HONESTLY . . .

Honestly, I was feeling like a superwoman the first few days.

You’ll feel nauseous, you’ll be in bed, throwing up, you might cry of pain, every worst possible scenario was spoken to me. But when I got up from that comfy chemo chair and walked out of the City of Hope without a single pain and one, two, three days went by without too many reactions, I wondered what the heck all those doctors, nurses and ex-cancer patients had been talking about.

I had been getting up before 6 to shower and get your brothers ready for school. Up early and doing the things I usually do. Friday I drove 100 miles to see my therapist because I really felt like it and because I was feeling up to the drive. Yeah there were some stomach cramps and towards the end of the drive the bones in my feet were beginning to hurt. Still, I tried to keep my spirits up with my Spotify lists of fun music. Like 2Pac and Eminem. I know you’re thinking I should be listening to Celine Dion and Ana Gabriel. I agree, just not always.

When I got home yesterday and saw the delicious chicken legs in the skillet and the colorful vegetables in the steamer that your grandma had prepared, my stomach got excited. I sat down at the table with her and took a really nice bite to the meaty part of the leg. Tasteless. Just like the lunch I had taken with me for the drive. No flavor. My tongue feels raspy, as if it just had a handful of salt poured over it. Even water has no taste. Can you imagine? I can’t even taste the absence of taste? Anyway, I still ate because I was hungry and because I have to. But by the end of my dinner I’m wondering if I will have to live without taste for the next couple of months. I’m worried, I’m already not a big eater.

I woke up today, Saturday, with pain in my feet and my stomach cramping. I didn’t get up to shower, instead I got up to spend 20 minutes on the toilet because chemo has made me very constipated. After those very long minutes without my book, because I had forgotten to take it with me, I walked out to the kitchen and had breakfast. As tasteless as the chicken leg. The rest you know, I laid in your bed trying to stay put. While you showered I started thinking and told myself that I am not exempt from any of the discomforts (I know that’s putting it lightly) that other cancer patients have had. I’m not Superwoman, I am not superhuman and I do not have a free pass. What I do have is this. Where I can let you know what it’s like for me and where I let you into my mind if just for a little sneak peek. I hope it’s not too scary. Lol

I leave you with this, a text my writer friend sent me:

Everyday [in treatment] is a day closer to full good health.

This just summed up everything for me and I hope it does the same for you as you go through this with me.

I love you with all my heart,

Mom

This Weekend . . .

I’ve been packing a lot lately. I’m almost done. And I thought we didn’t have a lot of stuff. I’m trying to get rid of as much as possible, really. I’m going to try and keep ONLY what we need, I’m gonna get rid of a lot of dishes that have just been sitting there and I’m going to buy only what I REALLY like for the kitchen so it looks cute and that way I will feel like cooking. Not even with a cute kitchen you don’t think I’ll want to cook? Okay, maybe you’re right but I do have to cook anyway and if I have a pretty kitchen then maybe at least it’ll make me want to walk in – and look around : )

Here are some pictures from yesterday’s carne asada at Angeles Forest where the sun was shining and leaves were sprinkling over our heads.

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mmm . . . want some arroz rojo?
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Your dad went crazy and, well . . . can you find him?
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Then we went on a hunt for some treasure and came upon . . .
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A zoo and its zookeeper!
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There was a super tall baby giraffe who was eating a tree . . .
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There was even an octopus that was not in a good mood and attacked your brother, that fight got pretty cray cray!

If this zoo is still around when you come home I’ll take you to it, the zookeeper is pretty awesome, he has all types of animals.

A lot of homework this weekend? Keep up the good work!

Love,

Mom (who loves you very much!)

Just Another Day

Dear Mi’ja,

(I know I don’t call you Mi’ja but it just looks so cute and artistic 🙂 )

The house is quiet and the Ranch Doritos in the bowl are tasty. I’ve washed the bathrooms and done the laundry. In the Altec speakers Lila Downs is singing Cucurrucucú. I know she’s not your favorite artist but I like her music because she reminds me of my childhood but at the same time she make me feel proud of the present. You know because she’s from Oaxaca, I’m from Oaxaca. We’re practically sisters.

Nauj and Gael are at the Aquarium of the Pacific with your grandma. I looked it up on Yelp yesterday and this is what I found:

stingray

Creepy huh?

Remember that story I wrote about the day I stole the Whitney Houston cassette from conceited Jessica? I’m getting ready to submit it to a contest or a magazine, I can’t decide which one. The contest is with the Boston Review which is, of course, a very good place to get read, but the magazine I want to submit to is about Latinas which, you know, is awesome. I looked over the story again and all I found were a few spelling and grammar mistakes, nothing big so I think it might be ready. I’m a little nervous but I think it’s time and I might go with the Boston Review. I’ve read some of their stuff and I liked it    so . . . what the heck!

I’m also still working on Abuelita’s story and I’m getting to the exciting part where she leaves with (or is taken by) her “husband.” Exciting!

Hope you had fun exploring your new neighborhood, I’m sure it’s beautiful.
Oh! I found these blogs for you, they have easy recipes for college students like you.

www.theantiramen.com

and

www.cookingwithoutlimits.wordpress.com (she has really cute food pictures)

Please take very good care of yourself!

Love,

Mom

P.S. I miss you!