Thursday, April 09, 2009

I forgot to mention my hair the other day.

I still wear my wig. My hair is growing out but is still very, very short. It is maybe an inch long. It is flat and close to my head because I wear a hat all the time at home to keep my head warm.

My hair is coming back black with some gray. It is darker than any of my brothers and sisters have. When it is long enough for me to go out without my wig, I will have it colored closer to my regular color.

I was thinking today about the best gifts I have ever gotten. Number one would have to be anything my grandchildren have given me, from a handful of leaves to a plastic sequined party hat.

I love getting gifts. I have told my children that they MUST give me gifts on Mother's Day, my birthday, and Christmas.

However, if they can't think of anything great to give me, I will appreciate just as much a gift from the dollar store. I just like opening up a gift.

The best gifts they have ever given me were very personal.

Several years ago Beth gave me a homemade card. On it was a picture of the two of us taken at Jennie Sparrow's wedding. (We looked good.) Pasted to it were pictures cut out of magazines showing things I love. Joan Rivers. Luggage. Jewelry. A baseball and glove. Knitting yarn. Etc.

I love it.

A couple of years ago Anne gave me a story she had written. The story was based on a true one that happened at her school when I first saw their wonderful new school library.

I love that, too.

I also love when they give me big, costly gifts, because they choose carefully. Some people are just good gift givers. My brother James is the only man I know who is a good gift giver but a lot of women are.

George Rodney was particularly bad. He once gave me diamond stud earrings two Christmases in a row. Unfortunately the second pair was bigger than the first but of course I had to take that pair back.

My brothers and sisters generally do not give each other gifts for our birthdays but last year my sister-in-law gave a birthday party for me and everyone gave me a gift. I was undergoing my cancer treatment then and they just wanted to do something for me.

My gifts were great. I got hats for my bald head. Books to read. A throw to keep warm. Lots of good gifts. I loved them and I especially loved the gifts because of my wonderful family who gave them to me. And a lot of the gifts were maroon.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

I have found out that most people don't understand what I can and can't do. Things have changed gradually and haven't seemed remarkable enough to report.

First, the good news. I drive and take care of myself completely. I make all my own decisions. (For several months, my children took care of everything, including my finances.) Julia still goes with me to my medical appointments and is invaluable to me.

On the other side, I am weak. I have lost a lot of weight, more than 30 pounds. You would not notice that if you saw me because my torso is still large and my neck is larger, making my face look fat. Most of the weight lost was muscle, my arms and legs are tiny.

My sister Janice teaches PE. She has an exercise room at her house with various machines. She is thinking on an exercise program for me that would start out very slowly. I can go up there during the day when they are not home and use her equipment.

Mentally I am much sharper than I was last fall, but still not as smart as I used to be. I have started a project to read all the books in my library that I have not read before. If I don't want to read it, I throw it away. Yesterday I picked out Everyone Else Must Fail, a biography of Larry Ellington, founder of Oracle. His motto is that success is not just that he succeeds but that everyone else must fail. So I open it and see that I noted on the inside cover that I read it last year. I had no memory of that. After flipping through the book, I remembered a lot but I can't believe that I thought I had never read it.

I am paying to have all my outside work done this year. Julia's fiance and his son are picking up sticks and leaves, power washing my deck, moving some dirt, etc.

I have little energy and drive.

I still have pain in my jaw which worries me.

But all in all, I don't have a bad life.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I have had one throat stretching, which was not very successful. I thought right afterward that it had helped a little but later thought things were the same. The doctor says that was probably right. The scars stretch then try to draw up again.

I have two more appointments for stretching, two weeks apart.

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