Enough about me

Published by pam on Sat, 04/14/2012 - 9:46am

I probably shouldn't write while I'm hungry, but if I don't, I'm afraid I won't write much at all.  Hunger seems as big an issue as nausea - not a surprise as the two go hand in hand.  Not much has tasted pleasant, so it has been hard to find enough to eat.  I've been calling it the Egyptian diet.  The only time in my life (other than now) that I have counted UP in calories was when I was in Egypt.  I found I could get by on three hundred calories a day, but less than that and I I had a lot of trouble.  Egypt was a hard country if you wanted to eat cheap and not get horribly sick.  Of course, over the three weeks there we got horribly sick and gave up eating cheap.  In Egypt, my diet consisted of coca cola, oranges, Hit cookies, dry toast, and hard boiled eggs - when I could get them.  

Most of the above would fail me now.  Smoothies work, as long as the fruit sterilized before it's peeled and the yogurt isn't too sweet.  Bananas have been consistently good, as have cheerios.  Eggs are hit and miss. 


But enough about me.  


One of my fears in this processes is that my world, which usually involves lots of things, people, happenings at least as important as I am, will compress to nothing but me.  Living under that kind of a microscope is miserable.  It magnifies even the smallest problem until it seems massive.  So rather than drone on about my stomach cramps and headaches, I thought it would be wise to expand the view on a few things and remind myself of some of the things for which I am very grateful.  So he goes:


A daughter who spent an hour last night making sure the kitchen would be just right for me when I woke up.  She is going into Seattle today to visit her best friends from Ellensburg.  It will be her first time making that journey all by herself.  And I don't have to worry.  She is a wonderful kid - honest, kind, and smart.  She is one of the most trustworthy people I know.  I think she would move mountains to make me better.  Even though she is in the throws of the teenage years, she has put her so many of her own needs aside.  I have long been the mama bear protecting her from a world that often hasn't been kind to her.  Now it is her turn to return the favor and I am overwhelmed by the protective force of her.


Another daughter who is so loving, she lights up a room just by walking in it.  I think almost every classroom teacher she's ever had has extolled the kindness of her class.  Yes, it seems to be a good year, but part of me believes the it is my daughter who brings peace to her surroundings.  When she was young, she would, as many children do, spout bits of wisdom that made her seem much older than her years.  I have often said that somewhere in Tibet there is a monestary missing its llama. She is living with me and I won't, for anything in the world give her back.  Even though I know I am scaring her a bit now with my illness, she still brings me that same sense of comfort every time she walks in the room.


A husband who tires hard every day.  He has had to take on so much more than he ever expected, from extra clients, just when he least wants them, to stacks of health insurance claims that need to be negotiated before they can be payed, to a family which once supported him so completely, but now often leaves him feeling as though he is not enough, just when he wants so desperately to be our savior.  I cannot even imagine how difficult this must be on him.  I have eclipsed his needs, both at home and out in the world.  People ask about me, but rarely about him.  It is a lonely place but he is bravely confronting it all and doing what he can to keep us together.


Friends who walk with me, bring dinner, check in just because, offer advice, a hand with chores, you name it.  People have come out of the woodwork and I wonder why I wasn't more aware of all the connections around me before now.  I have received notes, hats, meals, offers of advice from people I barely know.  If I ever doubted the fundamental goodness of people, I won't again.  There is a phenomenal amount of kindness in the world.  Sometimes we are just too busy to see it.


Sunshine.  Days and days of it.  The world just seems like a nicer place when the sun is shining.  Everything sparkles, from the trillium in the woods, to the water, to the newly green trees.  The birds are out, as are the nighttime frogs.  Our pheasants are back, squawking up a storm, hunting for bugs in the freshly mowed field.


Words with friends.  Even though I have been playing abysmally lately, i would like to thank those of you who have been playing words with friends with me.  Hearing that little trill indicating that it is my turn snaps me out of my doldrums.   And desperately trying to find a not-embarrassing play will hopefully do just a little bit to keep the chemo brain at bay.


A father who loves me now just as much or more than he did when I was a child.  It is pretty amazing to move in to adulthood and know that my dad will always be there.  I am profoundly grateful for him and even though he often feels like he hasn't done enough, I would say otherwise.  He has rushed to my side every time I have needed him.  How many adult children are lucky enough to be able to say that.


Now, I know, in the end, this was a completely self centered post.   But for those of you reading, hopefully you can find yourself somewhere in here an know how profoundly grateful I am for you.  I'd be even more grateful if one of you could show up this very second with a pineapple peach smoothie that wasn't too sweet.  But that's just a little bit too much to ask, isn't it.


Or any scary illness - it makes you so appreciative of the world around you.  And, that kindness that's out there in the world?  Yes, sometimes we're too busy to see it, but most times I think it's there just waiting for us to realize how much we really need it.