Things are looking up as I begin to find myself again. The residual effects of the marathon chemo treatment from nearly two weeks ago are finally fading. I'm pretty sure they're getting worse, though, since it has taken longer to get to this point. This past week's "easy" chemo (gemcitabine only) made me sick, which it hasn't really done yet. Not sure what the difference was, other than I've become more of a wimp than I used to be. (One side effect of chemo: markedly increased wimpiness)
So I am catching up on all those things I've neglected...fun things like laundry, scrubbing tubs, dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and clutter control, not to mention cooking, shopping (grocery - not the fun kind), visiting my dad and taking more substantial walks with Cleo. She appreciates that, and so do I.
Walking is one of those things I have tried to keep consistent, even when I am at my wimpiest. I feel like it is one of the best things I can do to help eliminate these chemicals from my body. No matter how horrible I feel when I first begin a walk, I always feel so much better upon my return, both mentally and physically. David has been good to encourage me, or at least accompany me when I am at my weakest. He goes along to make sure I don't collapse...kinda like walking with a 90 year old woman.
For some reason my preferred walking time seems to be around 9:00 in the evening. I have discovered the fun of walking in the dark. It seems to be the perfect time to, almost literally, air out my head. The darkness and cold do wonders for a brain and body recovering from chemical poisoning.
Plus, and best of all, it's the perfect opportunity to talk (out loud) with God. With His stars and moon shining above and darkness covering my route, I can chat, praise, gripe, exalt, and even plead and beg without looking like I've totally lost my mind. I get some excellent devotional time in when it's cold and dark.
Cleo is the perfect partner for these outings. She has no problem with me chatting up God and never says a word about it. For years she has been my canine accountability partner, always encouraging me to get out and walk, and making me feel guilty if I didn't.
Now, even on my cruddiest days, she has proven to be excellent at following me around the house each evening and pleading for a walk (she knows how to give me "the look"). I cannot resist her; she seems to know what I need more than yours truly (although, I'll not kid myself - I do realize she does not do this for me).
She's a great dog to walk...very low maintenance. Requiring no leash, she follows my verbal commands well enough to make Cesar Millan proud. She's a Border Collie - that's what they do. She typically has a grand old time investigating the smells along the way. (The night before trash day is her favorite time. Apparently our neighborhood has some very fragrant recycling.)
So if you live in my neighborhood and have noticed a late night wanderer bundled in a big white parka, accompanied by a large black and white dog, do not be alarmed. It's just me, doing what I can to keep from falling completely apart. And if things are falling apart for you, or you've just had one of those days, I highly recommend it...physical and mental therapy at an unbeatable price. Get out that door and walk; I promise you'll feel better.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.