Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Measuring Progress

Good platelet levels, good blood pressure reading, less pain and more mobility, tolerating chemo with few side effects--evaluating the status quo shows us what we have to cheer about. Of course, we're still dealing with spring allergies, hair loss, gradually increasing fatigue, creeping cellulitis resulting from diminished resistance to infection, swelling in legs and feet, and secondary dry cough due to blood pressure medication. Now we are liking more and more the word "manageable."

It was great to have Colorado Girl and Utah Boy with me at my treatment last week. They helped me in and out of the car, asked the doctor intelligent questions, talked me through the "benedryl buzz," kept me warm with heated blankets, escorted me to the rest room, and anticipated with me our week at the Oregon coast this summer. We are a busy family, we love each other, and we know how to have a good time together, despite disappointments and setbacks, of which we have had a few.

Also during that week, our daughter-in-law Sweet Nurse got a new job at a big hospital in the Metro area, starting April 13, in the--drum roll please--oncology unit. However, it means they have to put their house up for sale and move to Utah Valley right away. Not that we mind having them closer! It's what we've all hoped for, but this is happening suddenly. I'm hoping I'll feel well enough to help them pack, or at least be a cheerleader while other people do it.

Fifth treatment today--seven to go. It went well. Doctor approved dextromethorphan to control my cough, and will consult with dermatologist to determine what antibiotic dosage will best control the spread of cellulitis on my lower legs.

One of my friends at our book club discussion on Saturday told me she had read my new book, What Took You So Long, and she wondered how I could write so convincingly about having breast cancer when I hadn't been through the experience myself. I told her I had done a lot of research, interviewed survivors, and I put myself inside the character, to imagine her experience as she went through it. Most of all, I wanted that character to be a winner. Now I identify with her. I will be a winner, too.

I had a new nurse in the unit today hooking me up to the drip, and it was a chance to tell somebody else about my book, and the irony of real life echoing fictional life. It turns out this nurse is a member of a book club and would like to read my book.

You see? A grandson goes from glasses to contacts, another grandson gets his first paying job, a missionary granddaughter gets a transfer and soon marks the halfway point of her service, we remember the birthday of another grandson who passed away three years ago, we anticipate his parents and sister moving closer to us for new job opportunities, husband tutors, daughter gets a new church calling, book promotions continue, two beautiful eighth-grade granddaughters growing into women anticipate ninth grade next year--Life. Goes. On. That's how we measure progress.


Rachel said...

Awesome! So glad you you're not dealing with a slew of side effects. Keeping busy as usual! It was really great to see you last week!

jww said...

Beautiful! :)