From August 19, 2019
Hi Friends --
A few of you have sent lovely notes saying you've appreciated my posts here, but what you'd really like to know is how Foxy chemo is going.
So this post is for you.
Here's how it works. Every other Wednesday I pop over to my local medical clinic where I get a three hour infusion of starter chemo called oxaliplatin, which from what I understand is the real kicker in this whole project. Then they switch me over to Foxy, and I head home for 48 hours to be still and let Foxy's fighter jets do their good work. It's not painful or too horrible, but I'm tethered to a little pack (for my most devoted readers you'll be happy to know my pack/purse has been upgraded, but that's a story for another day).
Anyhow, during my 48 hours I slowly drift into slow motion. Very little energy. Time slows down. I'm usually lucky to have a Foxy friend on the couch with me, where stories can take a good long time to be told. My most patient friends permit me to repeat myself as I begin a story I likely told them just a few hours earlier. Cake baking shows usually make an appearance. Books are close. Podcasts and music often even closer. Napping is always nearby, and I like to think in my most foxy moments I'm a peaceful sleeping beauty getting well.
Then on Friday morning I go back to my clinic and then unhook me (less than five minutes) and I settle in for recovery. The big fireworks usually begin Friday night, and right now it's all about my hands and feet. The neuropathy is far worse now than in the earlier rounds -- essentially it's a combination of slight burning and sharp tingling in my fingers and toes. So the trick is to quite literally put your feet up, and don't hold anything. I'm beginning to get better at this, and to more gracefully receive others being my hands and feet for short spells.
By Saturday afternoon the fireworks begin to subside and life starts to return to normal(ish).
Depending on my mood, the Foxy cycles are either an annoying hassle, a crushing heartbreak, or a bit of a fascinating miracle of science. My mood constantly pivots from one mindset to the next.
A friend of mine this week told me about a Japanese word called "amae," and apparently it rhymes with my name. There's no equivalent English translation, but it roughly means "the feeling of pleasurable dependence on others." I think the Japanese use this word best to describe their kiddos, but I think there's something deeper at work with this word. It's tapping into a place where you can find joy in others walking alongside your path, offering timely care, and receiving it with your head held high, and with sweet gratitude.
That's my place with Foxy. It's a good and true place. And one I hope to provide others, when I get the chance to be someone else's hands and feet someday.
For now, may we all experience a bit of amae today, and for many days to come.