Today is Maggie’s 32nd birthday. I’m so happy to have this day and all the others before and after to spend with her. I’m truly the luckiest guy in the world.
She spent her birthday weekend taking it easy but having a good time. Friday was our long spa day so she’s a little rough, in general. She’s was also still connected the chemo pump all weekend (at least until about 6PM today when I disconnected it.)
Saturday she got up early to deliver meals to the poor with Florencia. Afterward she came home and did random housework until she was too tired to continue. After an afternoon nap she and I went over to Jeff’s house for his birthday celebration. She had planned on heading over to our friend Leslee’s house for her Christmas celebration but it was just too much. She was done for the day.
Today, before the cold front came in, she worked in the yard for an hour or so pruning and primping. Unfortunately, that stirred up a side effect of the chemo – pressure on her hands make them hurt pretty badly. And the pain doesn’t go away very quickly. A few hours, one bath and a two-hour-long nap later she said they weren’t hurting as much. But she still wasn’t feeling too good, in general.
A few of her friends organized a dinner at a new restaurant here in town for a small birthday celebration. She wasn’t feeling her best but she was a woman dressed up with a plan. The food was good and the company was great. But as the night wore on she continued to fade. Merely moments after we got home she was curled up in bed. Chemo weekends are made for sleeping. That’s just all there is to it, really.
The FOLFOX side-effects are really showing up now. She has a continual bad taste in her mouth that she can’t shake. The cold air from the recently-arrived cold front makes her skin feel like tiny needles are poking her. She’s got some gloves but apparently they aren’t sufficient. When school breaks, I’ll have to do some looking around for better ones. She even has to wear gloves around the house for household chores like cleaning or cooking (fridge stuff, plates, metal.) Anything cooler than her body temperature is painful to the touch. And the jaw pain is really getting bad. Those first few chews of food give pause, a frown and lots of jaw grabbing. It’s tough to watch knowing there’s little that can be done to help. If it’s like this now, we can hardly wait until March.
I suppose the alternative is worse, to not have any experiences at all. It’s not much of a stretch to envision a much different today. These days we have could have not have been. Give or take a couple of days here or there at the beginning of all this mess we… or I… would have a different story to tell. When I kissed her goodnight tonight on her 32nd birthday I told her how thankful I was that she was born. True, it was her birthday but just by being here with me today she had given me the best gift I could ever want.