Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Many of us carry duct tape. That isn't so surprising. I buy it in the little flat rolls so that I can conveniently drop it in my pocketbook. I never go on a trip without it.
Bungie cords - okay I got some flack on that one the last time I went to China. But in Tokoyo someone threw my new rolling suitcase off the airplane and onto the tarmac. The result was that the new suitcase now had no pull-up handle and the entire wheel assembly was broken rendering it useless. Ah - the joy of bungie cords. I took out a couple of them and strapped said suitcase to my larger roller affectionately nicknamed Bertha. We lost less than 5 minutes doing this. Nobody was laughing now.
It was on this trip to China that we adopted Lulea. Three years later, her speech issues although vastly improved, still linger. Sometimes she says things that you really have to listen hard, digest and try to translate. She came in the den shortly after Christmas and said, "Mama, I like your monkey bars." Well, that's what it sounded like anyway. I frowned, had her repeat what she said and then sat and tried to digest what in the world she had been trying to tell me. She became a bit insistant at that point. Both her frustration and mine was mounting. Finally she motioned to me and said "I show uo." The minute she headed to the bathroom it hit me and the mystery was solved. I had been the recipiant of grab bars for the bathroom, which I really appreciated. To Lulea they were monkey bars. How funny her perspective!
Being prepared for the future is a favorite topic of mine. Type A to the core, I carry duct tape and bungie cords. Sometimes though the future brings with it, an altogether different set of circumstances than what we felt such a great need to be prepared. As expected, my monkey bars have been a life saver - till this weekend. Over the weekend, three days to be exact, I a significant amount of function. My left side decided to go on strike. Then my hearing began to diminish. Finally, the strength in my both legs vanished along with decreased strength and function of my arms and hands along with a fair maount of tremoring. Oh yes, and then there's the approximately 20 pounds that suddenly appeared over the course of the last week.
At my oncology appointment this morning, my blood work was again just fine. That was very welcome news. Because of the extent of my downward spiral in such a short time there was quite a bit of consternation that perhaps the tumor in my brain was growing out of control. The verdict however went in another direction which was bit unexpected though welcome. This is all evidently a fairly impressive effect of a high dose of steriods.
One look at me and my oncologist went into high gear and arranged for new radiation treatments to begin Tuesday. She isn't the type to throw her weight around unnecesarily so when she says jump - people do. Once the radiation has begun, they can begin weaning me off of the steroids - thank goodness. Driving is out of the quesition - my legs don't work well enough for it to be safe. In fact, both my onc and a PA in another office insisted that I go buy a quad cane. That is not exactly something I would have forseen just a week ago. But for once I decided to be sensible and listen to my doctor when she pointed out that if I fell and broke a hip or a femor they would have to suspend all treatment until I was healed. So I got the cane. It's a metallic purple and blue - A throwback to my younger years, I call it my British Racing cane.
As a result of all of this functional loss so suddenly, I had the most humbling experience of my life and it is not without some trepidation that I tell this. I have lost so much strength that I was unable to stand up in the bathroom and had to drop to my knees and crawl out. My husband calmly though took charge. He had to have me reach around his neck and hold on so that he could lift me back to my feet. I didn't want to do this - I wanted to figure out a way to do it myself. I cried in pure frustration and humiliation. But he calmly assured me that he could lift me and all I had to do was to reach out, put my arms around his neck - and trust that he really could get me up. And this wonderful caring dedicated man to whom I have the honor of being married did exactly that. I tried to thank him, but that wasn't what he wanted. He simply wanted me to trust him to help me. All of my preperations were for naut. My duct tape, my bungie cords, not even my monkey bars were of any use without trusting another to help me.
Suddenly I realized, Lord Jesus that's what you do for us. Everytime we stumble and fall if only we put out our arms out to you, you take them. You then pick us up to our feet and set us on our way once more. You sacrificed your life to ours - to saving us from our selves and our stubborn insistence on doing it our own way. All we have to do is reach out our arms and trust that you really will pick us up once more. We don't need duct tape and bungie cords - we need you.
Posted by Cindy at 3:27 PM