Posted by Sappho on June 28th, 2012 filed in Daily Life
It’s almost 6:30am Pacific Time, on June 28, 2012, as I start this post, and I’m waiting for the Supreme Court to announce its ruling on healthcare reform. At least, I think I’m still waiting. SCOTUS blog said that we could expect the ruling at 10am, which I figure means 7am Pacific time, so I’m not venturing on Twitter or Facebook till the time is reached. I’ve been scarce blogging, I realize, enough that I haven’t blogged since the week before last, but I’ve been more active on Twitter and Facebook. It’s not that I want to abandon blogging for microblogging. It’s just that, while I’m in radiation treatment, short status updates are more my speed.
Here’s part of why: As I finished the last paragraph, the dog was already up, ringing the doorbell to announce that he needs his walk. I’m not dressed yet, and haven’t had breakfast. As usual, in the morning, I put off the dog for a little while by feeding him his breakfast and cracking the door open. But I can’t take too long at this post. He needs his walk, and I need to be at the radiation oncologist’s at 8:30am. That means leaving the house by 8am, drinking my two glasses of water at 7:30am, and sometime before I leave doing the rest of my morning routine: breakfast, clothes, checking email and Facebook, walking the dog, doing the Five Tibetans, emptying the dishwasher. After radiation therapy, I’ll put in a full day’s work, with a half hour walk at lunchtime. Normally, I’d have time to write in the evening and on the weekends, if not in the morning. Somehow that’s been harder the past few weeks, though. Joel has had a tooth pulled, so this week I need to give the dog his evening walks as well as his morning walks. Before that, we had to rush to clear the garage, so my car could be parked there again. There are still four boxes of books in the living room to put away. I need to get to bed on time, and get plenty of sleep. And the little bits of energy that I have left after these things get spent on Facebook, or Twitter, or doing all the surveys on 23andme (about which I mean to blog later), and not blogging.
I’ve meant to blog about the Greek election, that has come and gone. I had the post title, back when everyone was remarking on interim Prime Minister Pikramennos’ name, that means “bitter”; it was called “Call me Mara, for the Lord has dealt very bitterly with me.” Pikramennos’ time passed, and on Greek election day (which was also French and Egyptian election day), the line looked more apt for Egypt than for Greece. But news moves on, for both Egypt and Greece, and I don’t find time to write, not about the EU, not about Africa, not about the several items about same-sex marriage that I’ve meant to draw together (as the one year anniversary for legal same-sex marriage in New York passes), and not the post I’m now mulling over, in response to something a friend on Facebook said, about John Howard Yoder. Definitely not about healthcare reform or about Obama vs. Romney. Still, if I can’t write my ideas just yet, at least I can let you all know how I’m doing.
The hair on my head is still too short to show up if I take a photograph, but it’s thick enough that I can feel it all over my head, like a cat’s fur, if I run my hand over it. I have two more weeks of radiation therapy, so, depending on how much of a gap I have between the end of radiation therapy and the beginning of my next few cycles of chemotherapy, I may look like a normal person with very short hair by the time I begin chemotherapy again. I expect I’ll lose all my hair again as soon as I start chemotherapy. More important, the chemotherapy neuropathy has stayed solidly gone while I’ve been in radiation therapy, giving me hope that, when it does come back (as I’m sure it will with the next few cycles of chemotherapy), it will be temporary. Radiation, meanwhile, takes its toll on my digestive tract, which is different from the toll that chemotherapy takes. Otherwise, I am not doing so badly. If I don’t have energy to write, my radiation oncologist tells me that having energy to work full time, walk and do exercises in the morning, and walk for half an hour at lunch, is actually quite good.
I forgot, when I told you last about the errands of cancer, to tell you about a couple of them, so I’ll tell you them now. First, there’s the MedicAlert necklace I now wear. I signed up for that months ago, now. I had a bit of trouble finding my disease on their form on the web; there is no generic “cancer,” and, as I looked, I saw where I could pick various kinds of uterine cancer that I don’t have, from uterine sarcoma to endometrial adenocarcinoma with the wrong cell histology (squamous, I think it was). So I simply put myself down as getting chemotherapy, and waited for the call from MedicAlert to confirm my information, at which point they managed to get me listed with the right disease. All my medications are in there, the chemotherapy drugs and the drugs for side effects, though the only things I’m taking now, while I’m in radiation therapy, are a multivitamin and imodium (or rather, the generic form of imodium).
The multivitamin was another errand, though that one was carried out by Mom and Joel rather than by me. I need not to take too many antioxidants while I get radiation therapy; antioxidants protect cancer cells from radiation the same way they protect my cells from other sorts of damage. So, since I want the radiation to clobber the cancer, I am now on a multivitamin with as few antioxidants as possible.
There was another errand of cancer that I meant to write about, but I’ve forgotten it. Maybe later.
Joel has been entertaining both of us by renting, through Netflix, a comedy called The Big C, about a woman with terminal cancer. I may write more about the show later, but for now I’ll just say that I’ve been enjoying it.
On Twitter, I’ve found a cancer tweeting community, mostly of women with breast cancer. On Facebook, a net friend of mine (who does not have cancer) invites me to a relay for cancer. It’s at the end of July, after my radiation therapy is done. Maybe, depending on where I am in my chemotherapy at the time, I’ll have energy to go. Or maybe not. It turns out that NAMI has a picnic on the same day, and it’s possible Joel’s support group friends will be there.
At any rate, I’m doing as well as can be expected, and, though I still worry at times about that 20-25% chance of dying, my spirits are generally good. Just not quite secure enough for me to feel up for arguing about the election. I’ll vote this year, but I’ll count on other people to do the phone calls and campaigning, not because my enthusiasm has flagged, but because my body has. And now my phone alarm tells me that it is 7am. Time to finish the blog post and check Twitter for the Supreme Court decision.
On the weekend, I hope to have non-cancer posts for you. But only if I can get the books put away (together with Joel) first. They need to be put away before Monday, you see, when we get shutters installed to dog proof the living room windows.