Jan 14, 2019 Latest post:
Jan 27, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Gini is slowly recovering from surgery. She will begin chemo this coming Friday, 1/11 and will have treatment until the end of April. Gini can eat chocolate, drink coffee and wine! These would make great gifts.
Gini indeed will be starting Chemo on Friday and is scared to her very soul. Multiple horror stories of chemo experiences have come her way and she needs few reminders of what will soon become of her. Events of the past month have put us on the tilt-a whirl of life. Diagnosis, surgery, immediate retirement and starting chemo all in a month has rattled her to say the least. All and I mean all of her friends and family have been so very kind. She sighs in deep appreciation with each card, flower, meal and kind act afforded us by all of you. We feel as though we have been somewhat isolated and deny the face to face contact on which both of us have come to depend and that friendship brings. We both wish not to be not be misunderstood.
Gini has a open wound. Gini has near constant pain of varying degrees, anxiety as she determines next steps forward while balancing quality of life issues. She must deal with insurance, retirement, medications, a new body image that requires new clothes, a new diet, dressing changes, changes in hydration status and generally feeling like shit while juggling all of this and more. Just to add to the mix she is full all the time nauseated half the time and must eat constantly as she is loosing weight like a runway model. Additionally My Sweet Virginia prepares for her guests to be received with a smile and prolonged sitting on abdominal muscles that are incapable of such exertion. She will not be seen in her bath robe or without makeup and a smile. Why does Gini do this, because she loves all her friends, wants to see them and treat them as guests. All of this leads to a state of fatigue, increasing her calorie requirements and decreasing the calories available to heal her wound or to help with the fatigue. Cancer fatigue is the most common side effect of cancer and its treatment. It leaves her more susceptible to nutritional problems, trouble concentrating, a lack of interest in activities of diversion, insomnia, adds to emotional concerns such as depression fear and anxiety placing her more at risk of infection, dehydration and prone to un-Gini like behavior and mind set. All that being said friendships are the reason we thrive, smile and laugh, it is the reason we go through chemo. Friendships and hugs bolster our immune responses, decrease fatigue, increase sense of well being and appetite generally and make us better. The healing power of presence is phenomenal. So how do we balance things.
We are blessed by strong and generous friends and are unaccustomed to ask for things that would or could make our transition to and balancing our new normal a little easier.
1) If you call she will prepare for your visit and this adds an additional half an hour or more of prep time and fatigue and I will be forced to vacuum yet again . If you are in the hood give me a heads up and a quick call 608 960 5256. Like the airport kiss and fly zone, let's go for a 5 to 10 min visit no more or just a hug at the door then off you go. We are home almost all the time I will try to post appointments. I am not sure how this will go once chemo starts or how sick she will be on some days. Late mornings to mid afternoons are best for visits and I promise to be honest with you at the door.
2) She loves and who doesn't, friends sending videos of themselves toasting Gini, poetry written or spoken, cards, letters and flowers. Phone calls are still good as are texts and can be answered when time and energy permits.
3) Small meals or portions of your last delicious meal to share with us. Gini needs to eat all day and my repertoire of 30 dishes and desserts is in the repeat mode. These do not need to be large as small varied treats are best, no nuts please or fresh fruit and veggies ( a no-no for chemo patients).
4) Little Miss Meena does love her walks and you may get Gini to join you. Walking instructions (stopping at curbs, and artisan pooping ) will be given at door with leach.
5) We are a month behind in emails, bills, insurance forms and reading about the disease. We will at some point need some help catching up. Things like the dog walks, help with laundry, shopping and meals will be greatly appreciated but we still are trying to figure what it is we need. In the future I will try to be more organized about needs and where people can help but right now we can only focus on what is in front of us, getting Gini better. Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts