Saturday, July 20, 2013

embarrassment to rapture

Fighting to outlive lung cancer is all consuming … 24 years as a Multiple Sclerosis spouse caregiver is about 'anticipation' of care needs … so how did I get so distracted?

Growing dependency has tripped me time after time … There are days chemo fatigue and fog not only leave me exhausted simply trying to get up and down … but unable to drive … hell I have even found myself stuck on a commode and bathroom floor.

The combination of frustration and embarrassment is maddening ... For example, toe nails!!! 

One piece of advice I will pass along is take care of all personal care needs BEFORE beginning chemo … especially cut your toe nails!!! … there are days I can barely lift my feet to get socks on or tie shoe laces. 

… as the weeks wear on it all becomes beyond embarrassing and I find myself stuck on the bathroom floor having fallen off the commode trying to cut my toenails. 

5 weeks+ into chemo (Cisplatin+Alimta) with at least another 3 to 4 weeks to go is ravaging so much of the minutiae of life. … 

As a spouse caregiver of a quarter century the only universal truth is that I will never have anyone to care for me and that is becoming increasingly scary. 

Scary enough to yes ... try a pedicure! 

I did not even know they were available for men but Salon On Main who has been so kind with my cancer hair suggested ‘THE NAILS First’.

OMG!!! Sitting down I soared from embarrassment to rapture as the Shiatsu Massage Chair started on my back and neck while my feet soaking in a warm tub were massaged with water jets. … Staff was wonderfully patient perhaps even a shared bemusement with my wonder at my new feet. 
The absolute best $25 I have ever spent.

Not unlike lung cancer – it’s about stigmas and day after day I am learning that stigmas are bullshit! As long as I can find $25 I will never find myself on the bathroom floor trying to cut my toe nails. 

Thank you "THE NAILS First" for my new feet and thank you Salon on Main for the suggestion … it’s possible that a good personal care team may trump a cancer team.
Patrick Leer
Health Activist:
Caregivingly Yours, MS Caregiver @

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