February 25, 2021

I’m not a morning person. I know some folks who are up at 4 or 5 working already, but when I’m up that early, it’s to use the bathroom and hop back into bed so I can get maybe another hour of sleep before the alarm. Unfortunately for me, I’m usually doing that about every day.

When we got our dogs as puppies, we decided they wouldn’t be on the sofa or on the bed. To compensate we spent way too much on fancy dog beds before we learned the error of our ways. We weren’t strong enough to withstand puppy eyes. It wasn’t long before the dogs got free access to the furniture. However, we still only allowed them to be in bed with us in the mornings.

It started with them being invited up once we woke and we’d lounge together for a while. Soon they’d come stand by my side of the bed just before our normal time to wake up. These days, Barley arrives anytime between 4 and 5, but usually after my bathroom visit and just as I’m falling back asleep.

Most dogs would probably just jump into bed. Ours do during the day. But when we’re sleeping, they wait to be invited. And they wait by my side of the bed. And paw the side. Once I tap the blanket, Chance will spring into bed. Barley, however, is a different story. When I tap the blanket, he paws again. I have to tap and tap and tap in a variety of areas so he’s really sure it’s ok. Then I have to tell him to come up. And still he paces and sometimes surfs around the bed like a shark. Then he’ll butt himself into the bed a few times. I’ll tell him again to come up. So he’ll leave the room. By this time, I’m usually completely awake and wishing I were a morning person. After coming back and bumping into the bed a few more times, Barley will finally jump up—and take my leg space.

That was the routine this morning. Once Barley settled in and I moved to accommodate him, Chance showed up and jumped in on the other side of me, pinning me in my blanket like a mummy.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a morning person. I mean, after all that, I fell back asleep for about 20 mins today. Our ungodly early morning routine sometimes drives me nuts. Trying to continue sleeping with two 70-pound dogs sandwiching me isn’t always possible let alone comfortable. But I’m still thankful for these two crazy dogs.

February 22, 2021

So, the last couple of days have been arguably the hardest since I started chemo. Yesterday I actually had the bone pain I’d previously avoided, as well as extreme fatigue and nausea. By bedtime, I had a migraine that not only lasted through the night, but woke me several times. This morning I got sick for the first time.

I’m not gonna lie, I was feeling pretty fed up today. Then I saw a segment on the Today Show about a woman who had not one, but two face transplants. Two. Face. Transplants. Over 70 surgeries. Because her horrible ex attacked her years ago. And you know what? She was upbeat and happy.

I love hearing about the resilience of others. Her situation is beyond comprehension, but her spirit was inspiring. We really can endure more than we think if we have the right mindset. I immediately changed my thinking.

I’m grateful that I’ve only had a couple of really lousy days and that I’m already feeling better.

February 20, 2021

I’m so thankful today to see these two. My daughter and her boyfriend came for a quick visit from Virginia.

Once again, we sat outside in the snow, but it was warmer than when my family had come. We had a couple of hours of visiting, and they announced that while it’s not official yet, they’re planning to get married. He still wants to surprise her with the proposal. I’m so excited for them!

I’m grateful my daughter found someone who is a really great guy and also a great match for her. They get along so well and are so cute together. And now we have something else to look forward to—a wedding!

February 18, 2021

I have four sisters and while we have lived in different states, I feel like we have done a fairly decent job of staying in touch with each other. Over the years, we’ve been able to get together for various holidays. But it’s been hard to keep up with each other’s daily lives as our families have expanded.

Since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve been talking to my sisters a bit more, especially Laura, who also had breast cancer years ago. It’s been good to connect on a more regular basis, and I’m thankful for that.

February 17, 2021

Today I’m thankful for something weird: my tennis ball.

I got a tennis ball a long time ago to use for sore muscles. It helped me get through frozen shoulder, which was some of the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. Of course, it wasn’t all the tennis ball then, I also had a great massage guy. What I wouldn’t give for a good massage today.

I’ve been so tired tonight but my legs have been restless, which means I haven’t been able to relax. So I used my tennis ball. It’s strange to be grateful for something so trivial but it helped tonight. At least for a while.

February 16, 2021

Woohoo! Today I’m very thankful to have the last of the big chemo days done.

In a couple of weeks I’ll start the weekly treatments, which will hopefully be easier. At the very least, it doesn’t typically have mouth sores as a side effect, so that’s something to be glad about.

I’m almost halfway through the whole treatment plan (what?!), and I’m grateful that I’ve gotten this far without too much trouble. It’s been amazing that I haven’t been nauseous at all. It seems taking part in the clinical trial for anti-nausea medicine was a good choice.

Oh, I’m also grateful that Patrick has figured out how to get my shoes into my pictures because they’re always the star.