It is a total life change. Prior to diagnosis I was active in the community in a variety of ways; President of the KCK Women’s Chamber; on a citizen’s committee to advise USD 500 about a bond issue proposal; and the consulting business started with my sister and her best friend had four contracts to assist a variety of local non-profits. All of that came to a screeching halt in June when treatments began. For about three months my contacts were only with care givers and medical professionals.
Because I was wandering in the wilderness of chemo and reactions, I did not realize how isolated I had become between June and October. I resigned the presidency of the Women’s Chamber. Three of the four business contracts agreed to just go on hold till I could come back but I worked through maintaining one of them out of a sense of responsibility. The bond issue passed with a 69% approval – no thanks to me in the end. I was home trying to control basic bodily functions and trying to find food that could break through the metal mouth issues.
Sylvia worked hard on the food issue. I would mention that maybe a macaroni salad would work. She would run to the Hen House and grab me one only to have me take one bite and say – nope, that’s not it. For a while it seemed that the only thing to make it through the metal barrier of my broken taster was Panda Express Egg Rolls with the sweet and sour sauce. I suspect neither Sylvia nor I will have another one of those for a while.
With the approach of the final chemo treatment on September 28th, things started to look a little better. While the family had been in and out of the house all along, other visitors began arriving. Char Wallace from SMMC came to work with Sylvia on a quilt project. Carol Marinovich and Susan Keim came and brough lunch one day. Carol Levers delivered flowers. Jennifer Wilding brought scarfs and hats to help hide the bald head. It felt a little more normal. And on a Saturday night, the 26th, I actually drove myself to a social event and attended the Leadership 2000 Gala. It felt so very good to engage with real life and real people again.