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#J07 (10Sep00) Fellow Survivor

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Subject: Watched One  #07 (10Sep00) A Fellow Survivor
From:     Jennifer Perlman

Dear Watchers,

It's been a while and I am sure that Karl has been keeping you abreast with pictures of Friday the 13th masks, tongue depressors, and somnolent looking me's. Re the radiation, every day seems bizarrely different from the next.  How it goes and my reaction to it mostly depends on my emotional state going into the treatment, what kind of visualization I am able to generate and maintain, and how relaxed physically I am able to become beforehand. It is quite trying, as Karl described and long, so the more I am able to take myself somewhere else that feels nurturing, relevant (as in healing), and good the better. My visualizations have surprised me in their mind-of-their-ownness and where I have gone. Thus far, I have stuck with a visualization tape made by my therapist, but this week, we may venture into some musical territory during the treatment to see where that takes me.

This weekend I rested. Last night I went to bed at 8pm and did not awake until 10a this morning, ate, then took a nap. Radiation truly is an onslaught on your body, but having two days off is a blessing. I saw my "goddess" friends for a gathering on Friday night and that was wonderful and full of laughter and dirty jokes. Karl has been busy making the house nice today (he actually sprayed the windows clean _from the outside_!, which the landlord hasn't done in a year and a half), and the house looks all bright and sunny. I, of course, provided only moral support, but did a load of laundry for good measure.

My G-tube peg seems to have turned a corner and although I feel like my ribs are bruised and battered, it finally seems to have stopped leaking and may be healing normally. I see the peg doctor tomorrow and will see what he thinks, but if the pain from moving gets better I may actually feel more normal some time soon. It's been really hard to feel so physically hampered and delicate when I am used to feeling stronger. Some of it is radiation, but more has been guarding the peg. So keep your fingers crossed. I also have the comfort of seeing Andy Goldberg tomorrow, whom I haven't seen in a few weeks, so I am looking forward to that.

Tomorrow I also meet my first fellow survivor. Her name is Kendra and she is about 30 and has been cancer-free for 3 years after having a partial tongue-ectomy. Her surgery was nowhere near as extensive as mine and she did not have chemo, but she went through the mask and the same 6 week ordeal that I am and I a very excited to see her in person. During our first phone call, she offered to spend a day off with me, and I accepted. She is very upbeat and if all goes well, perhaps some day we will go whitewater rafting together. I'll let you all know how it goes.

We are into the second week of our rotating Jen-sitter system, which will continue for two more weeks. So far, it has been great. I have wonderful, reliable friends, and have felt comfortable asking for and receiving help from them. Karl is there one day a week, as is Naomi, who is like a sister at this point, so three days a week works out well. I am, however, really looking forward to having my parents back in now less than two weeks, as there is just nothing like being a baby with them. And it seems like once a week at least, I have a day where I just want to regress and be a baby.  Lucky I have surrogates to fill in and a big telephone bill.

That's all for now. Love to all,


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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 05:39:50 Eastern Time.