I've been on bed rest almost a full week now between my groin situation and while adjusting to this new chemo. I'm getting cabin fever something fierce, but still have hardly enough energy to do more than read (current reads: Sera Beak's Red Hot & Holy, Mandy Steward's Thrashing About with God, and a childhood favorite: Island of the Blue Dolphins), journal and outline the book I've decided to write. Cancer makes you go after dreams hard (life should make us all do this), but writing continues to be something I can do regardless of my energy level and makes me feel connected to the outside world. I'm slowly getting used to the drugs, and we upped my pain medication yesterday at the doctor so I should start perking up too.
Yesterday my incredible home health nurse came by with a new fancy foam mattress for my bed...it feels magical! It actually is comfortable enough that I slept last night. After our usual run-through of all the meds I'm on, she decided I needed to up the pain pills and sent me off to the doctor to do so...as the tumors grow, I feel more pressure in my abdomen, but the remaining pain from my surgery in March that split my belly open down the middle completely ruined my abs (chemo also weakens the ligaments and many people I know who have been on chemo say their ab muscles were never the same after chemo), needless to say my sweet nurse found me a belly binder often used for after c-sections to hold the muscles together properly...already I'm getting relief and can move on my own again for the first time in weeks! Not having core muscles anymore made my back and abdominals so tired, but I'm not cleared to really work on those muscles because of the abdominal tumors and risk of tearing the tumors and bleeding at this point. Additional surgery is not an option due to how fast the tumors are growing, they fear that if they were in there cutting things up they might rupture again, spread and we'd have more of a mess with more tumors growing quickly. Our goal is to keep the tumors I have at the size they are as long as possible, and hope that this new chemo will give us a miracle and shrink them all together. The groin, they tell me will take months to heal, and all I can really do is go slow, rotate ice and heat and stay on top of my pain medications. I was feeling like an old woman, all things considered, who was confined to my bed, but these changes should really help!
Monday night is an art benefit my friends are putting on in my honor from 5-9pm, which is a lesson in letting people truly help. The perfectionist side of me struggles not to try and help, or organize, or do anything. All I have to do is show up. Cancer is teaching me to rely on others for strength and daily living in a way that is so unfamiliar and so strange. I'm really excited for this event! It will include music, art and community and from the sound of things the community has really rallied around it! I feel so incredibly blessed, supported and encouraged by the whole thing. Despite my moments of feeling totally alone in this, I truly have the best community supporting me and my family and I still don't know how to express my gratitude for the kindness and love we have been given. I would love to see you at the event (details are linked in this paragraph).
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