It is the little things

Many people have enjoyed telling me that my hair might grow back differently. I am not sure why this puts me off, but it kind of does. Rachel is surprised that it does.

You didn’t really think I didn’t know about the hair right? Was this ‘the thing’ you knew about Chemotherapy? Not a big deal either way. Seriously. My hair is back: same color, very thick, but finer. Which means, as Fabbio would say, Ba ba ba ba ba ba baaaaaaa: it lays down. My hair usually won’t lay down until it is several inches long. It it nice that it lays down, I like it better than I did.
As I think about 2009 and this season of sickness, 2 surgeries, and cancer I don’t know that I have big answers when people ask big questions. My typical answer is that the things I thought about sickness/suffering before this season served me well while I was sick.
However, I’m writing today to talk about some of the little things. Some are connected with the side effects of Chemotherapy, and some not. For instance, during week 3 (I think) a nurse was giving me Bleomycin (the 2nd worse drug, or 2nd best depending on how you look at it). She mentioned, without making eye contact, that I could never scuba dive again. I don’t Scuba dive really. I have done something near it maybe 3 times and don’t want to get certified. But, she had just passed her Chemotherapy Board Thing for Nurses and remembered that those who get B can’t scuba dive (or get pure oxygen if I am hospitalized again). It bugged me. Scuba Diving is just a little thing, but who is she to take that away from me? What is this B (incidentally, “B” is the kind of Chemo Lance turned down because it effects your lungs) and when did it receive such power over my underwater endeavors?
Well, I’m working through my issues with all of these questions and wanted to share some little things about today.
I can now do push ups. Again, a little thing. I don’t do a lot of push ups anyway, but since my March surgery (and then subsequent May surgery) I have been unable because of pain in my abdomen. Women who have had a c-section know what I’m talking about. I tried to do some last week and could not. Now I can.
I had a cigar today as I mowed the lawn. I did not use the little cigar holder mom got me for the lawn mower because it is not as efficient as it claims. Nevertheless I had one. Cigars seemed abhorrent when I was sick (and I wasn’t allowed… the “B” again). It was a pleasant cigar, cheap.
I had two beers today. One after mowing the lawn, and one after riding our stationary bike (with Rachel makes me ride in the Storage Room because she is crazy about these flecks on our basement floor). Beer sounded awful to me when I was sick. I had one (thanks Ty), and it didn’t taste good. Today, they tasted amazing. One was a Schlafly Pilsner, and one a New Belgium (courtesy of my mother in law, thanks Shirley).
I finished Donald Miller’s New Book today. When I was sick I couldn’t read. I don’t know how to explain, and don’t particularly want to but my desire to read went south. I only read when I had to for class.
I am about to go shave. When I have time (like on Saturday), shaving is a very relaxing thing for me. I wash my face, rub hot water, put on the cream, etc. When I was sick, I obviously didn’t have the need to shave (if you didn’t notice, I only held on to my arm and eye-brow hair). It sort of made me doubly sad. Now, my facial hair grows and I need to shave it. A strange, but welcome blessing.
As I finish shaving I will play with my girls the rest of the day. This is not little a little thing, and I did not stop playing with them when I was sick. I was unable sometimes, but that desire did not fade. Nevertheless, I am so happy to have renewed energy to be with them.
I usually don’t blog/email/get on line on Saturday, as it is my Sabbath. But, I felt moved by the number of little things that have crept back into my life. I hope and pray that you have a good weekend, and a good Lord’s day tomorrow. I hope there are little things that you enjoy that you have time for today.
-Matt
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