Is it the Decadron talking?

Getting up early is always amazing to me.  I'm not a morning person, so it's difficult, but I get alot done around the house.  Of course it could just be that I'm on pre-chemo steroids (and am pushing myself as usual).

The aftermath of Betsy's sudden passing is a keen introspection I can indulge for a few days while the hubby's in Canada.  I've pulled out the old "cancer" books, rereading passages.  Most talk about the new realization of what Time means ("Time isn't money—Time is Everything").  I'm supposed to regard cleaning house, websurfing, and going to obligatory but not entertaining events no longer so important, I should let them go.  As I did laundry to prepare for Mike's trip and start the mega-cleaning binge for the impending arrival of guests, I wonder to myself why I feel a constant urge to clean.  Part of it is this teeny, tiny house with no closet space, forcing me to constantly rearrange in order to keep the clutter under control.  But maybe there's something weirdly meditational about it, or, I just feel a sense of relief and calm when the place is tidy.  Not sure, but early rising is a great way to accomplish the zillions of tiny details that can get annoying when left unattended.
The service for Betsy is in Tahoe, which is at about 6200 feet.  I'd like to go, but it would be imprudent to go alone, in the event I have an elevation-related catastrophe (pulmonary embolism, black out, etc?).  On the other hand, if I do ok, maybe I can go to New Mexico after all, which would be awesome.  I also feel sort of shy about going, but that's not really a deterrent.
Am I "living" every moment, now that I've had a constant stream of wake-up calls since March?  I don't know.  Does finally planting the plants soaking in water on your kitchen windowsill for a year count as "living"?  How about cutting down the tall weeds in the front yard (there's no groundcover so they're prominent)?  Or applying for all the various and sundry financial things I should've done many moons ago?  Or sorting through and shredding tons of old paperwork?  When I'm on my deathbed will I be glad I did that, or wish I'd spent those hours doing something else (by myself, since everyone's at work or lives far away or both).  Ah, the quandary.  The point is, it won't get done unless I do it, and it's piled up to the point where a little bonfire in the gas grill may be the way to go.
So off I go to do more of those funky, never-ending chores.  Then I'll go to Chemo and find out about my last CT scan, continue reading The Golden Compass, maybe watch a movie the hubby won't, and take a long bath.  And ponder what other things I should do to really "live", besides praying and being grateful for what I've had to this point.
And speaking of being grateful, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life Alameda is on June 21st at Encinal High School.  I plan on walking the Survivor Lap with survivor friends (remember, that term is for all those touched by cancer—patients, caregivers, friends, cured people) and going to brunch afterwards.  I hope I don't spend the whole time crying, thinking of everyone I know/have lost in battle with this insidious disease.  There's a luminaria-lighting ceremony afterwards as well.  More info:
Time to stop thinking so much.

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9 thoughts on “Is it the Decadron talking?

  1. Jazz, three things…
    1) Your blog is wonderfully relevant and inspirational. Thank you for writing.
    2) Cleaning your house is good therapy. It's a metaphor for taking control of your life.
    3) After you read "The Golden Compass" tell me how you liked it. It's on my list of books to read.
    4) I want to do the ACS relay! Kara says she'll do it too. But right now I'm too lazy to link to the site. How do I sign up and raise money? How far do I walk/run?

  2. Hi Jazz. I've been feeling that urge to clean lately too. For me, I find that it happens when there are things in my life I can't control. Creating order in my home gives me some sense (right or wrong) that I at least have control over something. I read somewhere once that clutter can be thought of as "visual noise". Likewise I think other things left undone can create psychological noise. Taking care of them can be soothing.Sometimes I have a tendency to think that I am not living unless I am on some great adventure, but in reality, big adventures are a very small portion of life. Life is cleaning and washing and planting and mending. This can be hard to take.On mother's day, I went to parents' house. My father read me a three page document of all the things I need to do when he dies. How many copies of the death certificate I need to get, where I need to send them, what I need to do to make sure my mom gets all the military benefits she has coming, etc. He even had an envelope of photos to display at his funeral. This is not because he is a control freak. It's because he is still taking care of us all – right to the end. I know him and he doesn't want to lie on his deathbed thinking about all the loose ends he left undone. I don't know you well, but some of your current activities may actually be a way of caring for your husband and family.I hope your latest round of chemo helps you and does not create too many side effects. I'm going to check out the event in Alameda. By your definition, I am a survivor too. Maybe I'll see you there.

  3. Love you sweetie & Thanks. Maybe I'll fly up for the cancer walk. are the inlaws gone? I think all this drama is just a part of life. I just try to surf it.

  4. Hey Jazz,
    ok, so I followed the link for the ACS Relay for Life and it said I either had to join a team or form my own team. I think I'd like to run in the middle of the night, 'cause I figure that's when they need people the most. But do I have to join a team or can I just fly solo? Can I join your team? The website didn't have as much information as I'd like. Help?

  5. You hit that nail right on the head! Your words made me want to cry. Luckily I had a fat bowl of fruit drizzled with condensed milk to keep me preoccupied. Your Dad is just an awesome guy, I can already feel how much you were missing him even as he was there before you.

  6. Oh crap, I forgot to take my Decadron and I have chemo tomorrow!How funny, are we on the same chemo schedule now?Well, if cleaning makes you feel better then it's a good activity. And a clean, dust-free house is better for your lungs!

  7. I always forget to take it until the night before, and usually wind up only taking one a day (I had chemo on Wed but I'm cheating and took that last Dec this am). Good luck! Is this cycle 8 for you? There'll be a luminaria honoring you at the ACS Relay for Life on the 21st ;D

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