Monday, March 07, 2016

Which Goggles?

When people ask how Mom is doing, it's automatically a two-pronged question for me. Rather than just saying "she's fine," or "she's awful," I've started using terms like "cancer goggles" to explain that from one perspective, she is doing great. She is healing and fighting and making progress. By all the markers known to doctors, she is where she should be.

Understandably however, when looking through "healthy goggles," things appear more difficult. Her appearance is still a little shocking. She is still weak and has a hard time eating. She is struggling to keep her weight stable. Her blood pressure is very low and she gets easily dehydrated. She's about to have major surgery that will require further recovery from an already weak state. Things are still dang hard.

Lucky for me, everything about this trip has been an exercise in learning to see things through the lens that puts them in the proper focus, rather than comparing circumstances that are just too different. I feel almost like I'm on a kind of sabbatical, which by definition means to rest by changing up the routine.

This past week, I focused on keeping mom healthy as we prepared for the next big step: Double Mastectomy on Tuesday. We altered her diet to settle her G-I tract and monitored fluid intake to avoid dehydration. She didn't put on any weight, but she has turned a corner. We've noticed hair starting to grow back on her head and eyebrows! She had enough energy for some ordinary things, like lunch at Mimi's with some of the family here. There was also a short trip to Costco and an afternoon at the Pinewood Derby district level to see my nephew compete. The week ended with a big Sunday family dinner with some of the local kids and grandkids.  Mom even felt well enough to help me with the cooking, which was so fun.

Along with that, I got to photograph my niece wearing my newest knitwear design. On several of the days,  there was time to spend with my youngest sister and her kids including a day off school and and then babysitting in the evening so she and her husband could have a night out. I've loved seeing my grown up nieces and nephews who are the same age range as my kids and have been such good friends to them.

The lovely Sophie in my new linen skirt. 

Hiking and instant photo fun. 
Selfies at Sonic

A break in the shopping on our day out. 

Meeting Rosie. Yes, my sister wins for letting
her kids have a tarantula. 

Meeting the Mantids. My nephew is a serious bug man.

Watching dance class. 
Screenshots while video chatting with my kids. 

All the dreams I had for this trip are coming true. I'm helping my mom, seeing family, and finishing up projects. It's great. As for back home? Well, it was very, very good for me to have that wee crisis last week and mentally disengage from tending the home fires.  Things have worked themselves out, and without much interference from me at all, which I love. What I don't know isn't hurting me, ha! I'll be back in charge of plenty when I get home, but now, I'm not. I've also had plenty of work come my way, so I'm definitely not bored.

Left on the to-do list for this trip are: helping mom after her surgery, taking as many sunset walks as possible, doing some serious star-gazing, and trying more astrophotography (Tucson is the home of the dark sky movement--more on that in another post).  I also want to try a hike in the Sabino Canyon called the Seven Falls Trail. I hope to meet my new granddarling up in Utah, but that will depend on several variables, so it's not nailed down yet. I haven't even written about her because I haven't met her yet, and it's driving me a little crazy, but I'll cope.  She was born a couple of weeks ago and she is doing well and so is her family, which is the most important thing.

And so it goes, my sabbatical. I like calling it that. I hope it means I'll be in good form when I do get home, ready for the next things there. Ready to put on the right goggles for the job and focus in on the good things.  My dream is to become a more responsive person and less reactive, but to do that, one has to work hard to create margin in one's life. This time feels like that: a little blank space on the edges.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you bring words to life....or put life into words: goggles, sabbaticals, margins--your mind and heart are SO beautiful, so thank you for sharing and prayers to your Mom--ahh mortality!!


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