Saturday, December 18, 2004

Twice--does that make me a Veteran?

Two chemo sessions probably doesn't make me a veteran. I have mentioned a couple of times how Ruby Tuesday's blog makes me feel as if I have a map of the territory, though, and in the same way, with a second chemo session I feel as if I have some general idea of what might happen next. A sore throat, a bit of fatigue (maybe a little more than the last time.) But Ruby Tuesday told me about some great mouthwash and so far, much less mouth-soreness.

How important it is to have some sense of what will happen. When I first learned about Hodgkins, I immediately went researching. It just makes me feel better, even if it is a false sense of control. I know other people, many of them smart, competent people, who prefer not to know. But that's not me I'm afraid.

What I can't figure out is how much to plan. I have a possible freelance gig but I feel compelled to tell the employer that I've got Hodgkins, and you know, I'd be hesitant to hire someone who may not have the energy at the time we need it. Someone asked me about getting together to do something in February--well, it will depend on how I feel. Much of how I feel depends on how close it is to a chemo session. But, for my second chemo session, my white cell count was low. We went ahead and did the session anyway (if you're contagious, don't come near me.) But this means the third session may be postponed, so I can't extrapolate out...

None of this is even remotely cosmic. It's just...juggling.


Blogger Gregory Feeley said...

I don't know that there's much of a distinction between "cosmic" and "mere juggling." Hey, orbital mechanics is mere juggling, and so is atomic vibration. The architectonics of the grandest novel is built up word upon humble word. Slogging through the weeks of treatment and trying to juggle the logistics is what life finally is.

December 18, 2004 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Messiah was glorious. I was surprised at how much I loved the parts of it that weren't even the Alleluia chorus or "I know that my redeemer liveth." I usually play one version of the whole deal on my car radio every Christmas on the way to Akron.

Marie was wearing a tiara and long opera coat; I wore my Nebula dress and pearls. I could tell she and Brian loved it.

All four of us skipped through the icy air afterward to have hot drinks at Arabica and discuss whether loving it was a sell-out to the religious right this season (there were many women in the audience wearing little black doilies on their heads; I doubt they were Muslim or Jewish, so they must have been Mennonite or else Ursulines). I decided not, but we did find it very religious. (Duh.) Handel said he wanted not to entertain, but to improve people. Surely one can be improved by such music without being a right-wing Christian. We also boggled at some of the text: "he is the first fruits of those who have died before" and a good deal about being eaten by worms.

I held Geoff's hand tightly and cried through the Alleluia. My sister says the conductor of the Akron production had to teach the chorus how to sing even if they started involuntarily crying.

I tried hard not to bounce with the music (it is surprisingly danceable for an oratorio) but one member of the chorus (not Peter) was really selling the words.

We hope you go hear it next chance you get; it is very emotionally nourishing.

We missed you a lot.

Mary Turzillo

December 19, 2004 1:41 AM  
Blogger Ken Houghton said...

I don't know anyone on a social level who doesn't make allowances for health issues. (This may be because most of the people I know right now have small children, and their dependability is measured by the hourglass instead of the stopwatch.) So social commitments should be made, with foreknowledge of both parties that they may be broken.

Business dealings are another issue, especially in this case, where one can reasonably assume that you will be up to speed again by, say, mid-2006. Declining the current offering, without going into details beyond "other commitments" or "health reasons" let's them know you appreciate the job offer, but cannot commit, which is two good things. Getting specific may leave them thinking, "well, she'll not be able to work with us again"--which you expect to be untrue.

Depending on how extensive your existing business relationship is, I'd say decline it without details. Or give them a timeframe ("It's going to be a very busy semester, especially with a book coming out at the end of it.") and call them when treatments are over.

They don't need to know the specifics, except that you won't be available for several months, but expect to be so after that.

December 20, 2004 10:26 AM  
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God luck with it : )

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