Joan C just left after a lovely hour on the porch with a pot of tea on this sunshiny, gently windy day. We had a couple of belly-laughs as we enjoyed being in the now. She – on her 46th day of retirement, working harder than ever for no pay, but on things that she cares about and me – in my temporary drop out from the round of work and reflection on what really counts. We agreed that there is nothing so toxic as sitting in endless, irrelevant and non-purposeful meetings purely for the sake of a) being seen to be seen b) to provide an audience for a visitor or c) to suggest that consultation has actually taken place. For Joan, not being paid means freedom from such summonses. I think it’s probably worth every cent not earned. I get tense and crampy just thinking about it.
I’ll now work back from this morning’s smoothie – Bulgarian yoghurt, 5 strawberries, some Future Life cereal, nuts and raisins and a dash of honey – which Pat had to have also so she can share the experience.
Last night, I was delighted by the arrival of Sharon B, dogwalker extra-ordinaire, with two apprentice walkers in the form of Kathy and Joan M (with gorgeous flowers). Ms Pepper was overjoyed and initially overwhelmed I think, to have an entourage of 4 escorting her round the block (a big block 1,5kms). Then she accomodated to her queenly status and decided to tell that to a young, fortunately well-behaved staffie innocently walking by with her human. She needs to be reminded that two-legged people are the Alphas. It was nice to stroll (I still got puffed) along and catch up. I’m missing walking and chatting as we walk together.
Paulette came by at lunchtime (I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t even think of lunch. Sorry P!) with belly-laugh stories about the real world, flowers and the Future Life Immune Boosting Cereal which featured in today’s smoothie. She diligently reported the detail of product development and the benefits thereof, Caro, including the development for HIV+ people. Good job.
Pat N at DUT’s HR department has been sterling in advising me about Med Aid options. I have to upgrade my plan to get more oncology coverage. She’s always so efficient and really knows what she’s doing. What an absolute pleasure to deal with paperwork only once, with really clear explanations about what and why it’s required. Discovery have also been amazing – friendly, knowledgeable and clear communications. What a delight.
I think I should have prepared my visitors for my new look beforehand. I made Pat shave my head to a number 4 (been there before) because although it was not falling out from the chemo, it was driving me crazy flopping everywhere. The chemo seems to remove body. Also I had ‘roots’ and thought that peroxide on top of the chemo-cocktail etc, might not be a Good Thing. So this is me this morning…
Told you I was grey! I’m loving feeling the lightness. After the weekend of not feeling very grand, then Monday feeling mentally OK but physically drained, yesterday and today’s endorphins have been magical. I think the post-chemo anti-nausea is helping. Medrol which I think is cortisone boosts the appetite and gives an energy boost as well. So I’ve been cleaning the kitchen this morning (down to the hinges in the dishwasher). I confess that I’m leaving the oven for another time.
Those of you writing articles, abstracts, Masters and D’s will recognise the academic avoidance symptoms. I need to do my abstract for the QSR conference in Adelaide next April. It’s due on the 27th November I think. You understand that I’m not quite starting from scratch. I have been thinking about it for months – I just need to get it together. I need to remind myself that I’ve got till next Monday feeling fabulous, before blood tests on Tuesday and hopefully starting cycle 3 of round 1 on Wednesday. Apparently the oncologist will be wanting a CT scan after cycle 4 to see if this chemo-combo is working. I think it is because apart from the occasional mofo-zapped pang, things are moving well down below (walking definitely helps this), the tenderness in my midriff seems to be moving down and I haven’t been having the nasty headaches I’ve had for months.
What’s to complain about?