Setting a pace

Jan 31

Woo!  I’m back.

Cruising with my sisters and mom was awesome.  There were many quotable moments.  We laughed, we toasted, we enjoyed each other.  It was awesome.

Coming home is great too.  I missed my trio, and they rocked it while I was gone.  They are all tired, as you are when the rhythm changes, thus we soaked in a minimal activity level and a lot of quality time in the last twenty-four hours since I came home.  They must have really worked on their car-singing while I was gone too because the four of us gave some enviable performances as we drove around today.  Greta wore a perfectly styled mis-matched rockstar outfit to church today and is — poof — old enough to play Just Dance by herself on the Wii.  Maren big-sistered through the day: two made beds, an organized doll house, a game here, a make-believe there, a double bubble bath.  I just now (at 9:45pm) got around to unpacking my suitcases.  Life is busy but life is good.  Very good.

I made it back from vacation with my hair which, on Day 27 into a new chemotherapy drug that causes hair loss, is not a given.  My hair is actively shedding, I would say, but not at a rate that I’m ready to buzz it.  On this drug, it’s possible that my hair may thin rather than fall out altogether, so I’m going to hold off on buzzing it for now.  It’s winter and I’ll take the warmth while I can thankyouverymuch.  Treatment number four is tomorrow, and since this treatment is going on “indefinitely” and I have more than two-thousand weeks until my eightieth birthday, I’m hoping to be on this treatment a long time.  I’m imagining the assault on my follicles is representative of what the chemo is doing to the cancer cells, so I’m all about some potency.  Go chemo go!  Brad leaves for a short (and rare) work trip tomorrow, and his request is that he still gets to be on duct tape duty for me should the need arise.  (Duct tape duty means he tapes my head with duct tape and peels it off to pull out the last tiny prickly hairs after a buzz to get them out and stop the itching).  Maren gave my hair a tug tonight at bedtime and giggled as she got a few stray hairs, so I think it’s safe to say we’re all comfortable with me becoming bald again, if that’s the way it works out.  Hair schmair, right?

It was great to see Brad shine in big ways with both girls while I was gone.  Ironically, they both had sizable homework projects that required parental action, and I had little-to-no involvement with either one.  Both girls ended up with projects that were very collaborative and significantly better (funnier, too!) than if I had been the parent helper.  Go Brad!

I am gearing up for a strange week with Brad out of town for part of the week (his turn, but for work not vacation–poor Brad!)  I’m waaaay behind still.  Travel mojo was such that I had next-to-no wifi time, so none of my tasks got done last week (and — shhhh — it was refreshing to be disconnected in that way for a few days in a row).  I’ll be working through my lists; tomorrow I’ll be in the recliner in the oncology office, so message me and my response time tomorrow should be (far) better than usual!  As I type this my brain is clicking through the To Do’s, and there are some “shoulds” I’m willfully and forcibly setting aside for later.  There are other non-essentials that — instead of lingering forever at the bottom of the list — are getting chosen and dedicated energy this week.  Or at least that’s how I’m planning it will work out.  I am sifting through data points with regard to chemo fatigue and energy level to try to “set the pace” for what I can manage to maximize all of the good things and minimize all of the bad.  As you can imagine it’s a very tricky balance, but I hope to err on the side of rest.    You can definitely be praying for my fortitude for rigorously prioritizing my energy this week as well as for cancer regression!

But test everything, and hold on to what is good. –1 Thessalonians 5:21



  1. Brad’s request to be the one with the duct tape makes me smile.

  2. Michelle /

    I’m glad you had such a good girls trip! I am always so happy when I’m scrolling through my emails and see that you posted!

  3. Happy that you got to spend some quality time with your mom and your sisters. It seems like you are very lucky in the ‘kind, loving, and supportive family” department. No small thing.

  4. Lisa Smith /

    I agree with ALL of the above! Xoxo

  5. Nancy McCarthy /

    It was great to meet you tonight! I am inspired by your strength and courage. Do today well! Great mantra! Thank you for letting me follow your journey. You will be in my prayers.