today is a day for favorite jeans
faded, creased and fraying
soft and pliable
curve hugging, not binding
way past “stylish”
not dark enough
not boot cut enough
not “skinny” enough
just right for me
comfort
the denim wrapped kind
with cowgirl boots for courage
countin’ down the hours and minutes
to my husband’s appointment time
soon we’ll know the answer to the question,
“What’s next?”

September 14, 2012

cat + dog = lavender

That cat is at it again
I swear she is the one that’s going to push me right over the edge
You know
The edge between sorta sane and completely off your rocker
I’ve been balance beaming along it for months now
She’s still mad about the dog
That sweet pup we brought home eight months ago
My goodness can she hold a grudge
She’s tried everything she can think of to express her displeasure
She’s growled, hissed, and scratched his cold, black, puppy nose with her menacing front claws
She tried a starvation diet too
I thwarted that one by opening a can of soft food that was too tantalizing for her to resist
She’s “gone” on the dirty laundry
…and more recently the bedroom floor
I don’t have time to deal with her antics and clean up her messes
But clean I do
Washing machine set on “sanitize” to neutralize that awful smell
Today I tried a new one
‘Cause I’m barely holding on
I mixed a potion of pleasing scent to spray upon the clean again bedroom carpet
The side of the box said 4 oz. water and 18 drops of lavender oil
I think I counted 21
Hope it deters her
Hope it gets her back in her box for “business”
After the potion mixing was done
I squeezed one more drop onto my index finger
And dabbed a drop of lavender oil behind my ears
It was chemo unhook day
That one’s tougher than tough
When the completed infusion hits hardest
I hugged my husband goodbye
Before carline at school
He said, “Mmmmmm, you smell nice.”
I smiled and replied, “It’s lavender.”
Drat that cat
Do I have to give her the credit?!
~ Janean

August 30, 2012

again

doc had some news
yesterday
a little good
nothing in the lung
praise be
a lot not easy to hear
metabolic in the liver
again
perhaps surgery
again
maybe more chemo
maybe wait and see
next step
specialist in Chicago
again
not the news we wanted
just seven months
since first liver surgery
when doc thought
they got it all
but thankful
he’s still here
with us
tougher
than he knows
the former Marine
police officer
I married
15 years ago

June 7, 2012

up since 5:00
one cup o’coffee down
a bowl of cereal too
almost 6:30 now
as I laugh and throw the ball for Blue
his appointment is at 8:30
that wonderful husband of mine
for 15 years and counting
20 years together in July
friends before that
today we find out
if the chemo has worked
or if the cancer has spread
yet here I am
playing with the dog
his dog
the one he’s always wanted
trying to keep the worries and fear at bay
until we know what the doctor has to say
other than THAT
it’s a beautiful morning
crisp early a.m. air
birdsong from the treetops
not much traffic noise
less than two hours to go
and then we’ll know
what’s next

June 6, 2012

on the edge

on the edge of emotion
tamping back tears all day
no reason for it
I consider giving in
and letting the tears fall
but I already did my makeup
so I shove ‘em down again
they might be happy tears
for my oldest son’s 12th birthday
or relieved tears
for my father’s safe travel
or exhausted tears
from two weeks
of my own health battle
or apprehensive
it’s a chemo week tears
for my husband
most likely it’s just regular
I’m a girl and cry sometimes tears
even though it makes me mad to feel this way
and I don’t want to be a cliche
there you have it
tamping back tears all day
on the edge of emotion

not always

I saw someone at church today

whom I haven’t seen in years

from opposites ends of the hallway

we met in the middle

as I drew within earshot

he said of me, ”She’s always smiling.”

I shook me head “no”

and said aloud, “not always”

he stated, “It’s not your husband with cancer.”

I countered with, “Yes. It is.”

him: “It’s pretty bad. Isn’t it?!”

me: “Stage 4. Two surgeries. Chemo now.”

him: “Is he bedridden?”

me: “Last summer for awhile,

with chemo and radiation simultaneously.

Workin’ light duty at a desk right now.”

him: “We’ve been praying, but we’ll pray harder”

me: “Thank you.

We know that’s what’s gettin’ us through.”

then we parted ways

he and his wife went one way

I went another

they are headed back to Michigan

to the church he’s senior pastor of

it was good to see him

on this Sunday morn

Spring forward

Spring forward
means May is gettin’ closer
one year since diagnosis
the end of six months of chemo
for him
not me
May
when another school year ends
and summer begins
a time for healing
how I love Spring forward this year
the sunrise
striped in orange
is lingering
now a golden glow
I feel hopeful
nearly there
I feel thankful
goin’ for the cure
so glad for the chance
to move the clock ahead
and get to May
one hour closer
for it’s time to
Spring forward

too much of a gentleman

he’s too much of a gentleman
to put the blame on me
it wasn’t the woofing of the dog
coughing of son number one
or morning grumbles of son number two
that awoke him this morn
from his workin’ mids (3-11)
just unhooked from chemo slumber
it was me
rummaging in the closet for clothes
that jolted him awake
but when I gave him multiple choice
the dog?
youngest son?
he just quietly said, “No”
not elaborating
as he ate a pop tart for breakfast
and took some medicine
before tucking back in
to sleep a little longer
later it dawned on me
but he was too much of a gentleman
to say so

my sweet husband surprised me with flowers today
for no reason other than, “We haven’t had any flowers for awhile.”
our oldest son helped pick them out
making them even more special
they are in water now
dressing up the edge of the kitchen sink
which is empty of dirty dishes I’ll have you know
it’s been a nice day here
a good day
a family day
filled with a whole lot of normal
we needed that
this was a no chemo week
the calm before the storm
of nausea,
weakness,
fatigue,
and cold sensitivity
hardest on the flower buying man who endures it
not easy for the rest of us either
we hurt when he hurts
we want to make it better
we all just have to go through it though
to get to the other side
the side with no more cancer
for that is the hope
to get it all
for the cancer to never return
for him to be cured
that day will come
I am sure of it
until then we’re living and loving
one day at a time
and today is extra special
because he bought me flowers
and yes, I’m still smiling