Oh, what good things a good night’s sleep can do!
Last night – I put my mother’s heating pad around my aching legs. Truthfully, I’m not sure if it was the heating pad or my mother’s healing hand that helped, but I did feel better. I barely remember falling asleep. As my cousin would say, “I think I slept with Peter Mansbridge last night.” grin.
This morning I saw the sunrise from my bedroom window. There was only a hint of colour emerging through the clouds and so I knew I hadn’t slept in too late. Just then, as he does every morning, my Kevin walked in with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a morning kiss. How can a morning get any better than that?
I sat up, swung my feet to the ground and tested to see if my ankles were road-worthy. No pain. I took a sip of my coffee. My new liquid courage. I stood up. “So far, so good,” I said out-loud to encourage myself. I took another sip. Paused. One more sip before my first step forward. The first step would tell all. One, two, three – and … well… “You can’t expect full recovery overnight, Stacey”, I reminded myself. My Achilles tendon was resisting this morning feat – or should I say feet? My leg moved and my tendon remained firm that it was not pleased to be active quite yet. So – I hobbled along to the bathroom, ignoring its protests, but still being kind. The warning about the side-effect of the antibiotic read, “ripped tendon” and that – I did not want.
It is amazing how one can move without that tendon if one pretends to be 100 years old and doing the 100-year old shuffle. Although, I must confess, I have seen 100 year olds move more quickly!
Having successfully navigated to my closet (two steps away), I dressed warmly for our morning walk.
Shuffle, shuffle down the hall. Hobble, hobble to the steps. I took two feet for every step as those stairs were just simply challenging. But, I did it!
Out the door Kevin and I and the dog went.
Shuffle, shuffle – hobble, hobble. (That was me) The dog leaped and ran. Kevin studied me to see if he would have to carry me – and I continued.
Eventually the shuffle turned to a full-out walk. Nothing ripped, nothing broke.
“Are you feeling better than you did three weeks ago?” inquired Kevin hoping my answer would be affirmative. “After-all”, he continued, “you don’t seem to be as depressed, you can eat, and you seem to have more energy.”
I would say, “yes”, as it seemed that’s what Kevin needed to hear, but I had to actually remember how I was three weeks ago. I thought I was fine. I didn’t remember being bad. In fact, the whole cancer journey, this morning, was a bit of a blur. Funny how the mind works in that pain and trauma can lose its grip over time. If someone were to ask me what it was like a couple months ago, the only thing I would remember is the emotion of the people who were around me. Emotional responses seem to stick.
“I am feeling, better, Kevin”, I responded finally. “But I think my last challenge was a reminder that it is not time yet for me to be in crowds. I don’t want any more complications to my health. Not yet.”
And we carried on with our morning shuffle.
The sun is up as I write this post. There is a gentle breeze blowing in my room and promise in the air. I heard from my daughter, Katya, that in spite of some complications, she and her friend are geared up and ready to explore Portugal today. I hope the same warm sun is shining on her as it is me so that she too may take her challenges “in stride”!
For now – I will continue to shuffle along.