Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Opening Jars and Pulling Up Tights

I don't like having to ask my husband to open jars for me.  It somehow makes me feel defeated, as though I've been working my whole life to open jars and now I have to hand them over every time I want some almond butter.  When I ask my mom to open something, it doesn't feel as defeating, but more like I'm four.

Neuropathy is a side effect of the chemo.  I first noticed it when opening a jar.  When Luka was getting dressed for the bunny party I had trouble helping her with her tights.  She stepped into the feet and normally I help her inch the tights up, but my fingers wouldn't close together properly and kept slipping off the tights without pulling them up.  Luka did not get frustrated.  She laughed and laughed.  And hugged my head.  Five year olds must understand better than anyone how it feels when you want your hands to do something that they can't do.

Here's the good thing:  I saw a naturopath, who is trained in Chinese Medicine and acupuncture, at the Cancer Center.  I saw Dr. C on Monday and the neuropathy is already better. (today is Thursday).  We talked for about an hour.  He helped me figure out good diet choices and the best supplements to take during treatment to reduce side effects and enhance the chemo power.  Most of the supplements I had already been taking, but he recommended  L-Glutamine Powder, 6-8 teaspoons a day, to help with nausea and my good buddy neuropathy.
I also got some acupuncture which left me feeling immediately refreshed.  I have been opening jars ever since.

The weird thing:  Getting side effects down means they can hit me with higher doses of chemo.

The funny thing:  (this doesn't have to do with anything.  it's just funny).  My mom was washing chicken the other day in the kitchen.  Luka came in and wanted to help.  She wanted to touch the raw chicken.  Scott and I always let her help in the kitchen, (well most of the time) but we don't let her touch raw meat.  So when Gamma told her she could help  with something else, but that she couldn't help with the chicken, Luka ran out of the room crying in a very dramatic way and yelling, "You NEVer let me touch raw chicken!!"

If anyone has any jars they want me to open, let me know.  Pickles, jam, sauerkraut. . .


  1. Dear Julie,

    Here’s a funny thing that also doesn’t have to do with anything:

    This morning, while I was putting away the cereal boxes, a big, black man dressed in camouflage (whom I immediately recognized as the guy named “Q” who likes to hunt for squirrels in our back woods with a few of his buddies from downtown Milwaukee where there are not a lot of squirrels apparently) came to the door. I had talked to him on the phone several times before (he always very respectfully calls before he comes to make sure it is okay for him to hunt) but I had never actually met him in person. So, I answered the door. And he said, “you’re cute.” So I said, “well, thank you.” And I was sort of flattered although just a little puzzled because I still had my glasses and pajamas on, and, the night before I had somehow managed to scratch my chin with my thumb nail while turning the page of my book, so I had this sort of pussed-over blemish there. Anyway, he went on to explain that he didn’t get a chance to call, but is it okay if they hunt for squirrels and can they park in our driveway? (at least, I think that is what he said...he is very difficult to understand because of his thick... ebonic?? accent.) So, I said “yes, yes, no problem.” And then before he turned to leave he said, again, “you’re cute.” And I said, “thanks!” It was not until I was closing the door behind him that I realized that he wasn’t telling me I was cute, he was telling me his name was “Q”. When I was trying to think of who would most appreciate the ridiculousness of this story, I thought of you in less than an instant. And then, I remembered that the record shop is called, “Q is for Choir.” Weird, huh?

  2. OK ... so many questions .... but the first is... what the hell does anyone hunt squirrels for? Do they think they're Jed Clampett rustlin up some vittles for some squirrel stew?!

    Great stories, girls. Both of you. I wonder where you get your story telling abilities from? Love you both

    Neuropathy sounds weird. I never heard of it. You are educating all of us, Julie. From my extensive knowledge of etymology, I'm guessing it's that your nerves are tired and unresponsive. Is that right? I guess I'll look it up. I hope it stays away, whatever it is. Sending light all day long, Nanc

  3. i'm laughing out loud right now...
    love maggie