ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Thursday, December 7, 2006

It all depends on your focus!

A Sartorial Disaster

Anyone who knows me know that I like to accessorize. I have a significant collection of shoes, scarfs, hats, watches and costume jewelry. Everything MUST fit (not exactly match, but blend). There is a purpose for every accessory.

So when I say that on Friday night I showed up for music practice in a sadly mismatched get-up (there's no other word for it), you'd know there is something wrong.

Friday night music has become a weather vane for me. If I can make it to practice, and to church on Sunday morning, my life is on track. It provides a rhythm to my week. So my attention was on just getting there.

Before the excuses, let me describe my costume.

I had on a pair of navy fleece pants (I rarely wear fleece out of the house--only if I'm confident it will be covered by a coat) with a Kane County free-bee tee shirt with some kind of alien looking heads on the front. This was topped by a patchwork flannel shirt (Also not something I wear except to refinish furniture or plant flowers). I had on my old Ugg boots (Now Sheepskin boots are a must in certain kinds of weather up here. All sartorial concerns are off -- but I have a very stylish pair of purple Uggs) to keep my feet warm. I was doing well to even make practice, so I dispensed with the wig and wore a really cute hat that a friend just got me for my birthday. I wore the matching scarf and gloves. They were leopard skin fabric. The hat really would be better OVER a wig, it doesn't come down far enough to conceal the fact that I am very bald, but the scarf sort of covered the neck. Now the crowning jewel. I still had on two pair of dangling silver and purple earrings that I'd used on Wed and Thursday when they matched my outfit.

Did I mention white cotton medical gloves for my hands? My hands had to be kept covered with a steroid cream, so the gloves were necessary whenever I went anywhere or touched anything.

All in all, a classic bag lady outfit. (And my sincere apologies to any bag ladies in the vicinity.) The funniest things is that I was blithely unaware of my odd appearance. I was concentrating on trying to behave normally.

Okay...THE EXPLANATION...The fleece pants....I had had on a matching pullover shirt earlier (cranberry with navy trim). The odd t-shirt wasn't supposed to show, it was just under the fleece. BUT...I'd gotten warm earlier and taken the fleece off when I took a nap. When I got dressed for practice, I wanted something I could get off easier than a pullover in case I got hot at practice too.

The Patchwork Flannel...was just something handy to wear for the warmth of long sleeves over the t-shirt. (It did NOT blend with the pants)

The leopard print scarf, gloves and hat . . . were for warmth AND they were new and very cute (with the right outfit). I did have on a black leather coat that were okay with the hat and scarf.

The earrings . . . AH, here's a story. I've tried to be careful to keep earrings in both piercings. I don't want them to grow closed during this time. I'd used those earrings when I went out on Wednesday and Thursday (On Thursday I picked the outfit to match the earrings because my hands wouldn't work well enough to get earrings in.) So silver and purple they were.

The funniest part is that I wouldn't even have realized how bad I look except that one of my daughters said something on Sunday. At first I was startled, but then slowly realized just how out of character I looked. I must say I've had more than one moment of laughter.

And I'll never look at a bag lady the same again. She, too, is probably concentrating on just doing something normal to feel alive.

I have come out of hibernation or coma or whatever it may be called. Still a bit sore and slow, but alive and kickin'. I had an allergic reaction to this last Chemo. It's called hand and foot syndrome. My hands have been little more than clubs for the last week; thank God my feet aren't so bad. I've been able to walk, just very carefully. When it takes the palms of two hands to hold a phone or a drinking glass, one becomes very thankful for the use of fingers most of the time.

Chemo on the 27th was the first of the second set of treatments. Taxotere. I reacted significantly differently to it from the beginning. Less intense nausea, but I just felt worse. Than on Thursday night, my hands swelled up like paws. So for the last week, I've been on steroids and steroid cream to counteract the allergy. I now have fairly good use of the last two fingers of both hands and reasonable use of the first two fingers. Opposable thumbs are still stiff and not working too well. But it's much better.

My next treatment is now postponed until I recuperate from this reaction. My throat is sore too -- it feels like my insides may be as stiff and swollen as my poor fingers. But...the good news is not more chemo until after the holidays. The Doctor will come up with another option for my last three treatments.

So time marches on. I'm not sure where the last ten days have gone. I have spent most of the time sitting and snoozing. But I suppose the rest is good; it allows my body to keep up the battle.

Thanks for your prayers,

Pastor Phylis

P.S. I thought about gathering up those items and taking a photo -- but my energy is not that high today!!

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