I have been feeling a bit better the last couple of days. Still slow and uncomfortable. Back pain, belly aches and various pains and annoyances. I feel like an old lady. I groan a lot when I get up off the couch and I have to sit down and rest all the time. But these are annoyances and nothing I can't deal with. I have managed to get out and about despite it.
On Friday, Mom and I went to Target for a bit of shopping. I actually rode around the store on one of those go-carts they have for the handicapped. I felt pretty stupid doing it, but Mom kind of insisted that I do it and conserve my energy. Jackson rode with me and when we took off for the first time he turned his little face to me with such joy and awe I had to laugh. His obsession with cars and all things wheeled made driving the cart the most exciting thing he had ever done in his little life. He put his hand on the steering wheel and helped me steer and had a grand time.
The experience made me realize how much it would suck to not be able to walk. I couldn't reach things from the seat and I continually had to get up and get what I wanted and then get back in the cart. I realized how helpless I would be if I were actually confined to a wheelchair or couldn't simply get up and get things. Made me appreciate my legs. And the fact that though my illness will have cycles of real handicap, it won't be every day and it won't last forever.
Friday night, Elaine and I went to see Andrea in Midsummer. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sit through the whole show with my body aching like it was. But this was another time when it's good to know people. Since I did Robin Hood at this theatre, I happened to know that there was a closet full of fun kid things to decorate the lobby; things including dozens of plush pillows. I am learning to speak up and ask for what I need - a skill I have needed to work on for years. So I found Rita, the manager, and asked if she would unlock that closet and let me use a pillow for my back. She is aware of my situation and graciously let me in the closet. I am really glad I asked because it made all the difference. I was able to enjoy the show and my dear Andrea's wonderful performance in its entirety.
I was somewhat unsure of how the show would be; Shakespeare can be so hit or miss. But it was well acted and directed with great costumes and live music & sound effects. That was really neat to see. The one-lady band played the piano for incidental music and scene changes, in addition to a xylophone. The Xylophone was the perfect instrument for the forest and fairy scenes. She had the perfect sense of less is more. Short chimes here and there, notes in slight discord for the fairies, and the coolest way of using a violin bow to stroke the keys of the xylophone that made a beautiful and eerie sound. Her music and playing really enhanced the ambiance of the show. It was something to see and I am glad I was able to go.
I have been buying things lately. Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not a spender. I just don't buy things, especially for myself. I am skilled at talking myself out of things that I want. Honestly, stuff has just never been very important to me. And I don't generally shop without a reason or a need. But since my diagnosis I have been driven, somehow to indulge myself. Little things at the grocery store will catch my eye and I throw it in the cart. We're talking things like gummy bears. Standing in the checkout line at Fry's I grab a package of gummy bears cause I just want em'. This is not like me. While waiting at Walgreen's for a prescription to be filled I picked up and bought a bunch of crap I don't need. Just cause I wanted too. A pop-up clothes hamper for my closet. One of those vacuum-pack space saver bags for Jackson clothes that are too small. I mean, I just seem to have this compulsion to get whatever I feel like, whenever I want to. New tops at Target, a new clock for the bathroom, more matchbox cars for my spoiled child. And what is even more interesting is how freaking amusing I find it. I buy these things, impulse buys, stuff I can use but don't need and I giggle like a little girl. For some reason getting cancer and having to go through chemo has unleashed this self-indulgent creature; this woman-child who throws junk in the cart with defiant 'so there' and a 'take that' and what-are-you-gonna-do-about it attitude. And it makes me smile. Hee Hee. Look what I can do. I have been restrained and thoughtful about just about every purchase I have ever made since I reached adulthood and all the sudden I say screw it all, I want stuff.
And today...today....we went TV shopping. This is the mother of all purchases. An event so breathtaking I shudder to talk about it. We are buying a new TV and the one we have now is not even broken! Do you understand how huge this is? David has been griping about our TV for at least 2 years now. It's too small at 27 inches. The picture is crap, you can't read the program guide cause the words are sorta blurry. But I have held him off, laughed at his insistence that we need - need, ha -need a new one.
But the bug was planted about a month ago BC (before cancer)at my Dad's house. Dad recently bought a new TV. A nice one. 46 inch flat panel LCD Samsung, and it is a beauty. Beautiful picture in a sleek, gorgeous shell. And it makes pretty beepy noises when you turn it on and off. I was smitten at first sight and David darn near drooled. My Dad even went on about how we should get one too. My Mother also has a nice new TV and she has also complained about our poor pathetic 27 inch Sharp. At the time I considered the idea of getting one and thought that maybe I could talk myself into (or out of) getting one for Christmas...maybe.
But ever since the diagnosis I have not been able to get it out of my mind. It has become this secret, burning, almost shameful, desire I have held in my heart and tried, desperately tried to get rid of. But all my usual ways of talking myself down from big purchases were not working. I simply could not stop wanting it. And to further disarm me, I started thinking about how nice it would be to move the unloved Sharp TV into my bedroom so that in the morning Jackson could crawl in bed with me and watch cartoons while I got some extra rest. And that was the death stroke to my spending inhibitions. Every morning while dragging myself out of bed, I would think "Boy, wouldn't a TV in my room be so nice right now. I could still be horizontal right now." The voices in my head would chant throughout the day "new TV, new TV."
I suspect some of my impulse buying has been an attempt to satisfy this beast that would not go away. On Friday I mentioned the beast to my Mother and to my surprise she jumped right on board with it. "Get a new TV, put this one in your room," She said without hesitation. Anything that may get me more rest is not only ok, but necessary in her eyes. So now I had the beast driving me and My mother's assent, too. So I did the only thing I could. I called my Dad. Daddy would tell me if buying a big fancy TV was the height of irresponsible indulgence at a time when medical bills will be coming fast and furious. I trust him implicitly in all things financial - and with toys, he's great at buying cool toys. Dad said go for it. He's even going to kick in a generous contribution to the buy Marsha a TV fund. My birthday is on Monday and dammitall I'm getting a new TV! Hooray, I am so excited! We ordered it online and saved at least $400 from the in-store prices, plus no tax and free shipping from Amazon. It should arrive in about a week and will be in place hopefully by the time I go in for round two of chemo on the 14th. Happy birthday to me!!!!