The house smells of onions and garlic and balsamic vinegar roasting away with a lovely piece of beef brisket in the oven. It's delightful. Mind, I am hours behind schedule getting anything in the oven as we had nothing in the fridge or pantry for Sunday dinner until a couple of hours ago. I've been thrown completely off schedule because of the colds we both had last week. In fact, the roast in the oven has been about the only thing I've accomplished over seven days. Something that smells that yummy deserves buttery mashed potatoes and a hardy veggie. It's so good to be consuming something more than soup. Even if it is good soup – and it was – there's nothing like a good, savory solid meal.
Good, Bad and Really Ugly
The good news about the terrible cold I caught from Jon last week is that my blood counts must be normal. I never spiked a fever, and I was over it pretty much by the end of the week. It was the first cold I've had since November of 2009 before the whole ordeal began. Colds are one of the bogeymen to avoid during chemo. They can delay treatment. Or worse, they can cause a fever which leads to a hospital stay. And the last words from all the various Docs that I see was to avoid getting sick. Those who know the Hubs and I realize that to completely avoid getting sick may involve having Jon live in a small box outside of the apartment. You see, Jon is usually a cold magnet. And as our apartment is very tiny, it is very difficult to avoid each other and surfaces that we may have touched. It's quite amazing that he hadn't had one during this time. Perhaps he knew about my plans for him and that small box.
The bad news about the terrible cold I had last week was other than a perfectly delicious pot of chicken soup, I accomplished nothing. My head was full of wet cotton. I couldn't breath through my nose. Most of the time, I couldn't read. Writing dwindled down to a paragraph or two per day. I didn't even want to talk on the phone. Needless to say, not much was happening other than laying about watching TV or, more often, having the TV watch me sleep. On top of feeling generally miserable and paranoid that I would end up back in an ER, I somehow became convinced that the cold would somehow stop the chemo side effects from going away. It's like the cold somehow pushed a pause button on my recovery. Yes, I know that makes no sense. I'm a creative person, and as such, I'm more than a little touched in the head. Being reduced to a lump on the sofa also gives such a mind far too much time to think strange things. Happily, I'm feeling better now. Breathing is more or less back to normal, and my head doesn't feel like it's full of wet cotton. I actually did a bit of walking for exercise on Saturday.
Degrees of Normal
I get asked how I'm doing a lot, and my replies have been vague. I don't like to list in detail what's going on with me, because it sounds like complaining. I'd never complaining about my current lot, because it could be quite have been a good deal worse. However, I'm quite a ways from being free of chemo side effects. I can't say that I'm close to normal. Apparently, what normal will end up being is anyone's guess right now. I may end up feeling the same as I was before I got sick. I may feel better than I did then. Or I may have a whole new definition of what normal is. It will be several weeks before anything is clear. As for right now, both of my feet are numb. How much of the foot is numb varies day to day. It seems that more and more of the foot is not numb during the day. Why it changes from night to day is a mystery to me. This doesn't keep me from walking though I can't do too much running around. It's mainly weird. My hands have pins and needles sometimes, but not the numbness that's in my feet. I've also got pain in my joints that can get quite intense. Strangely, exercise helps that, so I have to walk and lift things each day. These side effects should fade over time. I'm largely free of nausea though there are still times when my appetite is off or my digestive system is in an uproar. However, I'm managing the side effects well enough to get around with errands and my appointments. I can write and I can cook and I can do some planning for the various projects, so I am content to ride these things out. I still feel that I've been extremely fortunate.
There aren't many, because I didn't do much last week. We had a production meeting today about an upcoming project. And I made some inquiries about locations for the Demon Under Glass web series. More phone calls on that are up for this week. And it looks like Jon and I have a new script to write.
Next week: The crazies in my life, script writing drama and more updates.