JJ had been urging me to make him an appointment to get his hair cut, so I finally did. As usual, I made an appointment for me as well. It saves time and trips that way. I haven’t had my hair cut since May 2013. I made an appointment for this morning. Of course, after I made the appointment, the meteorologists began predicting snow. The forecast kept changing, but we were on the edge of Not Too Much Snow (1-3 inches) and Quite a Bit (6-10 inches). I had planned to drive JJ myself, but even though he was really tired, EJ offered to drive us because he knows I hate driving if the weather is bad. He is a superb driver in all kinds of weather. We ended up only getting maybe an inch of snow, but EJ drove us anyway. He is my hero.
We adore the couple who cut our hair. They are a husband and wife who have been cutting our hair since JJ was quite young. They converted their attached garage into a beauty salon some time before we met them. Usually Linda cuts my hair and Bob cuts JJ’s…and sometimes EJ’s. (Most of the time, EJ just buzzes off his own hair.) Bob and Linda are truly the most awesome, loving people. They always give us lots of hugs and they keep us in their prayers. As we drove away today, JJ said, “They feel like they are grandparents.”
Before we left, I took a picture of Bob, Linda, and JJ. I was going to ask if I could share their picture here, but we got to talking and then I forget. I don’t want to share their picture without their permission because some people (like me) hate getting our pictures taken. I will share JJ’s picture though. JJ looks tremendous with his new haircut, so we took his picture when we got home.
We were all really tired because none of us slept well, so after we got home, we all took naps. After EJ left for work, I took Danny for his walk. We took a shorter route and I didn’t let Danny meander as long as he usually does because the strong wind kept slapping my face with a cold hand. Brrrrr. When we finally got home, the heat of the wood stove felt extra wonderful. Our cat Luke agrees. His new favorite sleeping place is underneath it. I would sleep there too if I fit.
Last week I took JJ to the doctor because he wanted to discuss a few things. I suggested he go to the oncologist, but he finds it difficult to go to the Cancer Center, so he wanted to visit our family doctor. That’s fine. The doctor ordered a few tests to make sure all is good, and she also diagnosed JJ with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD was once called shell shock or battle fatigue syndrome. It can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. I read that families of victims can also develop PTSD.
Emotionally, I almost think that the Recovery Period is more difficult than the actual cancer treatments. We had the faith, strength, courage, and sense of humor to do what we had to do and go where we had to go for the medical appointments, chemotherapy, and surgeries, but once they were over, we seemed to have physically and emotionally crashed. We seem to have no reserves of strength and are easily depleted, overwhelmed, and stressed. Sometimes we suffer from insomnia. I find myself unusually emotional if I get too depleted, including occasional crying, feeling more touched by others’ suffering, and feeling less tolerance towards those who are unkind. Not every day is like this, of course. Many days we do relatively well. Occasionally, we had a difficult day, especially when there is more problems. We are helping each other through this stretch with patience and kindness, but recovery is taking longer than we expected. We always thought that the cancer battle was over when the treatments ended, but we are finding that that is not necessary true.