Our weekend was busy, good and productive all at once, and by the end, I felt a sense of proud accomplishment. I couldn’t carry or lift the heavier items like I used to, but I still pitched in where I could. All day Sunday, Andy and I transferred kitchen cabinets, closet organizing systems and granite countertops from our storage locker to the large shed in Debbie’s backyard. The work was constant, both of us Tetriscizing in the space we had, packing, lifting, hauling, driving, unloading and repeating. I relished the 10 minute drive between locations and we took a nice lunch break in the truck.
None of this would have been possible without the help of family & good friends. Debbie, Bill and the girls were wonderful, so too was Stirling, who was instrumental in lifting with Andy, the heaviest piece of granite I have ever seen. And then doing it again at Debbie’s. There’s a feeling of awe in watching very strong people work and move – and that’s just not where I’m at for now. At one point, Debbie had mentioned something about taking it easy and I replied, “you’re mothering me!”
“Well, I am a mother,” she said, grinning.
But she was right – this is newer to me, this much activity and lifting and carrying, since my transplant. And I appreciate my friends looking out for me, giving me gentile reminders – because sometimes I just forget. And gosh darn it, I’m stubborn, too. I’m not always used to taking lighter loads and not doing the heavier lifting – so this is something that I’m re-learning as well.
Deep down, a big fear of mine is to be a burden for my loved ones. I think that many who struggle with illness can relate. Rationally, in my mind, I understand that this is not true. But in my heart, that soft, beautifully squishy and vulnerable part of me – that’s a tougher concept to innately feel and believe….that I am not a burden. I guess this is where I pull on my DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) skills and for good measure, toss on a little Radical Fucking Acceptance as well – I can’t change the fact I was born with GATA2 or just had a Stem Cell Transplant, but I can meet myself where I’m at while doing little things every day to get stronger. I can have compassion for myself, too.
Saturday was very low key: I wrote, read, went for a hike and joined Andy, along with neighbors Karen and Breege for a lovely evening. Karen is moving, in order to be closer to family and while we are all happy for her, we are all going to miss our neighbor and friend.
Physically I’m feeling OK – tired today (Monday) as I chronicle my recap, but after Sunday’s moving-of-stuff, that’s probably pretty normal. My face is a bit more sensitive from yesterday’s sun, but overall, my skin is doing OK. My nose and lips are still dry, and my eyes too, but I also wore my contact lenses for a large chunk of time, so that’s to be expected. My hair continues to grow in, sprouting a bit more each day – which is very exciting! Last night, I got it wet and flattened it to my forehead and excitedly told Andy, look! It was hideous, but funny and another milestone of my hair growing out – so we laughed.
I’m also considering using an electric shaver for random patches of hair on my legs…but I’m still not there yet. I continue to drink drink drink more water than I want, and while my feet are no longer “little boats”, I’m still retaining fluids. My GI system continues to feel a bit off, meaning sometimes I’ll have a gurgly tummy and looser stools and other times – I feel slightly constipated. It is weird, yes, but then again – this is just my body post-Stem Cell Transplant. I’ll have to chuck it up to that, I suppose.
Tonight Andy has pool league, and I’m planning on a walk around Fletcher Park when the sun is lower and there are fewer people, perhaps after dinner. And only if I feel like it, of course. Otherwise, that’s all I’ve got! Three cheers for a great week!
Again – a very special thanks to Debbie, Bill, Zoey, Kayla and Stirling. It takes a village, and I am grateful to all of you for your support & love! And of course, to Andy!