Sunday, October 12, 2014

Effects of radiaton

Here are the things I'm eating these days:

  • Granola
  • Yogurt
  • Popcorn (NOT the microwave kind)
  • Clementines
  • Apples with Jif peanut butter
  • Bread with Jif peanut butter (only the kind of whole wheat bread that my mom buys)
  • Sometimes chips and salsa, although thinking of it right now makes me feel a little sick.
  • Ice cream
This is one of the effects of radiation.  Anytime I'm hungry--or feeling the mild sickness that makes me suspect I'm hungry--I go into the kitchen and wander around to learn what's edible at that point.  It's fortunate that the things I'll eat give me a fairly decent diet. That's not a choice--just luck.

And yesterday the left side of my head had become one huge swirling tangle.  I intentionally and aggressively combed out that tangle, and here's what happened:
Notice that there are two 8 1/2 x 11 sheets of paper here.

Hair is falling out all the time, so I carry a Rubbermaid container around to places where I sit.  The only reason I care about my hair is that I'm having an important meeting on Oct. 21.  But I'm meeting with nice people, so I suspect they'll realize that there's nothing I can do about this.

When the radiation ends and my body starts recovering, I'm going to cut off all my hair.  And eat all the favorite foods that my body currently is rejecting.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Good things and...challenging things

I just got mentioned extensively--and fairly positively--in something called The Week, and initially I didn't read that because stuff that has pictures of tiny babies usually uses my work as horrible stuff, and I just don't read it (blah, blah, blah, supportive of reproductive justice, how terrible Piepmeier is, blah).  Apparently this magazine is cool, though, so have a look.

I pushed my mom to go home, refusing to recognize that I'm in the most physically challenging experience of my life (hello, radiation treatment--you are exhausting!  I mean, really, really exhausting!)    She seems willing to come back in 10 days.

My mom is willing to return.

At that point I'll have three weeks left on the radiation, and I'm struggling with asking her to come back.  She has a billion friends in Cookeville, where she lives!  My dad doesn't come move in with me!  Three weeks is a long time, particularly considering that she's been with me since August 15 (with significant breaks when my friends have come to stay with me).

Friends have stressed to me that if anything in the world happened to Maybelle, I would be there for as long as she needed me there, no question of it.  And of course that's true.

Have y'all noticed how much I'm willing to push myself?  To prove that I can do this?  Both to kick into my anxiety right now, and to show the world (mostly myself) that I am okay, recovered, able to be a professional?

Because I had brain surgery and I'm having brain radiation, I'm not experiencing pain.  If I do have pain, Advil cures it.  And if I feel nauseated (which happens a lot), I take Zofran which is a miracle. I have the kind that dissolves under my tongue, and I'm feeling okay in about 15 minutes.

But I'm recognizing that this is the most challenging physical experience of my life.  See challenge above.

Maybelle's kindergarten class is so wonderful that I want to throw myself on the floor with joy.  Maybelle feels that way, too.  Hurray for you, ECDC!

I'm too challenging in the mornings to take her to school. I'll be going to bed very soon.

I love writing.  Love it!  I have a blog to write on, and even more importantly, I got some fantastic and very helpful suggestions for my book--my book!--that will allow me to keep working on the book I really love.  I have an introduction and chapters 1, 2, and 6 in progressive states.  Woo hoo!

Maybelle is focusing on her feet because she's determined
to learn to peddle her part of the bike.
I'm just so tired.  It's taken me three days to write this blog post.  It's taken me five days to address possible revisions for my book.

Maybelle and I still remember how to ride the bike!

Mild expressive aphasia.

My neuro-oncologist assures me that this is temporary.  Caused by brain surgery and radiation.

And now I'm going to bed.