I’m feeling like subjects and verbs and paragraphs might be a bit beyond me right now. Yesterday was my last chemo, huzzah! And all is well. My blood work is fabulous, right up there with what it would look like if I hadn’t been streaming toxic substances into my system for the past ten weeks. Everyone on my team stopped in for high fives (metaphorically; hard to do with IV’s and tubes) and to deliver cautions about the fact that while this phase is technically in the rear view mirror, its after-effects will hang around for awhile, more adamantly than in the earlier rounds. So, unlike last time, I’m taking my wise counselors at their word, and I promise not to overdue. I’ll be giving in to the weariness, napping on a dime, sliding into the tub for the most intensive multi-tasking of the day (resting, meditating, soaking my sore heel—all critically important activities!) and letting things slide…that’s my current MO.
So, lacking the wherewithal to come up with a worthy blog post topic, here’s some random things that have been swimming around in my head, that I’ve been trying to remember to put in a post someplace. For those of you who read the Globe sports pages, this is the equivalent of one of Dan Shaughnessy’s “Did you ever wonder about…?” columns, where he had a word count to fill and no particular subject to fill it with. Here you go:
In the department of curious upsides to my medical condition, here’s a few I hadn’t counted upon:
I haven’t had to shave my legs in two months. Bliss.
I don’t have to wash my hair every day! Seriously—I think the last time I went more than 48 hours without shampoo, other than when my beloved and I were on safari in Kenya, pre-kids, was back in junior high. That was almost 40 years ago!
And this one is just pure delight: I have parking karma like nobody’s business these days. Seriously, I need a spot, it magically appears. I’m talking parking spots right outside my guy Lenny’s hair salon, and the solitary 15 minute parking spot by the post office. A spot at the grocery store at noon on a Saturday, when everyone’s circling around, hoping to get lucky. Oh, I need a spot? Bingo, there it is!
Best of all was the one I snagged when I drove to Sunday River on a complete whim, mid-day, to see my big guy’s second run of his last college giant slalom. I hadn’t intended to go, I was on my way to NH, but when I checked Live Timing (oh, the wonders of the internet) and saw that he’d had a far above average first run, well then…time to re-jigger my destination. Only problem was that it was school vacation week, and thought of what I would run into was beyond daunting. Oh, well, I figured, just go and see what happens.
What happened was that I passed at least a half-mile of cars abandoned along the access road, whose drivers figured that the lots up above were all full. That just wouldn’t do. I kept on heading up the hill, knowing I could pretend that I was just dropping off or picking up, trolling all the while for a spot with my name on it. Sure enough, way up high, in the lots that were filled with college vans by 7:45AM, there it was: my spot. At 12:45PM. Just another little parking miracle. I got there in time to buy a half-day ticket and take three runs before it was even time to be the mom at the finish corral. On a beautiful blue sky day!
I also have good screech owl karma these days, but truth be told, that’s a bit like shooting fish in a barrel at Fresh Pond. You just have to know which hole in which tree to look up and into. She’s there, practically every time I look. Makes my day, every time.
Confession: we’ve had more snow since that last post, and I will admit that even I am getting weary of the weather. Mostly because it hasn’t been turning back to spring quickly enough for my taste. Gray, more flakes, freezing pavement overnight. I slipped and fell on my butt yesterday, and damned the current conditions along with everyone else. I like my spring storms followed by lovely sunshine and full tilt meltdowns.
Department of minor miracles: one of my freshman college roommates, who is a senior editor for the Washington Independent Review of Books, convinced me to write a review for a novel that’s coming out soon, by a guy who was a resident tutor on our old turf. I completely have no memory of the author, but his book, titled Harvard Square, was an amusing trip down memory lane. As you might guess from the title, it’s all about my adopted hometown, which happens to begin at my own undergrad starting point. His version of those years differs from mine, in that he was a foreigner longing for some connectivity to his life before grad school. I don’t think he could ever imagine how foreign I also felt, coming from northern New England, not knowing what AP stood for, never having eaten a bagel or written a paper with footnotes. Doesn’t take much for any institution to make any student feel like a fish out of water, is my take, but that’s not what I wrote. Will keep you posted on when my review might pop up on the website.
Weight gain. How is it that one can gain weight during chemo? Well, I guess if the meds are good enough to keep you from getting nauseous, and the steroids are sort of designed to keep the weight on, and if you’re not getting much exercise, and if you like dark chocolate…well. I’ll worry about that next week.
Hair: still thinning, but not so fast as before. Waiting to see what this final blow of chemicals does on that front. Am hoping to get away with the Donald Trump look for as long as possible. I have a great deal of empathy for guys with comb-overs these days, when I’m out in the wind. Oh, yeah, that little bald spot…which in my case isn’t on top of my head, but on my right side, probably because that’s the side I sleep on mostly. I’m getting good at rearranging my coverage to hit that spot. Will need to be thinking sun protection pretty soon…
That’s all for now. Thanks for checking in.