Home Again

I am home and adjusting to my new energy level and all of my restrictions.

When I got home Sunday evening I had to stop to rest halfway up the stairs both times I went up.

Monday I was feeling much more energetic, unpacking, reading my mail, opening mail order packages (I swear I’m going to stop shopping!) and dealing with some prescription and appointment issues (it’s always something!). Sarah came over in the morning and picked up my prescriptions for me. Of course the one that was most essential was not there, mephron. Mephron is the antibiotic I need to take to keep from getting pneumonia. It is by far the most disgusting medication I have ever taken. It looks like something they would have made for Nickelodeon, it is a neon yellow, thick oral suspension (why not a pill? why?!?!) that tastes like banana-flavored paint thinner.  This is not an exaggeration, that is EXACTLY what it tastes like. So in my “it takes a village fashion” after several phone calls (the pharmacy in Boston, the unit where I was inpatient, CVS locally, etc.) and several hours later my mom had to go out to a different pharmacy and bring me the mephron.

Later in the afternoon Sarah “walked” me. I am supposed to walk daily, but not alone. (I will go over all/most of the restrictions at a later date, I don’t have the energy for it yet. But suffice it to say that any of them taken alone don’t seem onerous, but once you start layering them – oy vey!) Yesterday we went to the beach in East Haven, very manageable. But I insisted on collecting shells. Squatting down, getting back up, over and over again. After a while I realized that I shouldn’t be doing that and stopped.

This brings us to this morning. I felt like I had been run over by a truck. I had to rest in between the tiny steps of whatever I was doing. My legs were sore. I was totally exhausted. Sarah came to take me to an appointment I had at Smilow for a blood draw and if needed, a transfusion of blood products (platelets or red blood cells).  I was sure I would need red blood cells.  Well, let’s say I was sure that I needed a transfusion, or I did too much on Monday or a combination of the two. So, I probably did too much – no transfusions needed – which is actually good news!

Sarah and I headed to Trumbull to pick up Minka and made a quick pit stop at my sister-in-law Lynn’s summer rental on the beach in Milford to drop off a plate that had been at my house.  Great to see her and a bonus as my mother-in-law Lillian and other sister-in-law Tobi stopped by too!

It is so good to have Minka home (of course there are more rules and restrictions connected with her). There is nothing like a sleepy dog as your partner in crime while you are supposed to be resting.

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I never thought I’d be writing a blog, and certainly not one that is all about me, and yet, here I am. For me life has always been interesting, not mundane, not always exciting per se, but hardly ever the norm. When I say “It’s always something…” I don’t hear it as my life is a mess, it;s always something. It’s more of life is challenging and evolving and messy and inspiring and wondrous, it’s always something. I grew up in suburbia, buy my grandfather was the head of the Communist Party in the U.S. I was raised keeping that a secret, so that was something. I am tall, always have been, really tall (6’1″), I was taller than every human being in my elementary school when I was in 6th grade, that is still something. My parents divorced in my teens. I got a full basketball scholarship to Duke University. I married my high school basketball coach, 18 years my senior. I raised a stepson. I had two amazing kids of my own. We had a multicultural household, secular christian (I guess that’s what I would call it, you know Santa and the Easter Bunny) and Judaism, I used to say if it was a holiday – we celebrated it! We were uber involved in our community, mostly through youth athletics, coaching, managing and spectating. Our kids grew up, I started a photography business on the side (I hope to share some photos here) and we planned to travel a bit together, went to Portugal for our 25th anniversary and then my husband was diagnosed with stage 4 prostate cancer, initially they gave him 5 years, but he only survived for a little over two. I was going to say lived, but really, it was more like surviving. That, indeed, was something. I became a widow at 49. It was the worst thing that ever happened to me. But, then it was something in another way. I relearned who I was. You don’t realize how much of you becomes a combination of you and another person in a relationship. And not in a bad way, it is essential, and you don’t lose yourself, you just evolve. And I found myself suddenly alone, and learning about myself and who I had become over the years, what was just me, and what was part of who we were together. Which in retrospect, was probably hardest on those around me who had gotten used to the old me, or never even knew the original me. A year later I found love again. Sold my home of 31 years and moved closer to work. I became more fit, ate more healthfully and was amazed that I could be happy, truly happy, in the wake, no not wake, but the shadow of such profound grief. And that is truly something, something amazing and unexpected. And then, through some routine blood work in April 2014, and a visit to a hematologist and bone marrow biopsy in May, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. And so, yes, for me right now it’s multiple myeloma, but that is not all, there are still highs and joys, and the mundane and the rest, but something like cancer does cast a pretty long shadow.

6 thoughts on “Home Again”

  1. So glad you are home Heather but don’t over do!! Soon you will be able to do everything again and even the things you don’t want to do. Peace, faith and love, Carol


  2. Hi Heather! Hope today is better. Glad to have found this blog….thank you for sharing with us. Please know we think of you so very often. Sending love and hugs!


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