New Year’s Resolutions

For once, I can make a few resolutions knowing full well they will happen in 2010. As I take a quick inventory, I see what is and what will be.

This is Day 5. Yesterday was the worst for aches. They hit muscles, joints, and surface flesh. Bill took the boys to a movie yesterday afternoon, and I took two pills and went to bed for the afternoon. The aches and pains are bizarre. When the ache hits a muscle, it feels like I’ve overdone it working out. A little heat or ice and it would feel better, but they are traveling aches. Sometimes a fleeting pain. Sometimes lasting for a few seconds or perhaps several minutes in one spot then moving on. I asked a nurse what exactly is happening to my muscles. Unsure, just a side effect. I asked about my big muscle: my heart. No impact on that. Resolution: On February 1st, after two more chemo treatments and six days of traveling aches, muscle aches will be my own – not chemically induced.

My fingernails are changing color. As they grow out, the beds are a bluish color with white flecks on them and they feel a little tingly. Grandma Baldwin used to say if you told a lie a white fleck would appear on your fingernail. I couldn’t tell this many lies and keep them all straight. Resolution: No white flecks by summer 2010.

Chemo works by killing fast-growing cells. That’s why I wake up in the middle of the night and in the morning with my nose feeling as dry as a brittle November leaf being blown hither by a cold late fall breeze. Lately, every morning I’ve been getting small nose bleeds because of the dryness. Resolution: I’m going to enjoy the humidity of the summer. This is a tough one… I’m not sure if I will be able to keep it.

My funky chicken arm is still numb most of the time. Surgery to remove the lymph nodes under my arm stirred up the nerve endings. They may sort themselves out over time; I may always have some residual nerve damage. Some days it feels like tight guitar strings are connecting my underarm with my biceps. Some days it feels like a golf ball is under my arm. Every day I have very little feeling on the surface of my triceps. After surgeries, I was afraid to shave under that arm because I couldn’t feel anything. Then when I started chemo, I was supposed to be careful not to nick myself. I finally got brave and used a trimmer. Resolution: No more underarm hair in 2010. If I’m still numb, I’ll call on Nair once the chemicals are out of my body.

And finally, my baldness. It will take a while for my hair to grow back. I’m hoping in time for beach weather this summer. It may grow in finer, or curlier, or straighter, or grayer. But it will grow back. Resolution: No more complaints about the thickness of my hair. No bad hair days. A day with hair will be a good day!

Staying strong,