I’ve been impressed with myself. With my abilities. In particular my ability to sit around and do almost nothing at all. I didn’t think I had it in me, really. I have always been busy, very busy. The Protestant Work Ethic has featured prominently as part of my adult personality. (Mind you, my 16 year old self was blissfully free of that.) But I have spent vast swaths of time these last few days sitting in one of those standard issue Ikea chairs with a bent wood frame that runs along the floor, curves up for legs, then bends horizontally again for arms, and finally arcs upward for the back. It reclines back a bit and has a matching foot stool. Due to the curvature it even rocks gently. I have a premium model with leather cushions that I bought from a neighbor when she was moving. I sit in front of a big patio window that magnifies the sunshine and…well…just relax. I tell myself, not falsely I think, that this is what recovery looks like. Sometimes I read or listen to music, but sometimes not. When not, I’m known to drift in and out of a gentle sleep. Spending so much time doing next to nothng isn’t activity (if you can call it that) that I thought I would ever enjoy, at least not for another 30 years. I certainly hope that it’s not corrupting.
The Dog and I also take walks in the woods. Sometimes BF and (rarely) MF come along. My only risk of excessive ambition these days is when taking these walks. There is an old Jewish cemetery about 5 km through the woods from our place. They stopped interning the bodies of the departed there at the end of the nineteenth century. Being a couple hundred years old or more, it feels ancient to an American. It lies at the edge of the woods in fields of fruit trees. I sometimes walk there and add stone of remembrance to a collection on the rough hewn stone pillars of the gate. We have had steady succession of glorious early spring days, which have encouraged me to walk. The Dog and I set out for the graveyard on Saturday. He enjoys it because leash laws don’t apply to the last stretch and to the area outside the cemetery. Our walk there was delightful. But on the way back I began to feel the exhaustion, my pace slowed considerably, and I looked for benches to rest on. I wondered if I were going to have to send him home like Lassie with a message that I needed rescue. In time we did make it home, and I was chastened to think of every walk in terms of the round trip involved.
My appetite still suffers a bit and I am distressed that the food that I love does not taste as it should. I suppose lots of taste buds were the collateral damage of the chemotherapy. My eyelashes were as well. My eyes lids itch and the corner of my eyes burn. I have my first post-release follow up doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and I am hoping that my doc can provide me with some kind of relief.