It’s looking more and more like fall here. The leaves are changing and falling, we’re getting the fall rains, and it is cool. Shorts season left a week or so ago, quickly replaced by “do I need my jacket” weather. And I’ve already had a couple fires to take the damp chill out of the house!

Dad’s visit

My Dad is part way into his week long drive back home to Ontario. We had a great visit! If you haven’t met my Dad, he’s a busy guy and can’t sit still. Give him a job or an adventure and he’s content. Ask him to sit and watch tv while you recover from chemo, well, he gets antsy.

So we gave him some work! First, he painted our kitchen and living room. Then, he helped Jeff tackle the leak through the bathroom fan. The fan is right over the toilet and when it pours rain, it pours on you while you pee (awkward!). Since it always rains when Dad is here, it is time to fix the problem! Plus the bathroom fan blew a bearing so it needed replacing.

They had it fixed in no time, both by replacing the fan, and by Jeff getting on the roof and resealing a roofing tin patch around the fan exhaust.

They also tackled Dad’s muffler pipe after it starting coming apart.

And they got a load of firewood and bucked it all up, split the larger ones with our new splitter, and got it stacked. The stacking is usually my job and it was kinda hard to just stand around (well sit around, I was pretty light in the head that day) and watch it happen without me.

We’ve got about 3 cords of wood stacked, but need another couple of loads before fall to feel comfortable. The spruce we get is standing dead wood (about 13 years), so it is plenty dry and can be cut this fall and burned this winter.

We made sure Dad was well fed, including his annual intake of Yukon Gold beer.

How I’m doing

The side effects from the first chemo treatment are mostly gone. My fingers and toes are still feeling a bit weird, but the pain is gone. I’m still light headed and weak at times, but I don’t know for sure if that is from the chemo, the expected crash of my white blood cell count, or even just still from the surgery recovery.

Hank sitting on my lap for some reason.

I’ve been craving my walking adventures, but scared to go walking in case I get too lightheaded out by myself. Even just yesterday I was shopping for a couple things at the grocery store (I drove there) and suddenly got light headed at the end of an aisle and thought “I’m going down” and then I yelled at myself inside my head, “deep breaths! You do NOT want to have to call Jeff to pick you up off the floor in the grocery store!” and I recovered.

But today I said “enough” and I walked from our house to the ball diamond south of town where Jeff was taking Hank for a dog exercise date. I even walked right along the bushes were bears have been seen lately. I seem to have cured my bearanoia? Anyway, I did okay. Light headed a bit. Basically I can’t be swinging my head and eyes around too much, just look ahead and walk. Hmm that sounds more like vertigo than lightheaded now that I think about it. Regardless, the walk really wasn’t that far. But I’m going to keep it up and keep walking daily now.

Hank and friend after wild running and chasing and wrestling in the out field.

I’ve hit the 9 week mark now since surgery so I can finally lift things (well the surgeon said 8-10 weeks, close enough). In the week or so my abdomen muscles seems to have recovered all at once, where I can finally use them to sit up and get up. I’ve starting doing house work again. I even cooked dinner yesterday for the first time in a long time!

Hair

As a side effect from chemo, my hair is expected to fall out in the next week. So far it seems limited to my pubic hair, which is falling out all over the place, OMG did I just blog that.

I feel a bit like the time right before the first chemo when I said I was feeling apprehensive. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back, in one way or another. I guess I just don’t want to look like a “cancer patient” when I’m happier living my life of denial about that. I also have lumps on my head (stupid genes – I think Mom’s whole family has them), and some red moles, and good god it isn’t going to be pretty.

I also hate loose hairs. Once I get about 5 on my shirt or in between my fingers, I feel like I’ll jump the gun and shave it off. The last thing I want to do is vacuum my bed sheets or pillow due to my shedding.

Oh well, it’s a necessary step to making sure this cancer doesn’t come back, so let’s do this.

What on earth do I do all day?

Beats me, but the days keep coming and going.

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Breakfast date?

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I’m going into the third week of this first chemo round, and I’m starting to feel close to normal. With surgery and the shitty month before surgery, and the rough days after chemo, this is the most human I’ve felt since April.

I feel like I can do more than just lay around watching TV now. Although I still watch a decent amount – especially Dr. Pol, and Little House on the Prairie. Also some Corner Gas and The Waltons. I’ve started cleaning my office, which had become a place to throw, stack, pile, and stash things over the summer. I watch some Netflix. While I wait for the next season of Shameless, I’ve been binge watching “Grace and Frankie“. It gets better and better with each episode. I think half of my enjoyment is looking at the beautiful decor in their houses. I’m oddly attracted to beautiful things lately. I feel like I want to surround myself, maybe even wrap myself, in pretty, colourful, beautiful things.

I colour sometimes, mixing pretty colour combinations and patterns, and I’ve even started Googling different hobby ideas. Trouble is, we don’t really have hobby stores here. I mean even if I wanted to get back into knitting, I’m not even sure I can buy a ball of yarn here. I have my new camera though, so I should just take it for a walk and pass some time before my fingers get too cold sensitive (expected chemo drug side effect) and before it gets too cold outside period. I’m trying to figure out if I’m going to have enough useful days between chemo treatments to go back to work. I’m finally feeling okay today (Tuesday) but fly back to Whitehorse on Monday already for appointments Tuesday and chemo on Wednesday. Also I need to do blood work tomorrow. So many appointments!

Thank-you’s

To everyone has sent a card, parcel, or note to me, thank you so much!! ❤️ Thanks to the amazing culture at my workplace, I’ve received mail from people I haven’t even had the pleasure to meet yet. It is humbling, and touching, and amazing, and is most certainly making me a more generous person as I plan to pay all this love and kindness forward.

 

 

 

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

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