Sunday, October 28, 2007

Just Call Me Lumpy

I found a lump on my back. Just below my thoracotomy scar. A small painful lump on the outside of my rib yet below my skin.
OK, I was stripping wallpaper earlier this week. And I found the lump after I started wallpapering. My sister said that it could be a pulled muscle, stretched rib or a lump. So I stopped worrying.
Besides I am going for a scan in less than two weeks.
What I can't forget is that I started freaking out over the lump. I feel so stupid. Not because I found the lump but because I do have a plan.
In August when I was scanned I was not at all worried. I thought that I would be starting chemotherapy soon so if there was lump - no problem. Now that there may be a lump, I am freaking out again. Even though it only means I will be starting chemo. Just a little later than I thought.
Finding the lump reinforces the notion that this is a battle of lumps. One small step at a time. A marathon if you will. Not a sprint. I need to get used to thinking in terms of the overall picture without painting death at each bump and lump.
Sounds easy. Now let's see if I can do it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Stripping Wallpaper

I started stripping wallpaper yesterday. The bathroom wallpaper. 30 year old blue flower ugly wallpaper. It was time.
I usually hate chores that don't involve books, radio or TV. They are boring. That's why I have trouble keeping to an exercise plan. It can be boring. But this activity, in my miniscule bathroom, was quite liberating.
I started thinking about what striping wallpaper meant. Stripping off layers. Out with the old and in with the new. Bright and fresh.
While I am not new, or bright and fresh, I think that stripping off layers sounds good. I am in the second half of life now. Who needs all these layers?
I love those commercials with the women with little makeup, wrinkles and advertising natural beauty. I believe in that - natural beauty. We are all beautiful - every last wrinkle.
Between the autism, cancer and now wallpaper - who needs all these layers?

Nightmares and More

Sunday night I had a disturbing nightmare. Frightingly real to the point that I could not wake up despite a full bladder. I woke up in a silent scream and could not go back to sleep. For hours, I relived the nightmare in my mind.
I couldn't think why I would have this nightmare now. What triggered this horrid experience? As soon as my husband woke up, I shared the dream with him. He suggested that I talk it through with my counselor. Good idea.
She had an interesting take on the dream. Even more interesting was how she led me to her conclusion.
She asked several quietly probing questions. Each question shed light on the nightmare. Like a spreading sunrise. Within minutes I saw the nighmare in a whole new way. I came to the conclusion myself -- even though she was probably there from the start.
The nightmare was a product of my own fear. Duh. I was completely helpless in my nightmare and I feel helpless in my fight against cancer.
Another interesting image from my dream was my carring a bowl of apples. Apparently that symbolizes my fear of not being able to care my family. I was afraid in my nightmare that i would spill the bowl.
I have never truly bought into dream analysis. I have had my share of psych classes and always thought it was over done.
I don't think so anymore.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Falling Down

I fell off the toilet again. OK that may be more than you want to know. But there it is -- after six months, I am still falling off the toilet.
It is difficult to sit on hard surfaces. Since the cusion is gone in my left leg; it goes numb easily. And I am often unbalanced. Hence falling off the toilet.
Good news. I am finally sleeping on my left side. Yeah.
Yeah, I celebrate the small moments. Like staying on the toilet.

Real or Hope

I know that it has been some time since my last blog. My apologies. There is much to be think about. I have been reading quite a bit about cancer and mental games.
One author stated that there is a difference between reality and hope. She said that a person should be real and know that cancer may win. She said that know this is not the same as hope. Her reasoning is that when you are told the end is near then it is worse if you haven't faced it.
I know that I will die. How - who knows? I am OK with death. Always have been. Just like the saying - There are only two sure things in life - Death and Taxes. I am OK with death - maybe not taxes - but death is fine. Someday.
In my mind I have been trying to reconcile the difference. My logical part recognizes the despair that comes with bad news. I have felt it and know that searing pain. Yet, I feel that if I for one moment; one fraction of a second believe that I can't beat this -- then I am giving in. Facing reality is not what I need now.
Now I need hope. I need to believe in my soul that my life is about more than this cancer. My life is not held hostage by this cancer. My life is not going to end soon by this cancer. I refuse to face reality.
I face hope.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Celebrating Small Moments

My son dressed himself today. My amazing five year old son dressed himself. And I was in the kitchen.

In the past it has been a struggle to get my son to pull his pants up, pull his shirt down or buckle his shoes. I haven't pushed it. Just kept at it. Giving him every opportunity to do it himself and praise every little step.

We had three goals this summer. Give up the bottle, dress himself and give up the binkie. The bottle went first and he made the decision to end it. Dressing took a lot more time. Just accomplished thank you. And the binkie is at least confined to bedtime.

Big progress.