Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Testing Out Life at Home

I have some pictures today, but unfortunately none of what would have been the best picture of all: me rolling and sprawling as I tried to run down the first base line in a softball game with friends.

It's not like I didn't know I can't run fast. I can jog a little. I could jog all the way around the bases at a 13 or 14 minute per mile pace (that's very slow). I only intended to jog. After all, this was just fooling around with friends.

We've got stuff leaning against the house because we're still moving in, but the hydrangea bushes and the Tennessee spring are beautiful.

But as soon as I hit the ball, my subconscious took over. After hundreds and hundreds of baseball and softball games throughout my life, my body didn't need any input from my conscious mind. It knew just what to do, leaned toward first base, and started pumping my legs.

Or tried to.

I only got about three steps down the line before my conscious mind caught up and realized that I had no idea where my feet were in relation to my body. All I knew is that my legs were somewhere behind me, too far back to have any hope of staying upright.

I imagine it probably scared everyone to have the leukemia patient take a dive down the first base line, but we were playing in a grass field. It was soft, I rolled, and it didn't hurt at all.

Worse, I can only imagine how I looked in my highly unusual softball garb. The blue jeans were no problem, but I bought several UV-protective long sleeve shirts from Duluth Trading Company. I wear them because they're made to be cool even in summer. Excellent shirts, but they're still somewhat new, and they look like dress shirts. Then, when I'm outside, I wear a hat with hanging sides that can wrap around my face and velcro closed. Basically, only my hands are exposed to the sun, and I put SPF 50 sunblock on them.

So I look a bit like a desert nomad dressing up for a casual dinner party when I'm outside wearing the hat. I will get you a picture of that.

The Fun Part of Life at Home

There's some fun things happening today.

My daughter just finished conducting a "Dr. Seuss party" for some of the children in Rose Creek Village. She loves Dr. Seuss books, so she brought children over, made them some drinks, and read Dr. Seuss books to them under the willow tree in the back yard.

Janelle, the reader

The children and the books under the willow tree

Sam wants in on the party!

In the meantime, my son Manuha was experimenting--literally--with a box of old chemistry supplies that was given to him.

My wife took that picture. Unfortunately, when I tried to take a picture, this is what happened ...

I couldn't get my hands to stop shaking. I'm not sure which medication makes my hands shake, but I was doing pretty good for about 3 weeks. The last week or so, though, I'm  back to shaking badly enough have difficulty writing. Good thing I'm usually typing!

The shaky hands don't bother me. Those will go away as I wean off medicine. I understand Tacrolimus, one of the immunosuppressives, can commonly cause tremors, and I won't be off that until at least October, and only if the taper off of Cellcept goes will first. We'll see.

Have a good day, y'all!


  1. Great Blog Shammah. I was there for the softball game and that was a blast. I loved it that you batted and was amazed. at the "run/stumble/ slide to first base. You are down right inspiring!
    Also...speaking of inspiring... I loved that video you shared about the cancer patients. What great attitudes in the midst of pain and suffering. I had a bad migraine today while traveling up to Massachusetts with Nora and watching those kids smile in their condition put me to shame.
    Thanks so much for sharing all you do! Love Janells heart for kids and Manuh's delight in discovery.
    God bless you!!

  2. I have to tell you, Mala, that neither I nor any other cancer patient would ask someone to smile through a migraine! Endure it, trust God to heal it or give you grace, and go on with life, yes, but smile through a migraine? You can smile when it's over.

    Thank you for all the encouragement. Your attitude has been awesome, too, through some pretty intense troubles of your own.