These are tough times for me.
I was full of optimism with the move to 67 hectares (almost 200 acres) of bushland in the Hunter Valley in July 2008. The right to the 'good life' had been earned. Or so I thought.
Retirement is what dreams are made of. At last! The opportunity to have a vegie patch and do some of that travelling that had always been just out of reach. Why was it that my health began spiralling downward at that time?
It took 12 months of incredible pain, and many hard earned dollars, to determine the recurrence of the breast cancer in the brachial plexus. The only treatment offered was a 'super size' dose of radiation that left me feeling downright fatigued and yet, optimistic that I would have years to undertake the many tasks that had been put on hold following the death of my beloved Jeremy Jon just days after his 24th birthday in November 2006.
What happened? Why did the cancer eat into the nerves and muscles effecting the use of my dominant right arm/hand? For reasons that I do not fully understand, driving became more of a challenge. Quite possibly, it was the fatigue that plagued me, leaving me just too tired to keep my eyes open. I became less self reliant and more dependent on Haydn to act as my driver and my carer.
My hair had always been my crowning glory. I could go to the store in my house clothes, providing my hair was freshly shampooed and dried. I was secure in the knowledge that people had, for years, commented on my handwriting. The joy of sending greeting cards fast disappeared as I struggled to learn to write with my left hand. Not only had I lost the ability to take care of myself I felt like I was losing HOPE. No longer able to touch type, the frustration of becoming a one finger typist annoyed me. Yes! There is voice activated technology and I may well end up becoming more familiar with it, but for now my motivation is simply not there.
Life can be very cruel! I feel sure many of you will testify to that.
The countryside, once a thing of beauty, now has me feeling trapped. I seem to have lost my confidence in so many areas of my life. Unable to prepare a meal, I rely on Haydn to do the food preparation. I then have to bite my tongue when he shows little respect for my request to, PLEASE..chop the vegetables the same size allowing them to cook evenly. Thankfully, my obsessive compulsive disorder is not fully blown. I have not driven for months. Indeed, my days of complete independence may well be a thing of the past.
I sit here wondering just how I am going to get used to the life of isolation at the farm. If indeed, I have to.
My days consist of medications, indeavouring to keep the pain under control. Meditation, in an effort to empty my mind of the useless, damaging chatter. Exercise, to enable me to retain some use of this somewhat useless arm, thus preventing a frozen shoulder. The extraordinary Palliative Care team always a phone call away.
On my 'better' days, I realise that I still have a story to tell; history and information about myself. All the things that my children, and grandchildren, will one day look back on. An opportunity for them to get a sense of the 'real' me.
What do I want for them to see? Definitely not a wimp. Rather, someone with incredible strength and courage. Someone that did no give up just because the going got too tough. Someone that found the strength to dig deep and to use all that friends and acquaintances bring to the table. This is the time to make the most of all the cyber world offers. When I am unable to get to friends, then I will feel secure in the knowledge that they will come to my desktop.
How could I not smile knowing that I am in the PERFECT place....
Saturday, May 22, 2010
These are tough times for me.