Well, not a doomsday prepper, but I am a prepper for moderate to major life disruptions. And well, we are in the midst of such a disruption. Once I processed the Stage 3 news, to the point which I am currently able, I started to feel a bit of a time crunch. I have no idea how my body will react to chemotherapy, so I have felt the need to prepare. I’ve been looking up common side effects and ways to relieve them, so I made an Amazon list. When/if I have certain side effects, I can tell Jonathan to go to the list and purchase the relief option. I also went to Etsy to see what kind of comfort options creative people have come up with for chemotherapy patients. There are some shirts that are good for infusion days, so once I know for sure that I will need a port, I’ll purchase 1-2 of those. I feel fairly confident I will need a port considering I have tricky veins. I also don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes for infusion days, because I have the feeling I won’t want to see them again post-treatment.

I’m also planning to make a chemo week care box. I’ll definitely have some vomit bags in there, but I also hope that I don’t get that side effect. I’ll have some gloves, because many people get peripheral neuropathy and sensitivity to cold. I’ll have some blankets and some hand and foot warmers as well. Oh, and I’m on the look out for warming booties that are made with lava sand or clay beads. We had some sleep time warmies that were filled with flaxseed and lavender, and those seemed to be appealing to rats. That is one of the last things I’ll be wanting to deal with during treatment. Talk about germs! The things that I will add to the box later, if it becomes an issue, are plastic(wheat or bamboo for sustainability) tumblers and cups and cutlery. Apparently metal can be too cold and/or a metallic taste in the mouth can make eating off of metal silverware unpleasant. I’m sure I’ll add more, and if you have ideas, feel free to reach out to me.

For infusion days, I’ll need to have a bag with supplies as well. I was thinking I’m a backpack girl, but then I realized having a port might change that. I’ll need a blanket, a plastic water bottle (in case of cold sensitivity), distractions like coloring books (I have plenty), device chargers, and potentially a neck pillow. I might need to pack snacks as well, but I’ll definitely have to see what I am tolerating before I get prepped for that. Once I have my oncology appointment, I’m sure I’ll be able to get more specific about my infusion day needs.

Finally, I’m not sure how I’ll be feeling on homeschool days. Jonathan is planning on reserving some time to keep the kids caught up, but I am planning ahead for if I am unable to focus to lesson plan. Sadly, we will have to rely a bit more on workbooks while I am going through this, so I have divided up sections for the kids to finish each week. So far they are set up for Reading, Writing, Math, Science, Financial Literacy, and Geography. I’ve only prepped through Spring Break, so I’ve got a bit more to do. The hope is that I am able to guide them through these assignments, however they should be self-explanatory enough that someone else can step in, or they can even be self-guided. Their school is also a resource in extenuating circumstances if we need to send them to campus with pre-determined work, however, I’d like to limit them to their 2 scheduled days. It’s quite a germy time of year, and I’ll need to be doing my best to avoid illness.

There are a few things that will fall in the timeline of my chemo treatment that I can’t wrap my head around preparing for, however, aside from our 20th anniversary, they are relatively minor things. Valentine’s Day, Lent, Pi Day, Easter, etc. I feel confident that if I am feeling crummy, there will be other adults who will step in to love on my kiddos. I don’t think I want anyone to step in to love on Jonathan for our 20th anniversary. We’ll just have to postpone that.

As for the surgery recovery, I’m doing okay. I haven’t been sleeping well. You might be able to tell that I’ve had a lot on my mind. Also, I did a little too much on Friday, and I paid for it Friday night and Saturday with a lot of pain. I’ve tried to take it a bit easier today, but it’s getting hard to not try to get things done. I have a slew of appointments this week: dermatologist, primary care, and dentist. Next week I have my first mammogram. I don’t have reason to have concern, it’s just a screening that I said I was going to do once I got through getting my tumor removed. Now that that whole colon cancer thing is going to take a bit longer, I’d rather get my scan done, so I won’t be telling myself stories that they are blasting one cancer while not knowing there is another one in there.

There you have it post-op week 3. Not what I had hoped it to be, but here we are.

**For those who are interested in what one of the treatment options for me could look like, I found this extensive description at this website: www.unixwiz.net/techtips/… Of course that was 6+ years ago, but I found it helpful and honestly a little encouraging. I know different bodies have different experiences, and this helped me put some things in context.