>Look who got beat with the ugly stick.

31 Jan

>When it’s chemo week, Monday takes on a whole new meaning of ugh-ly. Today it’s been flat out beat with the ugly stick. My legs went to lead getting out of bed. The hubby’s head hung lower as he leaned into me for some reassuring head scratches (a proven calming action for him). I can feel the dread oozing out of him. And then he took a few deep breaths and we both got on with it. (Though pulling the covers back over our heads would be far, far preferable.)

Even though we’ve both talked about not really remembering what in the hell normal means any more, last week was almost there. I noticed that he wasn’t in complete agony with ass pain and that his trips to the poo-poo-potty were a titch less frequent. We had two meals out during the week (an all time record low for us) and he never once hit the men’s. An effin miracle in my book.

So it’s hard to avoid going all sad sack when the week of doom comes around. You start having visions of those kind, kind nurses wearing black hooded capes and carrying scythes. And damn if the hubby didn’t nearly hurl the last TWO times we walked into the temple of doom. (Okay, so there’s hope there too. I know I tend towards the melodrama. No need to remind me.) But last time we got to infusion (after the near-hurl episode walking up the stairs) there was an elderly lady in chair one of our row, eyes closed in restless sleep, head back, mouth agape, strange breathing/not breathing sounds escaping her maw as she grasped a rosary. I’m sorry, but that’s a little hard to stare at for over four solid fucking hours.

After various half-made plans went awry on Friday, we landed at the Robbins-aas-es for some of that spontaneous weekend fun we used to all know and love. Two of our dearest friends and we never-ever seem to be able to gather. So we reminisced over a bottle or two of wine and good food and pledged to do better. I always know that once the little-littles are big-biggers it will come full-circle. And we’ll all just do our best until then, right?

Saturday morning was the pre-chemo-week-errand-running-fest. Finally picking up one of Mima’s chairs I took in to have recovered over three months ago (or more). I also appear to have acquired a small obsession with a certain dog breed (I can hear the collective uh-ohs from here) and —as luck would have it— Tim the upholsterer happened to have one right there on hand. Huh. So after some consultation, I realized that I would really have to write back to the breeder and let him know that, while I am unfortunately not planning to use her for HUNTING, I do promise to take her on various adventurous pursuits in the wildlands of the Rocky Mountains. (After I wrote back to tell him we were looking for a family pet, I was greeted with a full day of complete and utter silence. Breeders and their snobberies. 🙂 He wrote me back right away after receiving the adventure reassurance and it was settled. I had made the cut because I was southern and get it. And who knows? Maybe I’ll take up huntin me some a dem birds…(that dog’ll hunt.) Is cow hunting legal?

The hubby-jury is still out, but he knows when defeat is growing nigh. And the mama dawg isn’t even preggers yet (mr. breeder guy is going to write me after the vet visit and ultrasound this week) so he can relax for at least a few more months…

After running around to pick up stuff and buy stuff and recycle stuff, we cooked some stuff and headed out to Cure Farm for the Slow Food potluck. I was supposed to be on hand for set up and greeting people and didn’t quite make it. I’m lucky that most of my fellow board members there and with BYBA have accordingly lowered their expectations of moi after I pulled out my cancer card and flashed it around.

The girls had a ball running around the farm with Anne and Paul’s little girl, petting the Berkshires and ducks, and riding the toy tractor. We very much enjoyed the delicious eats with our fellow foodies and were happy that we could bring a taste of South Cakalaky —with chicken BBQ cooked in homemade mustard-based sauce and some apple fennel coleslaw. It was all gone. No leftovers.

Sunday brought us back to food. (Really. Why try to escape its inherent goodness?) We headed back to Lakewood with some finishing touches to Union Brasserie. Our dear Profts are finally realizing their dream of opening a restaurant and it’s hard to not be excited by a decorating gig that requires me to shop with someone else’s money. This is my first ever time moonlighting as a decorator, but the Profts had ultimate faith in me because Vancy-pants and I bonded many times while he tried to work out the hundreds of kinks in our circa 1968 POS house. He usually started a project in his contractor days by helpfully suggesting that we “just tear the piece of shit down” albeit with a stronger Czech accent then I could ever muster. And even though he thought my color choices were sometimes suspect (“baby-shit-brown” or “Czech-army-green”), he appreciated my keen eye and design sensibilities. Or something like that. And Eve obviously agreed because she is the one that sits behind the long table and makes decisions “like a fucking communist regime.” (Another Vance-ism.)

But over the course of 15-some-odd years, we’ve thrown around ideas, designed basements, plotted out pergolas and patios and decks, figured on fences and enjoyed more amazing meals together than should be legal. So as I barked orders out to the hubby who was dangling from a sky-high ladder, I had a glass of fine champagne in my hand and some fresh calamari, a crisp wedge salad or plate of oeufs au plat, jambon et pommes de terre nearby. (Okay, I let the hubby come down every now and then and have some too.) The girls were in heaven and it was one of the finer days I’ve spent.

Waking up today to the dread was not what I had in mind. And when you add in a hubby who is entirely resistant to cold at any level on chemo in the face of -6 degree temps this week. Well. Hells. Bells. You see, one of his most difficult side effects of the oxaliplatin in his chemo cocktail is chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). It’s the one that had him throwing ice cream at me after the very first infusion. (No, I really didn’t deserve it that time.) So the moment cold air hits his airway, he has an instantaneous spasm that’s like what I imagine water-boarding must feel like. He actually can breathe, but it feels like he just swallowed a sword. So today I’ve been trying to think through the logistics of getting him into the car after infusion tomorrow so he, a. doesn’t puke on me and, b. doesn’t spasm out and choke to death. But, seriously, no pressure. Mmm-kay?

I also do not savor the inevitable shoveling and ice scraping each morning as I try to herd the screaming mimis into the car. But. This too shall pass.

I keep reminding myself that I am here for HIM no matter what. My selfishness can come again another day. And no matter what I am facing, I am so not the one facing the walk of doom to the drip-drip-drip that turns you into a ball of pain with a body of mush and a spasming bronchial tube. I just get to watch.

And? After tomorrow, we only have ONE EFFING MORE TO GO. That makes me want to run out in the street buck-naked in the negative-below-tundra of this week’s Boulder and scream happy-happy-happy. Really. So be glad you aren’t one of the lucky few who calls me howdy-neighbor.

My friend, Bubble Girl, said it best. “60 degrees on Friday, 0 degrees today. Colorado’s bipolar.” But aren’t we all?

Here’s to keeping the hubby breathing and out of a wheelchair this week while not sliding the car into anything and getting groceries and girls to school. And so forth. Then it’s on to the next one.

Last up: February 15th. Mark it down and meet me outside. Be there or be square. Clothing optional.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: Marry Song. Band of Horses. Lighten your load. And see how I killed the wheel barrow I borrowed.


One Response to “>Look who got beat with the ugly stick.”

  1. Leslie February 7, 2011 at 3:37 am #

    >I'm sending love and good vibrations to you and kenny every day. Still hating cancer!!!


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