Sunday, December 05, 2004

Take a deep breath.

In my post on Monday I wrote:

"I expected to start dreading the next round of treatment this week. Instead, I'm impatient for it to start. I feel recovered from the last round, and I want to get it over with. "

The treatment resumes tomorrow. The dread started on Friday and is fairly well established now. I have some countervailing thoughts and emotions, but impatience to start is not one of them.

I had big plans for this past week. I figured the effects of the last round of chemo would be fairly well dissipated and that it could be my last chance to be very effective for a while.

Very effective turns out to have been a bit ambitious. On Friday, for example, I went into my office intending to do four discrete, manageable tasks. I accomplished one of them, and half of another that wasn't on the list but seemed more pressing by the end of the day.

I should be (and am) glad about what I did accomplish. But I'm frustrated at not being able to execute more. It's like trying to type while wearing oven mitts - I know what I'm doing and how to do it, but everything takes a more effort and time than I think it should.

I have a friend who, due to a neurological disorder, uses a wheelchair most of the time. He joked one day that he doesn't get enough credit for just getting himself up, bathed, dressed and fed every day. It's fairly clear to me now that he's right. He doesn't.

Yesterday, I took the Huber pin out of my port-a-cath after my last dose of Invanz, and took a long, hot shower. The home health agency will put a new one in on Monday when they start my chemo pump for the 5FU.

Setting aside the dread and frustration - and I do set them aside, 'cause what else can I do with them? - I'm feeling good. Four of my best friends from my years at U.Va. came a long way for a daylong visit yesterday. I had told them several times not to come, and I was delighted and grateful that they did anyway.

Today, we'll go to mass and with friends to the symphony. And I'll take a long shower. Maybe 2.

Tomorrow -

Well, I'll deal with that tomorrow.

4 Comments:

Blogger Karen Davis said...

Hang in there, Jim! Keep the plan. Going through the next round is one step closer to defeating Cromwell and getting life back as you knew it before October 27. Greg and I will be thinking of you and Judy tomorrow. Karen

10:30 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Deep breaths are good.

The symphony is good.

Feeling apprehensive about the treatments is completely natural. It's a scary thing, it's an unpleasant thing.

My nursing advice is that a side effect of this whole thing is that you're going to slow down temporariliy. And that's okay, it's expected. It is frustrating, and I wish there was more magic words I could tell you to make it go away, but I guess the best thing you can do is go slow, be very kind to your body, and wear that hat I made you. Just kidding about that last part! :D

John and I will be sending out good thoughts and vibes and prayers to you and Judy for tommorrow. We love you guys!

Love,
Jenn

10:43 AM  
Blogger Tom Wolf said...

Dread is normal. So is breathing. From Thich Naht Hanh, the author of the book I gave you, I have learned that the simple act of being aware of your breath is very powerful. "Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in; breathing out, I know that I am breathing out." After trying that a few times, you can add, "Breathing in, I calm my body; breathing out, I smile." Sounds silly, I know, but it's amazingly effective in helping to transcend dread. And since all you need to practice this is your breath, you can't leave home without it.

We're thinking about you and praying for you at the Wolf household. See you soon.

Love, Tom

9:28 AM  
Blogger vkenny said...

Hi Jimmy, I know you have heard this alot, but what you are feeling is normal for the situation you are in. Cancer tends to make ones life completely abnormal, wanting to do everything you can to get back your life is normal. Please remember that we are all with you, some of us who have been through this battle and are still fighting, and others who are understanding more from your courage in sharing your experiences. Ed & I will be praying and sending our positive thoughts as you proceed on your journey. Love V

10:59 AM  

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