Monday, August 3, 2015

Living life in increments of 12 weeks. Part 1

The period between scans is 12 weeks and so I can only plan for the next 12 weeks. I never know what the treatment will be for the 12 weeks after that which means I cram the rest of my life into these tiny gaps of time.

I’m also suddenly aware that I am one step away from a catastrophic episode that could end my life.

It feels like a confession every time I sum up to myself what it took to live those 12 weeks. Since my last scan I have lived the good, the bad, the ugly and the insanely normal.

The bad list reads like this:

  1. My dog died
  2. The immunization trial failed so I went onto Xeloda
  3. The Xeloda failed and my next 12 weeks will be on Carboplantin/Gemzar (IV chemo)
  4. The burden of watching your life slip away feels so heavy at times.

The good:

  1. I took a trips to
    1.  Seattle to visit my daughter and my good friend Beth (@CultPerfectMoms ).
    2. Johannesburg for a few days on my way to
    3. Safari in the Kruger National Park in South Africa (where I met some wonderful people).
    4. Mauritius with my husband (home of the dodo)

  1. I collected another 60 or so books from Comic-Con to read
  2. I ran
    1. The Bolder/Boulder 10 k run with husband
    2. the 4-mile 4th of July  run with husband and third son
  3. I wrote
    1. a paper
    2. a short screen play
  4. I went to San Diego Comic-Con and the San Diego Zoo with my husband and daughter
  5. I went to VidCon in Anaheim and then spent two days in Disneyland/California Adventure parks  with my third son
  6. I went to a psychology conference in New York City and visited my eldest son who calls every single Sunday night.
  7. I took about 10,000 photos and lots of video. (Wait! That should probably go under insanely normal.)

The ugly:

  1. My feet and hands look as though they have been through medieval torture. Most of my toenails have fallen off or are about to.
  2. The toxic effects of Xeloda kept mounting up until it included high blood pressure, and nausea and vomiting.
  3. I was bitten by a brown recluse spider

The insanely normal:

  1. I did Hangouts with my far-away children, called them, texted them, and went to movies and dinner with my family when they were around.
  2. I watched my second son complete his first triathlon
  3. I exercise every single day to the best of my ability given the condition of my feet. (This one is insanely normal and good.)
  4. I walked/ran 600 miles
  5. I read
    1. Alan Turing: Unlocking the Enigma by David Boyle (for the second time)
    2. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenburg, & Alan Eagle
    3. Genghis Kahn and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford
    4. The Martian by Andy Weir
    5. 101 Kruger Tales by Jeff Gordon (Editor)
    6. Comics, comics, comics. I’m not apologizing.
  6. I cooked, cleaned, and baked bread a few times a week
  7. I planned for the next 12 weeks
  8. I was a professor, a mentor, a friend, a wife, and a mother.