Friday, March 11, 2011

Unanswered Voicemail, Email, and Snailmail

It seems like a million years ago, Debbie convinced me to start this blog as a way to keep everyone updated and possibly as an easy way to coordinate help from my friends, in situations where help was needed.  (Stay tuned for a plea for help at the end of this posting.)

I totally rely on this blog now.  It is such a relief to NOT have to keep repeating the same update over and over.  It is awesome when pals from work welcome me back to the office warmly and yet do not try to hug me because they know exactly where I have been and what I have been doing.

The blog also makes it so that my every interaction with every person is not an Official Breaking News Karen Health Update. (I know I can't go back on cancer vacation for awhile, but it is nice to not have to talk about it all the time.)

You cannot know how much I appreciate your voicemail, email, blog comments, and greeting cards.  The kitchen table has a little forrest of cards, standing guard over us during meals, and offering cheery little messages of hope and support.  (My old vanpool especially sends the best cards!)  Every time someone reaches out to me, my initial reaction is surprise, and then I feel honored and cared for and more determined that ever to keep fighting and win the battle.

I admit that I am not good about returning calls or answering email, especially when the calls come in during or just after chemo.  That is my most difficult time.  During that time, I appreciate when people reach out to me, but I almost always also immediately forget the contact. That's the  Zophran effect. That anti-nausea drug puts me to sleep and really messes with my memory.  If I am going to be semi-alert for only 90 minutes at a time, then, realistically, returning calls is way down on my list of priorities.

(I get Zophran every day while I am in the hospital. If you visit me, and ask me later about your visit, you might be surprised at how little I remember, even though I seemed completely fine and lucid during your visit.)

So if I have ignored your voicemail, email, comment, or card, then I apologize because it is absolutely true that I have been rude to you.  But I just cannot do the right thing right now.  I cannot take care of you right now.  It's too much work to take care of myself right now.  So I expect to continue being rude in this manner until chemo is over in June.  Please hang in there with me.

Plea for Help

Who can visit me on Friday March 25 at Duke?  If you can come visit, please let me know.  (Cindy and Jeff, this does not mean that you should get airline reservations!) 

For this next dose, Lou will not be staying at Duke the entire time with me. I just do not need him there babysitting me, when he could be working and taking Samantha for walks...

So I am going to be on my own from Thursday night to like Saturday lunch.  If possible, I want to fill that time with a couple of visitors.  So far, in that time frame, I have felt PERFECTLY FINE except for being tied to an IV pole.  I should be good company.  Even if I do not remember much of it later.


Anonymous said...

You can sign me up for visitation. That is Ts & Ps.
Love ya

Doane said...

Don.t know what happed to my previous message. But, sign me up for whatever slot you need - that is my slow time of the month.
Keeping you both in my Ts & Ps

Anonymous said...

I would love to spend time with you at Duke BUT, as you know, I babysit Fischer so, for now, I can only be with you in spirit but I'll be thinking of you.


anya said...

Karen--I would love to come and visit you...part of the day, the whole day...anything you need. Count me in. Anya

Anonymous said...

I will be there in spirit my friend. Week full of prayers. Kathy V is getting a biopsy on Tues. and Carole W is having some sort of procedure the same day. Lots of prayers and healing thoughts going out from my end to three wonderful women.
Love you,
Kathy from Kent