Welcome back! Today was a day of differences. I was a little head-achy, my tinnitus was a little louder, but I woke up and was grateful to begin another one. (even though it was 5am) I know I’m supposed to be eating but I never thought that I would have to force down food! I have been eating between 2500 and 2800 calories a day high in protein, drinking at least one Pedialyte and 2 liters of water. Between peeing and rubbing my belly I use up half the day. Then there are the every 2 hour baking soda rinses for the mouth and after radiation icing down for 15 minutes and an aloe vera rubdown. But I feel good. I wish that I could get out to the shop – I have been working on a table that is turning out very nice, but I was on the phone with insurance, finances and doctors all day. I did take some time to talk to my friends Mac Brown in the morning and Jeanie Theirault in the afternoon.
The center waiting area is light and airy and full of life. Casey, the receptionist, greets
you with a smile and your name. There are art projects, kid’s play room, kitchen, coffee and plenty of families and patients to talk to. I partook of the weekly lunch for patients, families and caregivers. It was very cool. It is catered by different restaurants and today was Zoe’s Kitchen. There were beef, chicken and spinach, wraps, rice, fresh fruit and a complete salad bar….top that off with chocolate cake-
delicious calories plus! When we settled down at our tables they went over activities that are available to patients; dinner at Indochine, a tour of the Federal Reserve, a cocktail hour another night, reduced tickets to the Icemen, and the free events around town. Next they had a doctor come up and explain his specialty for about 15 minutes, then went around the room letting alumni, and graduating patients share their experience strength and hope to the newcomers. Then we got to introduce ourselves talking about where we were from, our cancer and treatment. As I’ve probably told you, we
Jacksonville residents are few and far between. In the room of about 40, only two of us were from here. I made it a point to run down some folks to let them know if they wanted to know where to go or what to do please ask or call….I’m going to have to start carrying more cards! I even sent one guy over to the Dreamette, he was jonesing for good soft-serve. When the lunch was over we all gathered in the lobby where to graduates rang the chimes in the lobby to signify hope and completion and had their pictures taken. It was touching to watch these families say goodbye to the friends that they had shared so much with and the gratitude they had for a new beginning. Next it was off to treatment with Hanna and Jennifer who tied me down and gave me a sunburn……it is one expensive tanning bed!
Today was very reminiscent of early sobriety. You come into the rooms a broken person thinking it is the end and you are sentenced to a glum existence. I was accepted with open arms into a community of experience strength, hope and fellowship. Before I knew it I was getting out of myself and helping others, I just had to show up and be willing to do some new things. I came home smiling, happy and filled with love and gratitude. Who knew so much good could thrive in a place filled with so much tragedy. Thank you for letting me share – it means so much.
LESSON OF THE DAY – Be willing and take action, you won’t be sorry.