Blessings. The patio screen door open to a refreshing, bracing early morning coolness — along with the birds’ songs. Listening to the cicadas chatter. Seeing the sunshine streaming through the window. Hearing my mom out in the kitchen making us a pot of tea. The smell of toast. Seeing the pinks and blues rippling through the sky as the sun comes up. Snoozing in my recliner with just the right amount of extra pillows under my legs and a comfy quilt warm against the early morning coolness. Puppy snoozing on my lap adding to the cozy. Realizing that in 28 days this 6-month chemo combat will be complete.
Early Thursday morning, I was counting some of my blessings.
Actually, counting my blessings has become a daily habit. One I’m going to do my best to keep.
Chemo Thursday was beautiful. Like a fresh fall day. Sunny, yet chilly enough to restrain perspiration. Crisp. I love days like this.
My Chemo Date was the marvelous Cindy. We had a charming lunch at Lovely’s (SUCH an appropriate name!) Farm Market. I had a fried bologna sandwich–which was the totally wrong choice for someone with high blood pressure. But it was such a beautiful day, and (I confess) I LOVE fried bologna! I made up for my bad decision by having tomatoes on my sandwich–which may have been the wrong decision for someone with acid reflux. But it was a serving of veggies — which is a good thing, right? And it was on whole wheat bread — that’s a winner, right? Add in a side of confetti corn, which was lightly dressed sweet corn stripped from the cob mere hours ago and mixed with more fresh ruby-red tomatoes (ah! the sweetness!) and some green peppers. Oh! It was total heaven!
Before we left, we took a look around the “market” part of Lovely’s — right now, heavy on baked goods, tomatoes, corn, and green beans. I purchased a dozen fabulous molasses cookies (all gone in two days!)
(Sidebar: My fascination with molasses cookies originated during my undergrad years at UW-Wisconsin. When in a baked goods situation, I am forever on the lookout for molasses cookies like the ones I used to get from a little pushcart that occupied a corner of Library Mall. Omigosh they were good! The only bakery I’ve ever found that made better molasses cookies was in Brattleboro, Vermont–they tasted like the cookies of my memory, but they were better because they were the size of dinner plates!)
After our foray into the farm market, we were off to the Chemo Cafe.
My red blood cells and hemoglobin numbers continue to live in the basement, but not so low as to deny me my Chemo Cocktail. And it was Chemo Nurse Janna’s birthday! Luckily, Lovely’s also sells fudge–and Janna loves fudge!
I didn’t get much writing done this week while sitting in the chemo chair–so I guess calling this “live blogging from the chemo chair” is a bit of a misnomer. Real life continues to intrude on the plans/goals I set for myself. Like the goal of publishing my chemo chair post immediately as it happens.
The thing is, another blessing I’ve discovered (and am starting to cherish) is the simple act of talking with the person who brought me to chemo. Having a real discussion about things that interest us that are not part of a job we’re doing for our employer. Is this what retirement is like? Cindy and I had the best time just talking about goofy stuff — like the recent customer service rep hacker/troll on the Target Facebook page (did you see this? It’s both hysterically funny and horribly frightening all at once.)
We talked about gardening, and how I want to put in a few mums for fall color (“We can stop and pick up some on the way home!” said my pal Cindy with obvious delight.) We talked about a baby shower she’s hosting for a relative and what she did for decoration. And so many other mundane topics.
Over the past few years, I’ve been so busy being busy with work that I’ve gotten out of the habit of talking about things that have nothing to do with my job. Until Siggy slapped me in the face. I refuse to call this cancer a blessing, but the joy I’m rediscovering because I’ve been forced to slow down and reassess what’s important certainly is.
All these months (since February!) I’ve been spending in the slow lane have underlined a concept I’ve forgotten: Living in the moment is a priceless blessing.
I am wallowing in the pleasures of my blessings.