Friday, March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

50 Years 

  I didn't expect that my 50th birthday would find me a cancer survivor, but I'm glad it did.  I want to do a post sometime with what I have now that I didn't have then, but it will be a hard one.  In the meantime, I will enjoy what I have, and here's a glimpse of what the last couple years have  given me. 

This is going to be my last monthly hair post.  There won't be much change month by month.
It is also another yearly milestone. Last year at this time I was just learning to eat again.  My feeding tube and port were removed early in March, and my options for food were really limited.  My mouth had brand new skin and it was tender so I had to be careful what I ate. My swallowing had improved but had a long way to go. With no saliva to help in the breakdown I had to eat wet things. Many foods would hurt or scratch, so I ate soup.  Lots of soup.  I learned to enjoy it.  It was warm, comforting and easy.   I boiled pounds and pounds of vegetables flavored with chicken broth and ate gallons of it. For a long time I wouldn't try anything else.  As the months went on nothing seemed to change.  I was beginning to get bored with the same old soup all the time.  I was wondering if this would be the way it would be forever.
Then, I turned a corner.  It was another jump forward in recovery.  All of a sudden I could eat just about anything I wanted. I could eat normal supper rather than soup all the time.  I still don't do ketchup, pepper, spicy food, vinegar, breads or dry food very well, but that leaves a lot of other choices.  
I started trying different things. I noticed I was eating more real food and less soup.  If I hadn't tried it post-cancer, I took a bite, some things worked some didn't. I was eating what everyone else was eating for supper, and I was enjoying it. 

I also got some sweet taste back and began to enjoy cookies dunked in cocoa.
Eating for me is so much more about perception than taste.  If I liked it before and it's wet or can be eaten wet, most likely I will like it now.
I also like things that I wouldn't have eaten before like puddingy things and soaked bread.  
If I do pay attention to the way things taste, I look for different sensations that I used to.  Things just don't taste the same.  I try to just eat and not worry about it.   
This feels like a major milestone for me.  I feel like I'm a lot farther along the road to feeling normal again.

The recovery epiphany of today is:

Things change, maybe slower than you think, but they will change.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day by Day--February

I find it makes a nicer collage to use 5 week format.  This will end up an every 5 weeks blog.

2. When the days  begin to lengthen, then the cold begins to strengthen.
3. Egg production is down in the winter months.  Eleven hens, two eggs.  '
4. New recipe--smoked sausage and potato hash.  It was good, too.
5. I love a fire, it's so warm and cozy on these cold days this week.  
6. This is the coldest it's been so far this winter.  We haven't seen cold like this for a decade or more.  
7. Anthony's father turned this wooden plate for me on his lathe. It's my camera's home.
8. Doughnuts belong with snow, even though we haven't had much snow this winter, we wanted doughnuts anyway.  They are pretty good dunked in cocoa for the salivary impaired.  
9. A handsome young couple.
10. Lynette's favorite breakfast.  I make it nearly everyday, and have it down to a fine science.  It is sitting under the griddle to keep warm at 7:45 am.
11. Knitting 101 at the library.  I know how to knit, but wanted to make sure I was doing it right.  I think I know more that the leader of our little group.
13. Finally, long enough hair to do something with, thanks to my daughter.
14. Happy Valentine's Day.  The ladies in this house both rated roses this year.  Two dozen red for Lynette, 1 dozen pink for me (my favorite).  The man of the house got cashews.  His favorite.
15. I have been scrapping like crazy on Lynette's book.  Hers are done to the end of 2013.
16. Game night with friends.  I love Blokus, but you need 4 people to play, so it's nice to play with someone else.
17. Now I'm working on my book.  I'm done to the end of 2012, and I cleaned up the room which was covered stem to stern with supplies.  I'm waiting on 2013 photographs to start again.
18. Library knitting class, one dishcloth finished another started.
19. I make my own pancake syrup.  I like to seal it so it keeps or to give it away.
20. More snow.  A lovely powdery dusting again.
21. I make homemade noodles for everything except tuna chowder.  I'm not sure why, but that's the way it is.  We had beef and noodles this day, with some leftover for later.
22. Jim is replacing the sheetrock in the garage, ceiling first.
23. Game night again, just Jim and I, waiting for something, but I can't remember what now.
24. The Millers, more scrapping.
25 We had cardinals visiting our tree.  I was sicker than a dog this day.  I had a fever and couldn't go to knitting class, but my camera zoom came through.
26. Sunset, about 6:00
27. Sunrise, 7 am.
28. Finished another graduation afghan.

1. My oldest daughter moved closer into a new house.
2. This seems to be the way we start out the month this winter.  March is coming in like a very cold lion.
3. Every week day morning this is my view.  Sunrise through the kitchen window.
4. It's beautiful and a little different every day.
5.Lettuce is good for the heart.
6. Re-purposed sweater sleeves stuffed with plastic bags to hold boots up straight.
7. Life happens, and I didn't take a photo this day.  So Christian gets tomorrow's photos now and then.  He can stand alone, especially when he is holding something. He also is opening cupboard doors, and not falling over while he does it. 
8. He loves to push this little stroller, when he runs up against something, he goes around to the front and pushes it that way until it is clear, then he goes around and pushes by the handle.  

Weather seems to be the main topic of conversation this winter.  It has been colder than it has been for a long time, with very little snow.  We have had a few nice days, too.  It's just that it's been frigid for a few days, then we see 40 degree days, then back again to single digits.  It's the mood swings that are hard to bear.  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Imitating Life

All pictures tell a story, and I want to tell you this one.  

Children are little sponges. What they see is what they do.  What happens at home they will imitate.  When you look at this photograph can you tell what is happening at home?  
This little boy's mother is going to school.  She is taking classes online.  She has a little table set up in the corner of her very small living room with her books and her computer waiting for a little time in her busy three-boy life to study.  
So, he studies, too.  He makes little notes with his pencil.  He taps his chin and thinks.  He types a little bit on the keyboard.  
He melts my heart.

I know that is my piano book he's writing in, but it's pencil.  We will find him another book,  

And we won't talk about the next time when he found a green pen, and we weren't watching.