At least part time. This afternoon/evening Leaves on the Current went into her office for a half-day, that is, five hours - she normally work 4 10 hour days/week, three in the office and one telecommuting.
While she had been in her office for a meeting more than a week ago, and had telecommuted once, this was both her longest time working and her longest time on her own without me. A positive sign, with the hope that within two weeks perhaps she will be back to full-time work.
This past week has been difficult. The cumulative effect of two weeks of chemo overlapping with the second round of radiation actually caught up with her. We had to cancel several social engagements we had planned as she adjusted to the differences in how she was feeling. We saw her oncologist on Friday, there have been some minor modifications in meds, and after a very rough few days, she is getting her appetite back and starting to feel more comfortable.
And so far, she still has her hair!
We continue to receive cards, offers of help, well-wishes, and even some unexpected affirming phone calls, including one from a dear cousin in the Midwest.
Currently there are two bouquets of flowers and one plant that have arrived in the past five days.
We continue to feel the love and support of other people.
Leaves is basically an introvert. Were it up to her, there would not be these mass communications, but after several people, including her cousin, some other family and friends, and the Clerk (lay leader) of my Quaker Meeting who have said how much these missives mean, she might put some energy into objecting, but after the last few affirmations, she told me she gives up, she accepts what I am doing! Which since I am going to do it anyway, is nice. Between posting online and sending out as emails to various lists and groups, it is the one way we can keep people current.
As I have written elsewhere, the nominal total of the bills so far is astounding. Fortunately (1) our insurance company negotiates down, (2) pays most of what is left, and (3) so far our financial responsibilities have not been burdensome. We have had to adjust to some loss of income, but it has been bearable in the short term.
One problem this past week has been a major change in her sense of taste, and often a feeling of not really wanting to eat. Because that is important, whatever possible weird request she may have for what she wants to eat I will attempt to address. It may mean running out to a restaurant or bagel shop at weird hours, but so long as she is eating, I will not care. But because the requests can change drastically from day to day, I cannot stock up.
For example, when this all started she wanted to drink Blackberry favored Hint. Then there was a craving for Coke. Recently it has been Bitter Lemon. Whatever it is she will have.
The cats are started to want to be all over her. At times this can represent a problem, especially when she wants to eat, and our largest (17 pound) cat wants to stick his nose into her dish. At times I have had to close the door to the room where she spends most of her time just so she can eat - and occasionally rest - without the insistent attention of our beloved four-footed darlings.
In the meantime I have restarted exploration for employment for myself. I have applied for a number of teaching jobs for the Fall, when I know she will not need so much attention from me. My age and how much I used to make represent barriers to my being successful in that search, but I know there are tutoring opportunities if it is simply a question of bringing in some income.
Tomorrow we start round two of chemo. There will be a shot, some pills, and the need to go back on steroids. The last probably means she will more frequently need insulin to maintain safe levels of blood sugar.
One week from tomorrow she will again be infused with something to build back up the calcium in her skeleton - that is on its own 4-week cycle.
And after seeing her primary care physician a week ago, we have arranged for a handicapped hanger for her car so that she will not have to walk so far - so far have only used it when stopping at the pharmacy. And she now has the permission of her neurosurgeon to drive herself, although with her access to expert chauffeuring services from yours truly, so far she has not taken advantage of that permission.
It has now been more than 6 weeks since we found out she had cancer, almost 6 weeks since we found out - to our great relief - that what had happened was not a metastatic cancer, but rather a very treatable blood cancer.
We have developed expertise in managing multiple medications, in taking her blood sugar and her giving herself insulin as needed. We have made adjustments around the house and in how we live to make her dealing with her cancer as comfortable as possible.
So life goes on.
The process is ongoing.
Her medical team is pleased with her progress.
We are hopeful.
Most of all we are grateful.
First, for the expert care and treatment to which she has access.
Next, for the love and support of so many.
Most of all, for each other, for this chance to learn how to live in love and in service to one another.
I did say one another. This is not one-way. Leaves on the Current is regularly affirming me in ways that are very important for me.
Isn't live magnificent, if only we hold fast that which is good?