On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New normal

Demi keeps watch over me.
This week I'm working on organizing myself to a new normal.  I figure I'll be on chemotherapy until about April, give or take, and I can't play the invalid that long (although I surely have enjoyed it this past couple weeks!).  Let's see, at the very least, no matter what, each day I need to
1) walk one mile - it's okay to break it up into sections and grab a dog, especially Brix who thinks he is my boyfriend
2) I need to read at least 50 pages a day - should be no problem now that I have so few activities on my schedule
3) I need to draw or make something every day
4) I definitely need to do some kind of housecleaning project to keep on top of things
5) and it would be good to do some 15 minutes of gardening - inside or out - to maintain a sense of growth and color and life around here and
6) I need to write one letter or postcard to keep my mailbox happy.  I have so many thank you notes and snails to write so one a day would at least keep me in motion.

There are hundreds of other things that need doing and I'm still working a few hours each week, but those are the ones that tend to get neglected and then I feel like I can't manage, I'm falling apart, I'm too sick to live without a caretaker, and woe is me. It helps to have a discrete list to keep me focused.

There are only six items, I can manage six, can't I?  I mean, it's only chemotherapy....

Reality check:  The day began early and well.  I grabbed Brix at 7:30 this morning and we got the first seven minutes of walking done, the first third of our mile.  The plan was to do more later.

I worked a couple hours.

Then something weird happened -- maybe it's the new meds I'm on because I haven't even started chemo yet, but I was so sick I was sobbing.  Near bedtime Steve cooked me a perfect five-minute egg served in an egg cup I brought home from Ireland.  He clipped the top, toasted a single slice of bread, and brought it in on a tray with a tiny egg spoon.  It was the only thing I could eat all day.

Demi kept watch over me -- not so much as a caretaker as hopeful for a bite -- and I propped up to read.

So my list of six dwindled to one and a third.  Tomorrow has to be better!


  1. I like your plan, and some days are going to be better than others. I wish you felt better, but keeping as active as you can will help your energy level overall.

    Best wishes for lots of good days.

    P.S. I am absolutely charmed by your art.

  2. Anonymous4:23 PM

    I love reading your posts, I need to figure out exactly how to subscribe. I think the list of 6 should be an ideal and can vary from day to day. I mean, even with out chemo we all have off and on days. I was glad to read so far you seem to be tolerating it "ok". And I am excited to read about you becoming an empty nester!!!


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