Saturday, April 13, 2013

Making Fun in Bad Times

Just now I wrote four paragraphs and accidentally hit an unknown key and it disappeared. That's the theme of the past two months-put in a lot of effort for nothing. I took two chemo treatments that didn't work and had side effects; I put time and attention into a man who clams up under pressure; I began exercising only to find that a flare made it impossible; I prepared a pile of beautiful baby room accessories and clothing and cannot begin the market on time (you can see examples below).

I am in limbo, fighting a flare without specific meds for it. I rarely leave the house due to pain and lack of energy and frequent infection. I can't start the market with my comrades next Sunday. I have prepared and prepared and I can't carry on until something ends this.

I'm still coming to terms with the rituximab failure. Four years ago, that medicine was like a miracle. In a lot of ways it liberated me, making me healthy enough to get out of the house, be with friends and family, build a market business instead of just existing on the internet. Now, one bad treatment cycle and my doctor has stopped it. The next medication choice leads us into uncharted territory.

Today I recognized that creeping self-pity and overwhelming sadness and chose some activities to fight it. I re-read Knit 2 Together, Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun. Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark put some unusual patterns and fun narrative together, and they seem better and more useful to me now that the first time I read it. I have lots more knitting knowledge and experience and more appreciation for elegant construction and a sense of design humor.

I also pulled out a box of Seinfeld dvds, and I'm going to work my way through several seasons. It is perfect for a knitting accompaniment. There's no action for me to look up and follow. Conversation is the whole show-what happened or didn't happen or should have happened, nothing too banal or trivial to discuss. In my family, where each one's opinion is too important to keep to oneself, this sounds very familiar, and the show makes me laugh like a crazy person.

I have a crockpot of my favorite flageolet beans. Interesting food is more important when you eat alone at home day after day. It's a cheap luxury and one of the few ways I can impact my disease right now.

I've promised myself to keep writing when things are bad. This account should always be about the totality of having this damn disease, not just the triumphal moments.



  1. I'm sorry about your illness. Despite having family members with various difficulties, I cannot tell you anything you don't know already. (I imagine you realize that.)

    I love those little sweaters. I had hoped to spend a lot of time knitting after I retired, but I really don't see well enough to knit. (Or thread a needle.) My eyes are good enough for reading and computing, thankfully.

    I hope you keep on writing. I value online acquaintances as I am more or less housebound these days.

  2. L'empress, I appreciate your comments. I have no plan to stop writing. I value my online acquaintances, too, and this forum helps to keep me sane.

  3. We're moving so fast in this world. Although a lot of us are busy, some of us cannot bear to slow down for another's pain, or are too afraid to do so lest they see their own (in whatever form it takes). Seinfeld is, in my opinion, just what you've observed. Isn't it great to have them in quantity! I've been looking for In the Still of the Night compilations for my quiet moments.