet up with friends you never see since you have to sit in one place for so long.  Ive been told its a good time to catch up with people.  Now, I have no idea if that's true and it may be way too weird an experience for you, but if your up for it, I'll give you a call once I know the drill.  I have months of chemo ahead of me, so there will be months of otherwise dull afternoons.  But I totally understand if it's too creepy.  I'm not sure I could have handled it in the old days.  
That said, we are still trying to figure out how this is all going to work and how much energy we'll have to entertain. If all goes well, we'd love to see you on this side for dinner.  It's been a long time.

With the weather getting nicer and you getting your strength back, let me know when you're up for a walk.  We can do a nice pace where ever you want.  Glad to hear that you are back home.  Are you planning on planting your garden this spring?  Let me know if you need help.  

Some say it is unwise to garden during chemo, so I'm not sure how much of that I'll be doing.  I will be walking, however and I always love company.  But anonymous company is somewhat difficult to schedule.  Who are you, if you don't mind my asking?

Okay -- I just finished reading every word of your incredible blog and I am saddened and speechless. I would love to come visit during your chemo and will keep up with your blog to learn more. In the meantime, please know that I'm sending positive, healing thoughts and prayers every single day. Your writings are amazing! Jane

It's nice to hear from you.  I understand there is talk of renting your house to a writer friend of mine.  Hope it all works out.  So, on another note, as my medical adventure ends - which presumable it will in about six months - I will be in the position of trying to figures out how to build the next phase of my life.  That phase needs to center on work.  Before my diagnosis, you were on my list to call.  I'm guessing, in your line of work, you have come across more than your share of career councelors.  Any you might recommend?  Probably not the response you expected, but I'm doing what I can to lay the groundwork for the future, because as difficult as the next year might be, there will be many more after that.  And they include sending two kids to college. It was hard to imagine how I would return to the world of the working before all of this.  As you can imagine, it's even more difficult now.  But I'm guessing a seasoned professional will see a silver lining in the range of my experiences, even if I have trouble doing so.
Hope the family is well and perhaps on one of those long chemo days, we can catch up,

I think your friend will be renting from us...many, many thanks to you and Marc for the referral!
Let me noodle on a career counselor. I'm so steeped in the world of coaching that I think it's the perfect solution for figuring out "next steps".
I'm so thrilled with the outcome of the kidney biopsy! Now the focus is on the chemo and total health. My sister went through chemo a few years ago and had an easy time with it. I'll take my cues from you regarding a visit once you are settled into a routine.
I'm loving the blog and sending positive, healing thoughts daily! Jane

I'd be happy to hang with you--whenever.  A walk is good too.  I can do both.  What is your phone number and I will call to schedule a visit.  But I am also up for sitting with you during chemo...I imagine you could use some company and I would like to be there for you. xoxo

I know they are thrilled to find such an amazing place.  And thank you again for all the ice cream.  We are still working our way through it.  It has brought many smiles into the house, which is wonderful.  Hope all is going well for your sister and it is always nice to hear stories like hers.  I have my fingers crossed that my experience will be a positive one as well.