October 19, 2021

I haven’t been sleeping well. I’m uncomfortable at night; it’s hard to find a position that brings sleep quickly. I want to lay on my side SO bad, but it’s still hard for any length of time. And last night, the dogs jumped into our bed at 2:30 am. After Barley stuck his paws in my face, I kicked them both out, waking Patrick up in the process. I don’t know what prompted their early sneak into bed, but it didn’t help. I was awake from 2 -4 am, after getting to sleep about 11. That seems to be my pattern lately.

So this morning was tough. I was crabby and emotional. Stupid breast spacers. Stupid radiation burned skin. Stupid 7 am start to my job. When Patrick returned from his office hours at the college, he could tell I was having a hard time holding it together. He asked what he could do to make it easier for me today.

I’m thankful that he notices and wants to help. I’m thankful for the yummy pot roast dinner he made today, and the equally yummy Manhattan he made for me tonight. And I’m thankful that he doesn’t judge me for periodically losing it.

August 23, 2021

Today I had more energy than I’ve had since surgery, which was a happy surprise. I was able to hang out in my craft room and get a few things put away that I hadn’t gotten back to in the last couple of weeks. I looked through some of my craft books and imagined some Halloween decorations I’d like to make. I hope my healing speeds up.

Speaking of the healing, I’ve started the suggested post-mastectomy exercises and feel like I’m getting more range of arm movement every day. It’s amazing how difficult moving my arms straight up has become. The stretch is real! But I’m going to continue so I can start feeling back to normal as quickly as possible.

I’m thankful for my bout of energy and for my continued healing. I’m also thankful for the help Patrick has been to me since my mom left. He’s made sure I’ve gotten my meds in time, helped me wash my hair and get dressed, opened doors and tucked me into the recliner at night. He’s been a trooper, but I’m sure he’s just as anxious as I am to get me back to normal.

May 25, 2021

On days when I’m wondering what I’m going to write about, Patrick’s response is always, “me!” Well, today is the day.

This guy. It’s his birthday today, so I’m using a pre-head-shave picture from before our life got sucked into cancer. (Although I think he looks great hair or no hair.) I don’t know how I’d have gotten through the last 6 months without him. He has handled our months of “for worse” without complaint, helping me any way he can, but mostly helping me stay sane.

I think I’ve mentioned before that we are almost opposites. He has a PHD in mathematics and I have a master’s in communication. He doesn’t like to socialize or dress up, and I like a good party dress. I like comedies and decorating shows and Hallmark on repeat. He likes American Horror Story and cooking alone. But somehow, it works. I think we make each other better versions of ourselves. I know he does me. And I know without a doubt that he always has my back. I’m grateful for him today and every day.

May 19, 2021

Sparkly party shoes!

My last chemo!! I decided to end with the first wig I wore. While the treatment was uneventful, it was still exciting to know that it was the final one. Now I’ll have a break before surgery and can get some strength back.

I have to say again that I’m so grateful for the staff at the cancer clinic. They were all capable, friendly, and reassuring. And Andrew, the one who helps everyone check in, knew everyone’s name. I swear by my second visit, he knew who I was. It was amazing how quickly he remembered people. In some weird way, I’ll miss seeing everyone. As a thank you, I bought some cupcakes which Patrick delivered before lunch since my appointment was late this afternoon.

Speaking of Patrick, he has been such a trooper through all my chemo. He never missed one, even though they weren’t very exciting. I’m lucky to have him on my side.

I’m also thankful for all the happy surprises too. My in-laws sent a whole party; My morning latte and dinner were thanks to my mom; a friend dropped off a lovely candle and oil. I’m so blessed!

April 12, 2021

Every once in a while, I have a day where I’m tired of living with chemo side effects: the sinus issues and nosebleeds, the tiredness, the indigestion that causes a cough, the strange dry yet slimy feeling in my mouth, the sore muscles, the inability to regulate my body temperature. I know things could be worse, and I’m truly grateful they’re not. But today, I was tired of cancer. And chemo. I’m thankful I have Patrick who hugs me when I cry.

March 23, 2021

I texted this to Patrick today. After two days of listening to my constant coughing (probably his least favorite thing ever), I figured he needed a reminder.

I was able to get into my Oncologist’s office today and get my cough checked out, and thankfully, my lungs are clear. The doctor gave me some different options to help with it like changing up my sinus meds. We think it may be too much sinus drainage. Never underestimate your nose hair. Lack of it can also be problematic. I’m never quite sure what over the counter stuff to take while on chemo, so I appreciated getting the feedback.

We also talked about the pain I’ve been experiencing. It’s not an uncommon side effect, so we talked about pain management options. She called in a prescription pain killer for me to try with this next round. If it doesn’t work or I don’t like the effects, she suggested different combinations of Tylenol I could take instead. Now I feel a little better prepared for tomorrow’s treatment and its after effects.

I’m grateful for my nurses and doctors who listen. I’m also grateful for when Patrick tries to tune me out. (Cough. Cough)

February 14, 2021

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you spent time with someone you love, especially if that person is you.

Today I’m thankful for all the weirdos in my life, but especially my special one, Patrick. I can’t imagine going through this year, let alone the rest of my life with anyone else. When you find someone who not only has your back, but challenges you to be a better person, hold onto them. ❤️

Patrick’s birthday

I love birthdays, probably because I like celebrations. I like carefully chosen presents and special dinners. Balloons and cake. But mostly I love that birthdays remind us that people we love shouldn’t be taken for granted, and so we celebrate that they’ve been with us another year.

Today is Patrick’s birthday, and to him, birthdays are just another day. He couldn’t care less about a celebration. In fact, one year he insisted that all he wanted was to be left alone to work on his house. So like any good girlfriend, I ignored him and showed up at his door with a present and a slice of cake. It took a lot of will power not to bring a balloon, but I didn’t want to push my luck. After all, I had promised not to do anything.

This year, regardless of his party pooper attitude, I celebrate the fact that he’s been in my life another year. Yes, he’s a bit of a curmudgeon. Yes, he’s often antisocial and snarky. But he’s also one of the best people I know. Generous. Intelligent. Fun. He makes me laugh with his sarcasm and wit. He makes me feel safe with his dedication and honesty. He’s been accepting of my quirks, my horde of shoes (most of the time), my crazy family, and my general silliness. And when I’m feeling my lowest, he’s supportive and compassionate; I know that he always has my back.

Our life together may be low key, but it’s never dull. He’s challenging, interesting, competitive, and curious. Sometimes he pushes my buttons, but he also pushes me to grow. I know I’m a better person with him. So today, I’m extra thankful that I can celebrate another year, and I hope there’s many, many more birthdays to come.

Snow. Again.

I’m tired of winter. It snowed again today, and I’m just ready for it to go even though it hasn’t been a bad winter, considering. We’ve had nominal snowfall and not too frigid temperatures. We’ve only shoveled half a dozen times at most. But I’m craving Spring… the sunshine, the new plants, the longer days. I want to go outside unfettered by a heavy coat and boots. I keep reminding myself that we’re almost there. March is coming.

In the meantime, I’ve been grateful for some things. My current grad class is interesting. The Walking Dead started a new season. The cat hasn’t been waking me up in the middle of the night lately. My last car repair only cost me $16. I got to share another Valentine’s Day with Patrick. Our new ice cream machine works great. And Bree makes me laugh.