The ebb and flow of this treatment and recovery never continues to conjure up surprises.
I spent last week on my own, with Gay down in Chilliwack at a training course. The first couple of days (and nights) were terrible. This was the first time since this entire ordeal began that I have been without Gay by my side. Sure, it's easy for for many of us to portray that "tough guy" persona...there's only a million of these clowns in the Okanagan Valley...but I gotta tell ya, I felt like a kid that got separated from his mom at the shopping mall.
But, I've spoken about Guardian Angels in the past, and a few folks stepped up.
Ross and Alanna Marrington are good friends on the Kelowna side. I spent Tuesday evening over there watching the Big Break, as Ross had a particular interest in the young Canadian kid (James Lepp) playing in the finale. It was good fun, a good diversion for me, rather than sulking on my own at home.
I grabbed and snack before heading over there, a huge sloppy cinnamon bun in Orchard Park Mall. I jumped in the truck and sat there eating, with my four bottles of water of course, and surprisingly I could taste the damn thing! As I drove away to see Ross and Alanna, I was almost in tears. I had a cookie at their place, and I could taste it, too! Then, just to convince myself even further, I stopped at McDonald's on the way home and grabbed a filet-o-fish. I could taste it, too!
I haven't really tasted anything since about the beginning of October. As I've said to a number of people, it's a bizarre feeling to be chewing food without taste. The doctors suggested six to 12 weeks post treatment before I could expect any return of taste-bud function. And here I am in week five with some success. What a blessing!
I didn't share this with anyone, as I wanted to wait for Gay to be the first one to hear about it. She's been dealing with my plight for weeks, so I know it was a big deal to her when I broke the news on Friday night.
Now, this isn't intense, eye-popping taste, the kind of thing that would knock your socks off if you put something really flavourful into your mouth, but it's definitely all about the food tasting exactly what I expect it to taste like. Seems like a small thing to talk about, but to me, it's a pretty big deal.
On the other side of the coin here, I went hard for a couple of days shoveling snow. The heavy wet stuff was really too big a challenge for me, but as a prairie boy at heart, my mind commanded me to get the job done. Ummm...kind of a mistake methinks, as I have spent the remainder of the week experiencing significant pain in my hands and arms.
The reality is that I sat on my ass during treatment, due in part to a complete lack of energy and the health care world's insistence that I "get plenty of rest". I suppose it stands to reason that my muscles need a gradual return to form. but of course, my inner-idiot wants no part of this process. So I made the error of jumping in with both feet. I am certainly paying the price now.
But, all things considered, I'm doing pretty damn well considering where my head space and body were at about a month ago. There are plenty of things for me to be thankful for, so I will gladly accept the challenges associated with the "good and the bad".
The 2013 edition will certainly be one Christmas holiday we will enjoy!!
Thanks so much to everyone for their support. Merry Christmas everyone!
(And by the way, for anyone offended by my greeting "Merry Christmas", get over yourselves and get with the program here. It's "CHRISTMAS" time!! HO, HO, HO!)