Friday, June 18, 2010

Alligator Dreams first, then Breast Cancer Bounty

First of all....why alligator dreams? Most of the time, I do not think about the fact that I have cancer, something deadly, insidious, and dreadful. But, occasionally, I do slap the side of my head and think, "whoa, this is not good." Early this week I had one of those moments, and I went to bed thinking about it. Luckily, I decided to move out of our tall four poster bed, because Gordon was snoring, and move down the hall to Gord's room where I could read a bit and not disturb the sleeping bear. I had no trouble falling asleep, but during the night I had a dream about being between a rock wall and a river full of alligators. One of the alligators, mouth wide open, lunged at me. In my dream mind I imagined that I could fling myself up on the rock wall, and I did fling myself...out of bed and slap into the dresser. I tried to stand, but lost my balance and fell against the bedside table, hitting my nose and making a nice gash. At least the alligator did not get me. I do not need a dream analyst to figure out what was going on here. I know that there will be other occasions during this experience that will fall into the catagory of "alligator dreams," but I hope they will be limited in number.

Now, what about Breast Cancer Bounty? This experience of bounty is something I have heard about from other cancer patients. There are kind people everywhere, and they seem to come out of the woodwork when they see a bald head, a baseball cap, a flat chest, a scar. I have been told to appreciate all the people who come my way, and there have been many already. Going to chemo treatment turns out to be a pleasure. How bad is this: three hours in a reclining chair, a warmed blanket, snacks brought to chairside upon request, books to read, crossword puzzles to solve, and no telephone calls? My idea of heaven.

Also, under the heading of bounty, is the amount of time I have spent thinking instead of just spinning from one place to another at a frantic pace. One of the things I have pondered is why I feel so good in all this, and I have decided that I have my parents to thank. My parents approached things in diametrically opposed manners. My father was easy to please, relaxed. He had serious illnesses throughout most of his life, beginning with cancer in his late 30's and heart disease from his early 40's until his death at 80. Throughout all of this, he seemed to just relax into the experience, trust his doctors, not ask a lot of questions. He was an easy patient, and I think the nurses always loved him. My mother, on the other hand, hardly experienced a sick day in her life, until she died at age 94, except for catching mumps (on one side only) from me sometime in her 40's. However, she never went to the doctor that she didn't have a list of questions. Plus, she was always researching. She wanted to know everything. She was exceedingly curious, and this quality defined her. Once she jammed her arm through a window pane, severely cutting her wrist; and when the doctor wanted to put her to sleep to sew her up, she said "absolutely not...I want to watch." - Lucky for me, I seem to have inherited or learned a bit from both of my parents. I DO trust my doctors and I am trying to do what they say. On the other hand, I am curious about the procedures and drugs coming my way. I do not dread appointments; I enjoy them. Learning about alternative therapies has been a good diversion, which I hope will lead to a longer, healthier life after this chemo phase is over and done with. I was already interested in eating healthier. Now I am learning about how to keep cancer at bay by amending my diet, my exercise habits, and my stress level. There is much to learn, and I love a project. So, I guess that's why I feel so good.

1 comment:

  1. Perspective--silver lining--a thinking, caring person--and alligators to boot--Annie thru and thru.