Sunday, May 10, 2009


I've been complaining on this blog for a while, but today I'm noting an improvement. Case in point - it's 9:23 and I'm still dressed and wrapping up my day, instead of in PJs and in bed. I really, really hope that the worst of my drug transition is over. Nobody told me to anticipate such an awful shift when going off Aromasin, but I felt like I was hit by a truck. My theory is that, with the first estrogen entering my body in 3+ years, I was having PMS meets menopause and the result was pretty ugly. I'm hoping that my body will regulate a little bit before I start tamoxifen in June, because the combo fatigue and crummy-feeling was just overwhelming. The continued side effects from my treatment bring me down because not only do they make me feel terrible, but I keep thinking "but it's not supposed to be like this!" When I was on chemo, I expected to feel terrible. So many years out from "heavy" treatment, I thought it would be so much easier. It is awfully hard to move on when my body is reeling like it was happening yesterday. I have to say, this week I felt as bad as I did when I was on chemo - I was that tired and achy and just sort of out of it. I am greatly relieved to have an improvement, and hopeful that it will get better from here, or I'm not sure what I'll do.

Maybe if I felt better it would be easier to exercise and take care of my diet. Weight Watchers is a disaster right now, and the scale has become my mortal enemy. Getting dressed in the morning is a challenge because nothing fits. I wish that was an exaggeration; it is not.

In totally other notes...

I had a great Mother's Day. Ryan went out of his way to give me a nice day, including coffee in bed, making dinner, and (best of all) doing a ton of yard work to get the garden going. I was really grateful for his extra efforts to make my day special. Tessa made me cards, gave me lots of smooches, and told me that I was the best Mama ever. THAT certainly made my day!

Thanks also to Kathleen for a lovely brunch this morning -yummmmmy baked egg dish.

The garden - ahhhh it is so satisfying! The tomatoes are planted, and I got 8 different varieties, including my favorite Brandywines, and several varieties of cherry tomato. It's kind of funny, but I have to admit to wishing I could fit way more in the garden; even though we doubled or tripled the garden this year, it fills up so quickly. Of course, my back and muscles aren't up for much more than we've got going, and it will be a challenge just to keep it watered and weeded....but I'm addicted to growing food.

What we had previously planted:
fava beans
sugar snap peas
rainbow chard
mixed lettuces
herbs (rosemary, sage, parsley, thyme, oregano, mint, chives, tarragon)

What we planted today:
8 varieties of tomato: Brandywine, Sweet 100s, Yellow Pear, Green Zebra, Sungold, something-French-that-I-can't-remember....and two that I can't remember at all
more carrots
more lettuce

Flowers planted today:
Granny's mix zinnias
Alaska mix nasturciums

Still to plant:
bush beans
squash (summer and winter)

The roses are doing well, the hanging pots are doing well (I'm too cheap to buy the pre-planted one so I bought flower starts and filled old pots....they're filling in nicely), and the lupine planted a few weeks ago is triple the size. I'd like to get a few more lupine plants, maybe another rose bush, and a couple more blueberries in addition to huckleberries and salmon berries for a shady corner near the neighbors' yard. I still need to build a path, and I still need to get some sunflowers to plant.

But no matter what I wish was done, I can say with conviction that the garden has a great start. I dream about gardens in future years (another lilac maybe? oh and a hydrangea. and definitely some apple trees in the parking strip....) but the garden for THIS year is going to have a lovely crop, and I will enjoy it even as I dream about future gardens.

I think that one of the things that I love about gardening, in addition to the thrill of eating what I have grown, is that I feel so deeply rooted to the land. I know that I'm doing what humans are made to do, and it feels as fundamental as simply breathing. In WWII they were called victory gardens, and though fortunately mine is not a victory against some foreign enemy, it does feel like a victory to re-learn how to do something so basic as grow my own food. Am I self sufficient? Not even close. But I'm closer than I once was.

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