Saturday, December 21, 2013

saturday morning home day

We are watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, eating scratch-made biscuits and gravy, just home from an early run to Costco where we bought a nice slab of meat for the holiday and if I wasn't so freakin' sick, I'd think life was normal. I am tired. I was up the entire night, Ambien and all, with post-chemo yuck. Round two. I still think I'm winning.

Days bleed into each other, separated by visits from friends, gifts and treats delivered: a beautiful blanket, a growler of kombucha to tame the tummy. time spent chatting instead of lingering in morbid reflection as I am prone to do.

I only know it is Saturday because Kurt is home with me. I know it is getting close to Christmas because the tree has been up for awhile and it hasn't been christmas yet. We bought ready made fruit breads at Costco -- a sin in my house -- but I'm just not up to baking, or much else. I made biscuits and gravy from scratch and about passed out. I just have no stamina. I love to cook, but don't have it in me right now. Smells gag me. I went to Fred Meyer yesterday and found myself wandering over toward the dairy section which, it turns out, is near the seafood section. I couldn't get turned around fast enough and there I was, stalled in shrimp and day old fish land. Typing brings it too close.

Day after day I live with two dogs who keep close watch on me. They are learning to be less noisy, less demanding. I think they like having me home, but I miss my peeps, the crazy little grayhairs that loved to sing Christmas carols with me, who didn't remember my name but knew the words to every verse of Away in a Manger.

Menu for Christmas Day: 

Late Breakfast

 Scrambled eggs
Twisted Brioche

Early Supper

Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup
Beef Roast, rare-ish with Au Jus and Horseradish Sauce
Roasted Winter Veggies


 Apple-Marionberry Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream. 

Show up!

Monday, December 16, 2013


Me? Nah.

I ordered a bunch of slouch beanies. I did so because I wanted a floppy, hangy cap that would not call a great deal of attention to itself and, by association, my bald head. If you've been following along, I last said "we left a little (hair) to keep out the cold." That didn't last. The 1/2 inch of hair that remained, kept falling out. And it itched. The whole "take back your power" about cancer was appealing, but the sentiment was over-sold, as is usually the case. I feel less empowered than bald, sad and cold. So, back to the beanies.... In the pictures they looked floppy. In fact, they are beanies. Just beanies. Which is fine. Beanies are fine. But I didn't need plain ol' beanies. I needed floppy. So now I am the proud owner of six beanies of various dull colors. But scarves... now they are pretty. I have a pile of lovely scarves, and I know how to tie them so its like a ponytail.

I've thought of a million things to blog about, but am tired, and any effort is 10x as hard as it should be. Going to the store is hard. As I wheel the cart from aisle to aisle, my endurance fades and I feel like a cancer patient. I'm spacier than usual, have nearly burnt the house down twice. Maybe should stop cooking for awhile. At least not when I'm home alone.

Monday, December 09, 2013

day fourteen

The nurse at the chemo lounge said it. On day fourteen your hair will fall out. She said it like she knew, like she had some insky with the cancer gods. I didn't believe her then, but today is day-fourteen and my hair is falling out around me like snow.

I don't know if this will make sense, but in 1972ish I rode with some guy down to Santa something -- Rosa, Barbara, Clara -- some big city in California. I'd never been to a real city before. I'd never done much. We went to visit some people who lived in a huge apartment complex. I'd never seen an apartment complex before. The carpets were futuristic white, the ceilings solid panels of light. In the middle of the grassy hills of the common yardspace was a fake pond and in the fake pond was a fake sunken ship. I was a little hippie chick back then, categorically opposed to anything unnatural. The entire place filled me with a sickening awe, such a contrast to my au-natural life in a tree on the Applegate river.

Oh, and I forgot a pretty important part: we were smoking PCP. 

So... As we left the apartment, high as kites, the manager said, "Be careful where you step. The frogs come out at seven."

Way back then I remember thinking, much the same as I did when the nurse said, "Your hair will come out on day fourteen," I thought, "Bullshit. How can you know what time a frog will do anything?" But sure enough, at precisely seven, a b'zillion frogs began careening over the grassy hills toward the fake pond and the fake sunken ship, leapfrogging over one another in their daily seven o'clock frenzy. Big frogs, little frogs. I remember collapsing in a puddle of forlorn hippie chick tears, certain that the whole of civilization would become one of timed frogs and ceilings of pure light in honeycombs of mass humanity.

And as much as I'm sure the PCP had something to do with my moodiness, I scurried back to my cabin in the woods and stayed there.

For awhile. Until Portland.

I cut all my hair off this afternoon. Like many women, I couldn't tolerate the waiting, the knowing that the chemo would take it, a chunk at a time. I drove to town, bought three beautiful scarves, learned how to tie them so it looks like a ponytail, and whacked off my hair. When Kurt got home from work, he took the clippers and evened it up and told me I'm beautiful. We left a little to keep out the cold.