Since the day after surgery Ericka has been wearing one of those circular band-aid colored dizzy patches behind her ear. While it keeps her from getting nauseous from all the major pain medications she’s on, it also truly screws up her vision and puts her in a general state of confusion. We’ve been affectionately calling this phase of non-stop haze the “DP (Dizzy Patch) Days.”
On the one hand it’s pretty funny for those of us on the receiving end of her non-sensical text messages, Facebook posts like “I it was fantasy Ccxvghl…….” and the ridiculous one liners she comes out with right before falling fast asleep sitting upright in a chair like a narcoleptic. No doubt we’ll have jokes and memories for a lifetime. (What’s that Eri, you got your stupid patch on?)
But on the other hand it’s unsettling that three weeks post surgery she is still in so much pain. She said yesterday it’s been so long (meaning since chemo started back in April) that she can’t remember what it feels like to have a normal pain-free day.
However there’s big news today that signals a major milestone. The prescription on her patches ran out and her last one lost its effectiveness yesterday. This means it’s time for her to take another gigantic leap forward and start to ween herself off her meds.
Aside from the never-ending pain there have been positive steps up Recovery Hill. Spacer inflation has slowly but surely begun. Yesterday her third and final drain was finally removed which means today she can take a real shower! Can I get an AMEN?!
These last six weeks for me have been a crash course in parenting. Not only have I cooked for up to ten people and driven a minivan with every seat taken by a human under the age of eighteen, but I’ve also stopped that minivan on the side of the road to scold the children for punching each other. It’s official: I get it. I get the ups. I get the downs. I get the long journeys around and through. And I love it all.
It takes a village to heal a sick friend and everyone has been stepping up to the plate. Eri’s sisters and brother-in-law have gone above and beyond. Eternal thanks go to the seventeen year old nephew for teaching me the sanity-saving technique of stealing the shoes off seven and ten year old feet and throwing them high into trees to get them to stop fighting and start working together towards a common goal. Genius!
And a huge shout out must go to Hella Hot Mess, the 5th Connecticut woman, who arrived on the scene to help out after surgery and got us through some trying moments in the kitchen and at the park. She also brought the laughs that are so crucial in getting well.
As Eri climbs out of the haze it’s time for me to step back and start acting like I’ve got a major fundraising bike ride coming up.
My first century is next Thursday October 1st. I’ll ride 100 miles from Danbury, CT –> Mystic, CT to honor a yearly tradition Ericka had to miss this summer with her girls because of the circumstances. Well, let’s face it, because of FUCKING CANCER.
Stay tuned for all the ride details and plan to join me somewhere in New England for a few miles. Anyone got a cousin whose couch I can crash on? Now’s the time to let me know and please PLEASE consider donating to my ride to give me a reason to keep pedaling and to help my dear sweet E-ska and her family get back on track.