“On and on the rain will fall, Like tears from a star ,like tears from a star, On and on the rain will say, How fragile we are how fragile we are…” Sting

When you are limited to only outdoor activities without a lot of people, you have to be creative of you want to go anywhere. Luckily we live in So Cal where the outdoors has much to offer. I am now on semi lockdown which is better than full lockdown. Friday was an awful day all around and a visit to the pulmonary doc who was almost 2 hours behind schedule is not such a fun Friday activity. After careful examination, he declared that even though I sounded better, I am not normal. I took that as a compliment, but he was actually referring to my lungs which still have fluid in them. My new symptom of exercise induced asthma is just one more side effect of pneumonia. Plus, the exercise I am now talking about is just plain old walking. Besides asking me a zillion questions (no wonder he is the busiest pulmonary doc in the OC), I realized again that I blocked out how bad I really was just a short time ago. Yes, I can now breathe and talk and make it through the night without a breathing treatment. I am now down to 3 or 4 treatments a day plus inhalers twice a day. Yes, I can talk without gasping for air. Yes, I am staying out of crowds. He explained how pneumonia with cancer is a difficult thing for a body. The body fights the pneumonia to a new normal state of breathing with assistance and then goes on to fight the cancer. It is a lot for the body to handle, so this will take 3 more months. WHAT? Yes, 3 more months as we need the fluid to clear up and I need to continue to go in the right direction. So, no summer movies for me and no groceries and no elevators if possible, no mass crowds body to body where I am mushed in a crowd-this is semi-lockdown. Take care of my body he begs me. He gives me some more inhalers to and one for exercise or walking. It seems like I will need a new accessory bag to carry the nebulizer and all these new inhalers. Oh, another online shopping experience awaits.

Speaking of shopping on a side note, my new favorite Laguna Beach shop is Laguna Buy Hand on PCH. They have one of a kind jewelry and accessories all made by local artists. If I had a dog, they have some cute accessories for dogs too. Of course, I love the necklaces and bracelets. My favorite new item is the Buddha candle. Besides smelling amazing and able to rid a room of any tween boy body odor, I love the Buddha’s face and look of the candle. Plus, when I decided I needed more Buddha, I called the store to have them mail some to me and the owner delivered them to me. I didn’t even have to use the cancer card!!!

Of course, this weekend was a difficult one. My sadness was so deep that I was having a difficult time breaking free from it. So, on Sunday when I went to bed and noticed my vision was blurry, I thought it was from all the crying and fatigue. I took the new inhaler which I’m convinced is designed by an artist. It could be used in public as it is such a cool design if only it came in a choice of colors. I noticed while watching the news that my vision was blurred again after inhaling the puffs of medicine. I decided not to freak out since Jim is gone and I must drive Alex, but to start the calls and emails to the doc. I read the side effects online and decided to stop the medication immediately. I noticed that the new drug was not working well and I was back to the tight chest and slight gasping for air too soon after a breathing treatment. I was convinced to solve this problem on my own so Jim could do his job without more worries. I would have a solution by dinner time. So, I did. Doctor phoned me and pharmacy called me. Back to new routine, I begin the revised road to recovery of pneumonia while having cancer.

My Alex has been such a big help to me while Jim is gone. He has always been an old soul even Margie always commented about that. He would look at me throughout the day and say, “you’re sad and thinking about Margie.” As much as I hid my feelings behind my smile, he knew what I was thinking. He brought me some ice water and told me to do his breathing technique and listen to musical I could relax. Between the breathing issues and mental issues, I was wiped out for the night. Alex saw I fell asleep with the tv on, turned it off, turned on some music, kissed my forehead, and told me he loved me. I was too tired to move, but he understood. On his way out of my room, he told me about his online game and that one of the users had their user name as “cancer sucks”. Right before he left the room, he said, “I’m changing my user name to Cancer sucks 2”. My heart hurt, but I was too tired to really feel the pain.

Tomorrow I am off to chemo again and will place a call to Hoag so I don’t have a repeat of last time. I know I don’t have the energy or strength to deal with incompetence. I need a nurse who knows what they are doing and won’t question the doctor’s orders and other paper trail errors and actually administer the chemo as prescribed.

Today I am off to Cal State Fullerton to take Alex to Barry Perkins trumpet academy. This is such a great opportunity. There seemed to be mostly college and high school students. The sound was phenomenal and Alex told me there are music teachers learning too. Nothing can be better than a trumpeting fanfare as I felt like any minute the queen will be arriving.  I closed my eyes and I was back living in England. Yummy biscuits and scones! Back to reality, I will be finding my fun today and hope you find yours.





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