Frankly, it’s been a wonderful week. The Red Rash has been minimal. My energy level has been decent. My usual Third Day Blahs (the third day after chemo treatment is usually the worst one for side-effects) amounted to me being overly tired (instead of feeling like an infected refugee from a flu pandemic). And in the last few days, I’ve been able to do another round of weeding and dead-heading on my flower beds and I’ve started downsizing one of my closets. I feel almost normal!
Except for the high blood pressure.
My Chemo Nurse told me today that the steroids I’m taking can elevate blood pressure, and you may recall that my Oncologist increased my steroids after the Ham Feet Issue. So that may be an explanation to the upswing in my BP. I’m going to continue to monitor my numbers and report them to my family doctor, who will be my adviser on this.
My good pal, Sharon, is my chemo date today. Before lunch we decided to explore an “antiques mall.”
It was pretty much what you might expect an “antiques mall” to be, except for the “Canned Annies.”
There’s just something wrong about “canning” Raggedy Anne and Raggedy Andy. It’s the stuff that horror movies are made from. Imagine those dolls coming to life and “canning” the misanthropic person who had the termerity to put the dolls into bottles. I cannot deal with the possibilities. Yes, I found this freakish beyond belief!
We left soon after being creeped-out by these Chucky-wannabes.
We both had mac and cheese soup and half of a turkey club sandwich. For once, I remembered to take a photo of our meal!
The soup was good comfort food, maybe a little salty — though I’ve been over-conscious of salt lately. The sandwich was excellent — I think the french bread it was served on was a major player in the excellent part. The sourdough roll that came with the soup was a total loss. Still, I would consider this a fast-food restaurant, and in that category it was very good.
Sharon and I had a little fun spoofing the staff. Every time someone replenishes the soup, they yell “Hot soup!” which is echoed by the rest of the serving staff. And when bread comes out of the oven, it’s “Hot bread!” which again, is echoed by the staff. It didn’t take long for Sharon and I to join in, but it took them a few echoes to figure out the extra “Hot soup!” was coming from the peanut gallery. We can have jobs there, if we want.
At the Chemo Cafe, imagine my surprise to find that at the cocktail table next to mine were a mother-daughter team — and they were coloring!
You may know that coloring for adults has become a much publicized stress-reducer for adults. I like to think that I was slightly ahead of the curve and started coloring before the news media picked up on it, turning it into a mainstream fad. I find it to be a wonderful way to relax (cause it’s not like I’ve got any stress in my life, right?)
I use colored pencils, gel pens, colored markers, and I’ve even used highlighters. I recently purchased a set of drawing pencils with the idea I would try to color in gray tone shades, but I haven’t yet been brave enough to set pencil to paper. But after seeing what my chemo neighbors were working on, I think I will be inspired to give the pencils a try.
They were doing something called Zentangles, which is a specific art form that involves making deliberate pencil strokes to form patterns on a small square of paper. In addition to what’s on the website, the Zentangles folks also have a YouTube channel to help teach the method. There’s more to it than simply drawing lines. It’s the contemplation of the line, the meditation of the line, and that’s what draws me (pardon the pun) to this art form. This is more complicated then coloring in an adult coloring book. And I’m looking forward to giving it a try! If you’re looking for a way to meditate that really accesses your creativity, this may be the right therapy for you.
So, with today’s treatment I’ve completed 14 of 18 chemo cocktails. Counting one more chemo vacation — and providing all goes well with my remaining cocktails — I’m left with five more weeks of chemotherapy. If all goes well, my last chemo date should be September 17. Just in time to do fall prep on my flower beds. Just in time to get back to walking again before bad weather drives me indoors to the tread mills. Just in time to regain my strength before the holidays. Today is a good day!