Thursday, December 30, 2010

After All, the Show Must Go On

You know, I think it's the every day-ness of life that sometimes makes it drudgery. The part about getting up and going through the same motions. For me, that means waking up, taking meds, drinking as much water and gatorade as I can to stay hydrated and flush my kidneys, wrapping my PICC-line in saran wrap to take a shower, freezing when I get out, deciding if it's a sweats day or a real clothes day.

Perhaps it's the anticipation of knowing how certain chemo treatments or meds or doctors appointments (constant waiting!) will turn out--that my mercaptopurine will cause a splitting headache about three hours after I take it, or that the asparaginase will cause some kind of reaction. And knowing that I'll have to go get blood drawn, and it'll take an hour to get the results, and that I'll have to walk all the way from the outpatient lab to the doctor's office then to the outpatient infusion center. All those steps down those hallways with the crazy random yellow hospital linoleum.

And the unexpected things: like when sweet nurse Cathy calls from the 8th floor where I was Monday night just to see how I'm doing, and to assure me that with the proper pre-meds I probably won't have the same reaction to asparaginase tomorrow and that I shouldn't freak out. Or when I get a pair of these in the mail (my cold feet thank you Heather & family!).
But it's these little bits of knowledge that help me figure out how to make it work. Why not take mercaptopurine at night--and pre-med with some extra strength tylenol? How about expecting that my lab results will require some platelets, like they did yesterday, and always take a book (ALMOST done with Founding Mothers, thank you Liz & Trent!)?

It's those small, tender mercies that help me find the ability myself to shake things up a little bit. What if I feel like making my bed today and taking a nap on the couch instead? What if I feel a burst of energy and am able to respond to a bunch of emails (and then the darn people email me back and I have even MORE to catch up on!)? And what if I don't feel good and just need a nap? Or I can't think of anything I could possibly stomach--and that's ok? It's ok. It really is. The monotony, the daily-ness, and the unexpected.

After all, the show must go on.

Goodbye yesterday to Mom & GranNomi. You were so sweet and patient and kind to have the most boring Christmas ever with me and to take such good care of me. And thank you roommates for coming home and helping me feel normal again.


Lesli said...

Jenny, your daily-ness is a different daily-ness than you have had in the past, or that you would choose for your here and now. But you are finding that careful and wise balance between accepting the realty of what is right now and the optimistic hope of what is beyond. And I love your sense of gratitude and ability to focus on the blessings all around. Hang in there and know that you have a vast cheering section!

Laurel said...

"the show must go on"



Nielsen Family News said...

Jenny, you are an inspiration! I connected to your blog from Laura Harkness' blog, I actually looked at it way back in February and was delighted to get a glimpse into your life. Today I revisited and I am speechless, what great challenges you have endured; it would seem you do that beautifully too! I have been having all sorts of memories of you flood into my mind as I have been reading your blog, in fact I can see your meticulously perfect handwriting right now! You are full of such goodness; I should like to have even a portion of your great optimism!
Lots of love to you from a long lost friend!
Linda (Carter) Nielsen