Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lies I Tell Myself

Lies... I hate lies!  I hate being lied to!  I don't trust liers!  I don't trust myself right now...

"Things will calm down after ___" I've been filling in the blank with something new ALL summer!!  That might be another lie because, come to think about it, I'm pretty sure this is a chronic lie I've been telling myself... Ummm... forever.

This summer has just seemed busier than usual: English camp, home stay, Fuji climb, Sunday School over nighter... just to name a few of the big things. 

September has had something each and every weekend.  October is looking slightly better, but there are two extra events; Multicultural Disaster Seminar and a Halloween event at the library, that I am doing. Both of these events are taking more work than I initially thought they would. 

Looking at my calendar life may settle down a little in October and November, but then again, my computer has been in the shop most of September.  When I looked at my calendar this morning, I realized that at least two events had not transferred from the computer to my phone.  I need to double check on line to make sure everything synced correctly before I can know for sure.  I think it might be wise to fill in the blank with Christmas, because Christmas break IS coming!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Quite The Day

Today was Cancer Center day meaning we needed to be out the door by 7:15 in order to make it for Joshy's 9:00 appointment.  I woke up feeling less than the best, but he had to go so we went.  We got a slightly late start because, well I don't move the fastest when I don't feel well.

On the drive there, Joshy discovered the window button... Down went his window letting the rain in and the cool dehumidifier air out - silly boy!   So glad I have the master window controls and a lock button!!

At the hospital things went well, but slow. It still breaks my heart to see little bitty ones there.  Little ones just shouldn't get Cancer!  BTW - September is childhood cancer month, please, please, please register to be a bone marrow donor!   

Labs were drawn and results finally came...


Joshy's platelets were NORMAL!  Not just squeaking into normal, but very normal!  His white cells were normal as well and His red cells & hemoglobin were just a hair below normal!   His labs have not looked this good in nearly 5 years!  Even his liver functions were only a little high and his potassium level held well in the normal range even thought we had weaned him off the potassium blocker medicine 2 weeks ago.  


The doctor was thrilled.  He even mentioned a word, I'm almost afraid to type... なおしった, which roughly translates cured!   With this good news came another tiny step in the immune suppression drug weaning.  This continues to be a very delicate process of lowering the dose 0.1ml (2x/day) every 2-3 months.  From tonight Joshy is down to 0.5ml.  At this rate, he will be almost finished by next year at this time!!   The danger of dropping the dose too fast is that his antibodies could start attacking itself again and we will be back at square one - not something we want to do, so we go s.l.o.w!!

There is still the need to be extra careful, especially during the winter, that Joshy does not get sick.  Illness will complicate matters, not to mention slow down the immune suppression weaning.  Thankfully, Joshy has only had 2 hospitalizations so far this year a while blood counts fell, they didn't drop into the danger, need a transfusion zone like they did the winter before.  This is a good sign, but we are still on doctors orders to avoid colds.

An added gift also came today - we don't have to go for a check up next month!  We are now on an every two month check up schedule.   Joshy still has monthly check ups at the local hospital where his blood is monitored, but a 5 minute drive vs an hour and a half... Woohoo!!!  This also saves us about $50 in gas and highway tolls and roughly a whole day.  I think I am almost as excited about this as the lab results.

Then so as to not have a boring drive home, Joshy added to his skill set... he opened his door, well attempted to O_o  Thankfully, because the car was moving the automatic door simply beeped & loosened the catch rather than fully opening!!  Joshy seemed rather pleased with himself, but was quite a typical teen when I stopped & tried to get a picture of his mischievously grinning face.


This evening I am feeling much better emotionally even though physically I'm still not up to par.  I have narrowed it down though...  The wet, rainy weather is making the air heavy and my asthma is not liking it.  Pass my inhaler and I'll feel better as long as I take  life a little bit easy until the current weather passes.  LORD willing I can avoid catching a cold!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thinking Through Feelings

Fuji left me exhausted and sore.  Add several nights of restless sleep, by Tuesday I was a crabby wreck.  I should likely go back and attempt to erase Tuesday, but alas that is not possible.  However, taking time to sort out my feelings about the whole Fuji experience is a good direction to go in.


While frustration still goes at the top of the list, I am trying to bump it down or off the list all together.  I have tried to think back to everything I read and all the conversations I had with people about what to expect.  I've wracked my brain trying to figure out if I am just stupid and didn't understand or maybe I am just not capable of asking correct questions in order to get the information needed.   I don't want to believe that friends deliberately left out details, but to be honest that thought has run through my mind, especially when stuck in the middle of a rocky hell unable to move because of shear raw terror.  It has taken a lot of effort to dislodge those negative thoughts, but they are slowly lessening.  I am beginning to think that climbing Fuji is akin to child birth - one forgets the pain.

Now that I managed to get a decent nights rest and am not as sore, I am seeing things more clearly.  I did find one picture that showed an area between 7th & 8th station and stated that it was rocky.  The picture doesn't look at all like the "reality" my panicked mind saw but I did find that at least 1 place says it is rocky terrain, not just rocky landscape, which is what I was expecting.


Mild accomplishment is starting to make the list of feelings. Even though we did not make it to the top, we still made if further than a lot of people.  We saw several people who only hiked from 5th station to 6th station.  *I would gladly hike between 5th and 6th station any time.


The awesomeness, the grandeur, the amazing glory of God's creation is pushing itself to the forefront.  This is the memory I want.  Had I never gone, never battled the fear that nearly left me paralyzed and hyperventilating on the side of the mountain I would not have seen the sunrise above the clouds.

As I continue to process through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I am becoming glad that I went.  I still don't want to go again, but it was still a worthwhile experience!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Fuji Wonderings

This past weekend Jerry & I managed to sneak in a get-a-way to Mt. Fuji.  The original plan had been set for last summer as a 30th anniversary adventure, but alas, a broken foot put the plan on hold.

Jerry has climbed Mt. Fuji twice before and thoroughly enjoys it.  I haven't wanted to make the climb but since I have developed a love of hiking, his musings of the experience started to perk my interest.  Our original plan was to start at the very bottom and hike up to the 5th station, the point where most climbers start.  At that point we would decide if we were going to continue to the top or not.  The new plan changed to starting at 5th station.

We headed out early and drove to Mt. Fuji, about 5 hours.  We then needed to acclimate to the altitude for about 2 hours before stating the climb.  This is needed to help prevent altitude sickness.  We meandered around the station, err... Tourist trap.

No, I did not climb in flip flops!  I just didn't want to put my boots on before I had to.

The start was very foggy.

The early part of the climb was pleasant as the weather cleared.

Then things started getting more difficult.  Jerry had forgotten just how steep and rocky the climb was.  No one else had warned me either.  I was tired by this point, having already driven 5 hours, and my fear of heights and falling had me near panic.  I had no idea that some points would be almost like free rock climbing ( those who actually free climb will laugh at this, but to me that is how it felt).


We finally made it to the mountain hut just one stop below the 8th station.  It was already dusk.  We had been climbing for a good 5 hours.  We stopped for the night, paying about twice what we had budgeted, but we at least had a sleeping bag to call home.  If we had continued this is what we would have faced.

Originally, we had planned to get up in the middle of the night to finish the climb in order to see the sunrise from the top.  That didn't happen.  I simply could not face the mountain in the dark.  So we stayed at the hut and caught the sunrise from there - breath taking!

After sunrise we continued onwards and upwards.


Looking back from 8th station we could see the hut we had stayed in ( the tiny blip, lower right by the cloud line) with the 8th station hut being on the left.  At 8th station I saw something else... The access road that lead over to the descending trail! Hallelujah!!!  While Jerry check to make sure that it was a way to get down, I talked with another climber.  She said something I'll not forget, "My friends told me this was just a hike.  I'm not sure WHERE they hike, but this is not a hike in my book!"

So... At 8th station we turned back.  It was a good decision.  I distinctly remember a few comments about steep spots near the top... Ummm... Dear just what have we done if these are not steep?!?  I also remember some conversations while planning this trip..."there are a few rocky places near the top that you need to climb up."  Ummm... Dear if what we have been climbing are not the rocky spots what are they?

Fuji is beautiful.  We made it down in one piece. We are still happily married with no divorce papers being filed!  Am I going to climb again?
 There is a saying that "Everyone should climb Fuji once, but only a fool climbs it twice."

I am not a fool!