Thursday, January 11, 2007

One Track Mind

Look! A successful gem picture! I've had this project kicking around for quite a while for someone, but first I didn't have the right lens, then I got distracted from the project by life. No excuse. Anyway, this is the first one that I'm happy with....

My mom is still doing well. It realy is amazing what chemo can to do somebody. My mom was a super healthy lady before this. Was? Is? Anyway, that chemo just pooped her out. When before she was walking the dog for 2 miles in the morning, then hitting the gym in the afternoon, now the goal is a neighborhood block.

Through this whole thing I have been amazed by the generosity of others. The church I grew up in adopted my mom and sent a new, interesting person to chat with her almost daily. My girlfriend africankelli made all kinds of food for my dad because she knew he was running back and forth to the hospital all day trying to make my mom more comfortable. My girlfriend KC and her sweet mother put together a care package for my dad as well. And the people at my mom's work really took care of her. They sent her cards, and posters, and even a DVD of them singing Christmas songs for her. And that all isn't even taking into account the countless number of people who left gifts on my parents' doorstep without including a card. Now that my mom is out of the hospital, the thoughtfullness continues. Because she knows how much it would mean to my mom, one of her friends has been taking Shadow, their black lab, for walks every day. And my mom's best friend Carol took a hard thing (buying and styling a wig) and turned it into a girls' day out with lunch and a trip to a salon.

This whole thing really has changed me. I wonder if I'm the kind of person who would go out of their way to do something nice like that when hard times hit for a friend. I sure hope so. I think after all this, there's no way I couldn't be that kind of person. I hope.

I've also spent a lot of time thinking about what its like to have my parents get older. This was definitely a shock into reality for me. My parents both look so young for their ages, and they love to travel. My dad has always had physical problems (exhibit: 3 total knees left, 1 total knee right, elbow, total shoulder, collapsed disc in his neck... shall I continue?). But even through all this physical problems he's shown an amazing resiliency. He's a survivor. And my mom? The picture of health.
I know that Leukemia can happen to anyone of any age, but I always sort of thought of my mom as one who's visited the Fountain of Youth. She makes it her life's purpose to eat healthy and live healthy. She's got a job she loves with people she loves. She's active and loves to travel. It just was a shock.

I swear I'm not being a downer, but I've been forced to realize the reality of life. You know? Life is short.

How do I get past this semi-depressing stuff? Have I mentioned my stellar gem photos I took? And how much I really suck at Photoshop?

Plans for this weekend: crockpot turkey breast tomorrow night (yeah, yeah, no one said Ryan and I were exciting), Saturday take down parents' Christmas decorations and make wassail for my mommy (who was in ICU when she should have been sipping wassail by a Christmas tree with a tummy full of lasagna), then Sunday we've got Ryan's fire department picnic. Its at the Phoenix Zoo, so that should be fun.

What's everyone else up to this weekend?


Anonymous netchick said...

I'm going away for a much needed quick weekend to Victoria with friends.

I hear you... Going through my Dad's chemo (which won't cure him, unfortunately, only slow down the tumors' growth) was really hard to see, and certainly made me realize that this life I have is worth living every moment of every day.

Previous to my Dad being diagnosed, he seemed invincible and certainly never looked close to his age. Now, he's 64, and moves like he's 20 years older than that. It's a true lesson in life.

Here's hoping you have an awesome weekend, Amanda!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom just started chemo again last week as a follow to her surgery in November. I'll keep your mom in my thoughts and prayers.

As a side note, constipation is a side effect of chemo. The husband of a friend of mine who went through this in 2004 found a recipe for tea that she said worked quite well to counteract that.

Here it is in case you want it.

Kyle's Poo Tea:
1 to 2 bag(s) of Senna Tea (available at most health food store)
2 "family size" bags of decafe Lousianne Ice Tea
3/8 cup sugar
1) Brew 2 quarts of ice tea using a Ice Tea Pot.
2) Add sugar, stir, fill pitcher up to "ice" line with water (we don't use ice like you are supposed to).

I drink the full 2 quarts a day when I am at home. I prefer to drink the watered down version over the course of a day. You can also brew a cup of the Senna tea (I recommend honey) and drink it straight. This works. This works very well. This works in about 4 to 6 hours. In a way that I don't really like. Go with the mixed ice tea version :)

5:06 PM  
Anonymous KC said...

No, not a downer it really is something weird to go through....realizing that your parents are getting older. I went through it all when my dad has his accident.

2:51 PM  

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    I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.

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