Today the temperature in Wisconsin, which is where I live, is expected to reach triple digits, and this really alarms me. I water my garden each evening, but my little plants struggle to stay healthy and green, despite all my best efforts. Even hanging my clothes out on the clothesline is not without hazards. Things are drying at such warp speeds out there, that I’m getting carpal tunnel from doing a non-stop barrage of laundry all day.
When this kind of heat affects me, I pick and choose what I want to do, and usually I choose to stay indoors most of the time. There is nothing good about this spike in temperature at all…except…well, I suppose that some utilities stocks might be going up for some people, and I suppose that they would be happy about that?!? But that’s all the good I can find, because other than that, if you don’t live in a home that has air-conditioning in it, then your life is going to suck right now!
I am thankful that I do live in a home with A/C, but I know that not everybody else has this luxury, so I am going to be very forward and ask you all for a favor today. It will ease my mind, and maybe it will ease your mind as well. Do you know anybody that is living without some form of air-conditioning right now? An aging parent, a lonely widower, or a poor teen living in a cheap rental? If you do, maybe you could make it a point to check in on them today, or tomorrow. Better yet, invite them over to your house for a refreshing cold drink and a break from their “misery.” Or maybe you could offer to pick them up so you can go to a nice movie at a “really-cold” theatre.
The thing about all this heat is that it sucks for everyone, but it is especially not going to be good for our friends with cancer. Heat just magnifies the intensity of all the crappy symptoms that we have. Stairs are so much harder to climb, letting the dog outside becomes a monumental effort, and walking from one part of the house to the other can do you in for three flipping hours! And don’t even get me started on food, because the sheer act of going through the steps to eat healthy food when you are miserable, (and don’t forget the effort it takes to actually prepare it all), well…it just takes so much more energy than you actually have, so sometimes, it feels like it would be easier to go without it. Survivors have a bone-weary kind of tiredness that gets even more god-awful feeling when you are miserable from excessive heat. And it’s not like you can just sit down and relax with a cold beverage and a George Clooney movie, either, because it all tastes like aluminum and crap anyway! And the med’s might me causing you to freak out from a strange mixture of anxiousness and the “jitters,” which keeps you from being able to focus the right level of attention to understand what the stupid movie is about in the first place, much less care that hunky George Clooney was even in it!
Anyway you dice it, cancer just plain sucks! I implore you, people, to go and check one of these friends today. Call them up and see if they need anything. Do something kind for them, like taking their overly zealous dog for a nice long walk, or offering to take their kids to and from the local pool, just so they don’t have to feel guilty because they can’t muster up the energy to do that themselves. Maybe you could send a small gift, just because you care, or order the family a pizza for supper. And don’t forget to tell the delivery person to send along a supply of paper plates and plastic utensils with it, so the kids can throw it all away when they are done. Bring a box of Popsicle over, or a homemade ice cream cake. The gratitude from the survivor will be enormous, although they might not be able to show it to you; some of them are too damn ill right now! But they will love you for it!
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