Star light, star bright,
The first star that I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

For some reason, this little nursery rhyme jumped into my head as I sat down to write this blog post. Perhaps because I decided to write about wishes. Or maybe because we had just been outside with the dogs.

I am participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for those who don’t know) after having to skip last year because I was diagnosed with cancer in October and spent November in a whirlwind of tests and chemo and its side effects. I only mention this because I am having to type during those small windows of time when I’m not hurting. For the last couple of weeks, my left hand has been hurting, itching, and numbish. It started with a prickling sensation in the webbing between the little and ring fingers, as if there was a cactus spine stuck there. That progressed to itching and pain. I can’t scratch the itching because that causes intense pain. And then there’s the vague numb sensation in those two fingers and half of the middle finger. Then there was the pain in the elbow and next to the shoulder blade on the left side. And if I’m holding something in my left hand, half of the fingers start trembling. So I’ve decided it must be a pinched nerve in my neck from sleeping in weird positions to try to stay as upright as possible to defuse the acid reflux.

And then my right big toe went numb along with part of that foot. That’s the toe that I ripped the nail off a few weeks ago, so that freaked me out, too. I have no idea what’s causing that.

When I called my team, my PA’s first question was am I having headaches, which I am not. So she talked to the onc doc who wants an MRI of the brain and cervical spine. And on top of everything else, now I have no energy and can’t seem to pull myself out of this ‘slough of despond’ I’ve fallen in to. By 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I have to take a nap. I have no energy. I can’t sit and type for any length of time. And forget crocheting. I’m right handed, but my left hand is just as important for crocheting or knitting. I had only recently rediscovered the joys of knitting and crocheting, and I can’t even do that now. I’m taking ibuprofen several times a day hoping that will reduce the inflammation and the pain, which it does, but not enough to be able to sit and compose on my novel. Since I can’t write, knit, or crochet, no wonder I’m feeling depressed!

I’m scheduled for an MRI on Monday afternoon and will meet with my PA on Tuesday morning, and I’m scared of what the MRI might show. I know I can’t change it be worrying, but I’m still afraid that there could be metastasis to the brain or spine. But it could just be a pinched nerve. I’ve had that before, but it’s never been this bad or lasted this long. I can only wait now, and nap, and keep taking ibuprofen, and hope that whatever the problem is with my hand it will be resolved before the end of the month so I can complete my 50,000 word novel.

So what does this have to do with wishes? I wish I didn’t have this problem with my hand and my foot; I wish I didn’t have to worry about the MRI and metastases; I wish I wasn’t depressed. The wish list is almost endless. But as my mom used to say, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride. I can’t make wishes come true, but i can be patient.

Onward and upward.

24 thoughts on “Wishes

  1. My reply disappeared here. I am frustrated. I wish that your doctor’s findings will be able to get the help you need. I wish that you can crochet again. I wish that rest will boost your spirits. I wish you will continue writing soon. Until then, do work on your plants and photos. They are a joy to see. They really bring the sun and lushness of your garden to my own home in a cold, dark, grey Sweden right now. So, I battle with my own fatigue and gloominess in this time of year. Some of what you feel can be due to our age. Although I imagine your tiredness is greater than mine. I wish for a swift answer for you so that you know where you are, my dear Ruth.


  2. Oh wow, Ruth, you have a lot on your plate right now. I’m sorry to hear this and I hope that you get a break in all those little/big miseries soon. It would be extraordinarily difficult to not get depressed under these circumstances, so be kind to yourself.

    I’m on the NaNo fence right now. I want to continue to work on the novel, but not necessarily at a breakneck pace. I’ll have to see how it goes over the next week.

  3. Ah. Here’s the reason for the naps, yes? Well, I wish you could get a couple of your wishes granted. We’ll just start with two, and once those are taken care of, we’ll move on to number three, then four, then five….

    Wouldn’t that be a heck of a title for a book about struggles like yours? “Wishing Well” Woman diagnosed with disease, wishes on star, wish granted. Realizes only one star in sky grants wishes. How to find it again? I’ll let you finish the story. 🙂

  4. 1,666 words a day doesn’t sound like much until you have to write it. I’m way behind on the word count right now, but I can probably catch up before the end of the month – I hope.

  5. I had the feeling you were sinking into a sad frustration with not being able to write…and all of this debilitating pain is enough to make anyone depressesd. Back in 2002, I went several months with barely being able to get out of bed because of severe fatigue and debilitating chronic pain, which was never diagnosed even though my white blood count was consistently out of whack for months. I remember the despondency, and the utter frustration of not even having enough energy to go up the stairs by myself! Hubby had to help me up the stairs! That was so indescribably frustrating, and frightening to me, especially having been so active and healthy only weeks before this, whatever it was, hit. That was in 2002, and it wasn’t until 2011, after my big operation (and minor brush with cancer) that I finally felt “enough” energy in me to do anything. I share all of this to say that I can empathize with the despondency, the frustration, the fear of not knowing the why of it all. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make everything, all of this, disappear and you be on your computer writing those amazing books that are alive and waiting there in your mind.

    I don’t have a magic wand, but I do have love, and prayer and hopes and wishes. I’m sending it all, full force, your way tonight. The Universe is listening, I’m sure of it…if we all send these wishes and healing energy into your corner of the universe, I’m sure the Universe is responding the same. Here’s wishing. ❤ ❤ ❤

  6. I join my voice with those here who posted before me, Ruth. I too wish you healing energy, and send you love, prayer and hope. Is there any sort of (ideally free) voice to text tool that you might be able to find that would let you dictate your new novel? I keep thinking a tool like that would at least let you get the story out — and then you could edit from there…

  7. Ruth, we’re all pulling for you here. I know the waiting and scanxiety can be brutal, Take care knowing you have a ton of people in your court. CraigB

  8. Iva Pokorny says:

    Ruth .. I am going out with Manson AGAIN in the snow. Nowhere near where you are now .. but I don´t like it just the same. And I wish I could be with you in your lovely garden bathed in sunshine and flowers. Thinking of you so much, girl. ❤

  9. Thank you for sharing, Sharon. Yes, it’s the frustration and the fear I’m sure that lead to the depression. But this too shall pass – as soon as we can figure out what it is and how to fix it. ❤

  10. I’m sure there is one, Anne, but that would add to my frustration in having to learn a new program along with everything else right now. Besides, my brain isn’t as agile these days.

  11. Good for you, Ruth, to take on NaNo this year. I hope it gives you a wonderful outlet.
    I am skipping it this year, after participating 4 years in a row.
    Keeping my fingers crossed for your next round of everything…

  12. saundragoodman says:

    I have to ask, and you may have addressed this and I missed it, but has anyone explored the possibility of relieving some of this pain and these chronic problems with any type of cannabis?

  13. My dad used to say … because his mother said it … “If wishes were fishes, we would all limit out early in the day.” 😉 Hope you feel better soon. Not being able to do anything creates a whole different kind of boredom (and frustration) than not having anything to do!

Ruth passed away from cancer. Please remove from list

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