Plodder Througher

Tanzania 2014

Sometimes I think of myself as a “plodder througher.”  Especially when times are tough and there isn’t much choice.  Just move forward and eventually get through.  Kind of like an elephant. And having buddies helps.

My electrolytes were okay, and I had my fifth infusion that Thursday.  I woke up Friday morning feeling fine, but by 8:00 I could feel “it” coming.  The “it” being that overwhelming fatigue when any movement is a challenge.  This time it came early, and I slept for the next three days.  Since I just felt sick anyway, being able to sleep was a blessing.  Monday morning, I was a little better and tried to get through some email but experienced mushy brain; I just couldn’t think.  I watched TV all day.  Tuesday “it” lessened more, and I tried to slowly get back to normal. 

My nails hurt, fingers and toes.  They are also becoming discolored.  I’ve been told they may fall off.  Lovely.  But the most concerning new phenomena is the beginnings of neuropathy in the feet – odd, tingly sensations with a little pain and numbness.  My doctor is a little concerned about that and if it doesn’t improve by the next infusion, they may reduce the chemical that causes that side effect.  So far, no food poisoning this time.  Just the normal digestive distress.  Yay! 

I’ve always had a thing for elephants and compiled this list a few years ago. 

Some lessons that elephants can teach us:

  • Honor the dead.  Elephants are known to visit the bones of their ancestors.  Although fraught with mixed memories, our predecessors have influenced who we are. 
  • Be patient.  Move slowly.  Rarely is speed necessary.
  • But when urgency is needed, be ready.
  • Work together.  Help each other, family or not.
  • Be solid.  Be calm. Be present.  
  • Gentleness goes a long way.  Someone told me they that when they need to transport elephants, they put a chicken in the truck.  Why?  The elephant will remain still to avoid stepping on the chicken. 
  • Reach out to others.  Elephants constantly let each other know they are there.
  • Stay next to your buddies.
  • Be playful.
  • Trumpet loudly when happy.

I may not be able to trumpet yet, but I plan to enjoy the week as I gather my strength for the next and last onslaught on June 4. Thank you for the continued random meals, cards, calls, and texts.  And thank you to whoever sent the Moyes book – I look forward to starting it today! 

5 thoughts on “Plodder Througher

  1. Hi Debbie,

    Thank you for the post. I am glad you were able to sleep so much – a blessing surely. And thank you for the writing about elephants. The part about the chicken brought me to tears.



  2. Glad that you are coming out of the post chemo haze. And I love your elephant stories. Thinking of you!



  3. You’ve tried the clarinet, piano ukelele, and cello–why not the trumpet? I love your elephant list. Thanks for continuing to include us as you journey on. Even if we can’t be by your side, we are with you.


  4. Hi, thanks for the elephant wisdom. I’m going to copy it and put it on my cupboard door to read over and over. Good to read that humor is helpful. Sleep is very often a restorer of one’s self. Glad you were able to restore your strength. Life must be a rugged ‘go’ these days. I’m with you all the way.


  5. This reminds me of a female elephant helping a calf from another herd she had no relation to. When one if us is down, we all need others to get us up and going again. We love you sweetie. Here’s the video:


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