Friday, July 3, 2009

Enjoying the Empty Nest

It does feel kinda guilty to say that we are enjoying the empty nest. It's surprising to me. I thought I'd be missing them. But Geoff and I are connecting more and don't have as many dishes to wash. Plus, the kids are having the time of their lives and I am incredibly grateful to Brad.

So my life is all about having fun planning the Bat Mitzvah. If you didn't receive an email invitation and want one, please email me to let me know. The count is already up to 56.

I have only 5 more days of radiation and then I'm done. I haven't gotten the fatigue that they told me radiation brings on. Maybe it's the acupuncture and Chinese herbs or the Celexa or maybe I'm just lucky this time around. Instead I feel energized and excited to be almost done with treatment.

You may be wondering how I feel now, breast-less. It's really no big deal. I'm getting used to how it looks and enjoy exercising without them. I also don't worry too much about how I look and no one has seemed to stare - like I was afraid they would. In fact, I feel freer since I don't feel like I have to cover anything up and can walk around without a shirt if I want to (especially with the kids gone). Every chance I get, I ask a friend if she wants to see my bare chest!

Funny story: Before Aimee left on the trip, I brought her toward me for a hug and put her head against my chest. Both of us forgot that I no longer had anything there and clunk! went her head against hard bone. I think it hurt her more than it hurt me but we got a laugh out of it.

Next day she told me that from now on when she hugs me, she's going to wear a helmet!

So other than the numbness from surgery and the redness from radiation, I'm healing well in every way. Though, I still sometimes wonder if I caught it in time and if the radiation did it's trick and if I will survive and if I'm just fooling myself thinking I'm going to be done with this soon...

On the 22nd, I will go to the oncologist again and talk about Tamoxifen or that other drug for women who are in menopause. I'll be on one of them for at least 5 years and maybe longer. So aside from regular CT scans, my treatment is nearly done.

I've got the energy now to eat more raw and cooked veggies - so that's another thing I'm doing to try to protect myself from recurrence or spread. Kale is my friend.

Tomorrow night we've been invited out to the Shadowbrook to eat dinner with another couple. Haven't done that in ages! (Thanks Doug!) So I'm enjoying my empty nest.

Hope you have a great July 4th.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Kids Just Left

For those of you who don't know, Aimee and Jason were invited by Geoff's brother, Brad, to go on a trip to Costa Rica. Aren't they lucky? They just left for the airport with Geoff. Fortunately, I didn't have to see them off because I have radiation at 11:30. I say, "fortunately", because it would have been difficult for me to leave them there by themselves.

This is the first time they are going away from home for an extended time. They've gone for a few nights at a time but never for 12. I am very happy for them - it's a fantastic opportunity, but it has been a bit anxiety-producing for all of us. I think Jason called Brad every day for the past two weeks just asking questions. It was hard for us all to sleep last night!

Geoff and I are going to have an empty nest for the first time in 15 years. Well, the dog will be here but I told Geoff we are going to go out for a picnic without the dog. Geoff and I have never spent time away from our kids. We even go out to lunch together when they're in school so we can be home with them when they're home.

I actually feel better now that they are finally gone. The anticipation of this trip was harder and last night and yesterday's final preparation was anxiety-producing. Right now though, if I don't think of them by themselves in the airport, I'm ok.

I gave them each a dollar to give to someone in Costa Rica when they got there. It's a tradition that Baily taught me once when I went on a trip. I told them that HaShem will make sure that they get there safe and sound in order to do that mitzvah.

By the way, I have been doing very, very well. Maybe too well - which I'll explain later. My energy has been great and I haven't felt any fatigue yet from the radiation which is going to be finished in 10 days! Plus I saw 7 clients this week!

The only drawback has been the skin soreness. I've had to resort to hydrocortosone cream for itching and I'm using Emprizone (a combination of aloe and antibacterial stuff) for the open sores. The weekend comes as quite a relief to my skin.

I wrote "I've been doing too well" because I realized I've been pushing myself. I hurt my body twice this week: once on my wrist and once on my shoulder. It was just a reminder to me that I've not been paying attention to the fact that I'm still in treatment and recovering from chemo and surgery. I've been so wanting to finally move forward after being held back all this time! But I need to use my brain and not just my heart.

I've been wanting to move forward with my practice and looking at what other insurance companies I can join. I was thinking, maybe I could tell WomenCare that I can see breast cancer patients. My acupuncturist, Emmy, reminded me that WomenCare has a requirement for their sister's in care to be at least 1 year outside of treatment before they can become a sister to someone. Duh...that sounds reasonable!

So I've been reminded to just appreciate where I am and what is in my life right now. I am in a very good place right now! Why mess with it? I am remembering that G-d gives me exactly what I need and I don't need to push myself or fret about the future. Just preparing the kids for a big trip out of the country and seeing 7 clients and getting radiation every weekday was enough on my plate!

So I don't want to make the same mistakes in my life again. I don't want to ignore my body when it tells me something's wrong. I want to use my brain and not just my fears or desires. I don't want to overwhelm myself or overbook myself to the point where I'm not happy anymore. Things are really good right now! I am really happy. And I want to continue being happy and healthy. That's all that really matters.