I'm also trying to get better about asking for help. I have put out a request for meals and cleaning help and this has made all the difference in the world. Thoughts, prayers, lit candles, meals, texts, messages, calls, emails, have come pouring in and the support is palpable. I have never had to ask for help before and it is humbling. The expressions of care and love for me and my family are overwhelming. I get the message--people really want to help and to be involved. Heartfelt gratitude! I actually look forward to Thursdays when I have treatment--I get to spend precious one on one time with dear friends and sisters (and occasionally, my husband).
Chiropractor visits, massage, acupuncture, etc. all continue in the wake of my car accident. All these appointments and treatment days equal more than a full time job. Work has been busy. Clients are coming in to see me before I go out on short term leave. Highlights from a recent 16 hour call shift with 2 babies born--the first was a natural birth of a baby girl born to a Somali new immigrant woman through the help of a male interpreter over the phone--needless to say, I had to get creative with acting out breathing, hand gestures, encouraging words and smiles. The second birth that day was completely unmedicated, a first time mom spent her time mostly in the waterbirth tub and finished with a beautiful land birth. I stayed on beyond the end of my "shift" to see the birth through; a baby girl crowning for 90 minutes (in 18 years I never seen such a long crown), born to an exhausted, happy mama's arms.
All my labs/bloodwork are normal and my last few treatments have been smooth. This week on WEDNESDAY will be #12 (of 14) in the first round of chemo (Taxol, Herceptin, and AMG386 study drug). Then Nov. 7th I'll have my first of a new chemotherapy regimen. I'll have 4 treatments of AC chemotherapy, each 2 weeks apart. (Total of 18 treatments). If all is on time, this should take me to the end of the year. January will bring a rest time while getting my counts up, then surgery mid-late January. I hear it's 8-12 wks of recovery time for this. Herceptin will continue for a full year (with few side effects). Sounds like a long haul.
We have Zeb home for fall break. Jonah is in the fall play at school and still pursuing traveling baseball. Esther and Svea pariticipated in a magical Michaelmas celebration at school--complete with dragon, swords, and fireballs. Svea was very ernest in her warnings to me about the dragon--She recited the verse and said, "When I say 'poison scales' watch out, because he's coming...". A community harvest festival followed with stone soup, bread and apple crisp. Tim continues teaching 2nd grade and his peace and justice work. This past weekend he joined forces with Jesuit peacemaker John Dear, playing music and leading community for a meaningful day at St. Joan of Arc church in Mpls. This Thursday, Esther and I are heading to the north shore of Lake Superior for a mother/daughter writing/yoga retreat. Can't wait!
A few dates coming up:
*Wednesday Oct 16 --Chemo infusion #12--Wednesday, because I get to go out of town over MEA for a mother/daughter retreat on the north shore of Lake Superior.
*Thurs. Oct 17th-Sunday Oct.20th--Mother/daughter retreat with Esther on North Shore of Lake Superior.
*Monday Oct. 21st-- Mayo clinic meeting with surgeon and reconstructive team to explore options.
*Thurs. Oct. 24th--Chemo infusion #13 AND 22nd Anniversary of marriage to Timothy.
*Thurs. Oct. 31st--Chemo infusion #14 and last of the first round of chemo with study drug.
*Monday Nov. 4th--MRI at Mayo to track progress of treatment.
*Thurs. Nov. 7th--first treatment in new chemotherapy regimen.
Lastly, I'll end with one of my favorite poems, now even more poignant for me, Marie Howe's Hurry.
BY MARIE HOWE
We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.
Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I'm sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.
And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.