Driving Home on Tim Hortons Coffee and Timbits

YESTERDAY I NEEDED A PLACE TO LAY MY HEAD and could not find one. I’d slept poorly the night before in the hotel and wondered how I would make it through the next day on no sleep. I eventually slept, but it could not have been more than 5 hours.

So yesterday, late morning, my eyelids were heavy. I could barely make out the words I jotted in my notepad. At some point, I stopped writing and sat in a stupor. Then I set the pen down, crossed my arms on the table and put my head down like a school child during rest time, but I couldn’t sustain the position.

I leaned back, slouching enough so my head touched the wall just below the wall hanging. I closed my eyes, but opened them again a few seconds later to see if my legs were blocking the passage to the bathroom. They were. I sat up straight to pull my legs in, then, head hitting the wall hanging, I slouched again. I alternated between straightening up and slouching several times, until at last I stood and looked out the window at the skyline.

The parking garage where the valet had taken our car sits a-block-and-a-half away. I was tempted to go walk every level, find the car, recline the seat and sleep, but I didn’t have the energy. And if I didn’t find the car, I’d have to walk all the way back.

The back of my hand had a black smudge from where I brushed it across my cheek. Mascara. Goodness gracious, I’m so tired, I’m crying. This is overtired.

The Coping with Cancer magazine in the waiting area and the booklet for caregivers in the brochure rack and the extensive list of articles and resources for caregivers on the Medical Center’s website all said the same thing, strongly. Caregivers: If you are tired, rest. Yes. I am loaded down with admonishments.

I don’t need the academic answer to tiredness.
I need the practical answer.
Where can I lay my head?

I have no idea how I drove the 4 hours home. Tim Horton’s coffee and Timbits.

Posted in cancer, clinical trial, rest, travel | 4 Comments

Clinical Trial Week #6 – Tough Decision: Dropping Another Day of ESL Class

I’M QUESTIONING the wisdom of having dropped another day of ESL class.

I dropped Mondays to be in Columbus, of course. But after the 3rd week, I dropped Tuesdays, too. I would go to class on Tuesdays and be fine, then come home and crash. I think my body was trying to tell me something. So I dropped Tuesdays, just until we are done with the weekly runs to Columbus.

It was a risky move. I’m down to one day a week now and I’m not sure I realized this before, but working with the refugees gave me three solid blocks of time a week when I was completely absorbed in a task serving others. No cracks left open for my own concerns to creep in. I’d struck a nice balance. (This isn’t about denial, just good management.)

Cutting class time to two days was okay.
Cutting it to one, I’m not so sure.
But it’s only until mid-July.

Meanwhile, we keep tweaking schedules and refining the packing of overnight bags. 

Posted in cancer, clinical trial, CLL, discernment, focus, refugees, rest, second-guessing, time management | Leave a comment

Clinical Trial Week #5 – World Keeps Spinning

Tiger lilies bloom. Isn’t it strange, how the world keeps on spinning, no matter what’s going on with us individually? 

A SECOND COUSIN has turned up! The results of DNA tests matched us up several years ago, but the connection was a mystery until last week. A strange and satisfying feeling has come over me. Maybe for having solved the mystery. Maybe for this new, interesting person and conversation. Or maybe because of a teeny, tiny note given to me by my mother in 1979 that turned out to be the magic key. I’m sure Ma had no idea the information on it was so important. How much I would love to be able to tell her about it now! I’ve moved 6 times since she gave it to me. It was stuck in with a stack of papers. It’s incredible that bit of paper was not lost, that it did not slide down between things and end up in a dustbin.

I WAS A GREETER at the 8:30 AM service yesterday and several people from my Sunday School class asked where I’ve been lately. They see Wally each week, but not me. I explained how I’ve been dropping the dog at the kennel so I can travel to Columbus. The kennel has just a one-hour slot for drop-offs and pick-ups on Sunday, 10-11, the same hour as Sunday School.  It’s a good class – lots of good discussion – and I’ve missed attending. But isn’t it nice to be missed and for people to inquire directly rather than worry they’ll somehow offend or overstep? Isn’t it nice to be cared about?

A DISTURBING NEIGHBORHOOD INCIDENT involving domestic violence puts a mother and child on the run, jumping fences, shouting for help on the sidewalk in front of our house on Saturday. We are not home. We are a few minutes’ away from arriving home after an early morning outing with the dog. But the Lord provides. A middle-aged woman stops to assist.

“What caught my eye,” she tells us later, “wasn’t the cry for help, but the sight of the child on the sidewalk wearing nothing but underpants.”

I smiled at a boy with glasses looking out from the backseat of her car.

“I suggested he wait in the car, seeing as he wasn’t wearing clothes,” she said.

The younger woman, presumably the boy’s mother, sat in the grass. Her ex-husband had been called to come get them. Apparently it was the young woman’s current boyfriend who stirred things up.

I offered water and invited everyone to sit on my screenporch. The barefoot and barely clad boy told Wally his feet hurt from running on the sidewalk. Wally gave him a pair of socks, plus a light green t-shirt that hung off his shoulders but was long enough to cover the underpants. About 10 minutes later, the ex-husband showed up and off they went.

I did and said what seemed right in the moment, but later replayed over and over in my mind the conversation on the screenporch, wondering what more I could’ve done. The answer, it hit me in church next morning, is “Nothing. It was enough. I was enough.” Maybe that last part is something I really needed to hear. The replaying stopped after that.

We are at the midpoint of our weekly visits to OSU/TheJames! I planned to read today. Instead I wrote this post, which probably should’ve been a “Snippets” post.  It’s enough.

The world keeps spinning.

Buckeye leaf on lamppost at Ohio State.

Posted in clinical trial, community, DNA, hospitality, neighbor | 1 Comment