Friday, August 21, 2015

Inch Seventy-Seven: Small Wonders

This is what I call a Maine morning: chill and dewy in the early hours, warming with a bright but not overbearing sun now that it is almost midday. I went for a walk with my friend Patricia earlier this morning and the long-sleeved jersey I wore was not a bit too warm. While I type, the last two loaves of zucchini bread for the season are in the oven and the towels are in the wash. The zucchini bread will come out probably about the time I finish hanging the towels on the clothesline to dry.

This has been a most unusual summer for central Ohio. It has been cooler than usual. We have not turned on the air conditioning one time, and there has been only one or two days when it even crossed my mind that air conditioning might be nice. There have been days when I have left for work wearing a sweater; there have been evenings when I have curled up to read with a throw over me for the warmth.

In short, just about perfect.

This has been a week of change for me and Warren here. I have started what I consider "traditional" chemotherapy this week. The drug I take is administered intravenously two consecutive days, three consecutive weeks, wait a week, then repeat. Myeloma chemotherapy is in a niche all its own in the chemotherapy world; no hair loss, typically no intense nausea, and time-consuming not because the drug takes so long (it takes about ten minutes for the infusion) but because my veins must be flushed slowly with saline for an hour prior and flushed more quickly for 30 minutes afterwards.

This week was a good introduction to how blown apart my schedule (and Warren's by proximity) will be for the indefinite future. Add that my arms are bruised and I am tired. There were two nights of lost sleep thanks to a low dose of Decadron through the IV and the nausea has hung off on the far horizon since Tuesday, enough to remind me it is here.

In short, I am resigned.

So small wonder I am taking such pleasure in this spectacular day, the smell of cinnamon and cloves rising from the kitchen to my upstairs study, the anticipation of taking down the sun-bleached towels later today. Small wonder that I laughed at Warren's playacting this morning before he drove to work, chatted with a dear friend in the old neighborhood when I walked over to meet Patricia, hugged Patricia hard when we parted ways after our walk. Small wonder that as we walked this morning, heading around the familiar park loop, I often turned my eyes to the sky, drenching my soul in the burning blue. Small wonder that I am holding the moments of this day close to my heart: the finches in the coneflowers, the bees hovering in the blanket flowers, the soft sweetness of the homegrown cantaloupe that my dad dropped off off last night. It is these small wonders that will carry me through the new sector of Cancerland I find myself wandering in right now. It is these small wonders that will rally me when my spirits flag in the days to come.

It is these small wonders that make up this moment.


Laurie said...

The smell of zucchini bread baking, and laundry fresh off the line are life's pleasures, for sure. The birds, and dear friends too. Wishing you courage, hope and strength on this journey.

see you there! said...

So beautifully written. You've inspired me to try to clear the clutter from my mind as I take my walk - inspired me to look around and be really and truly grateful. Thank you for your honest sharing.