Today was my day for Sandy, the therapist, and it was appropriate she be there today, as I have been reasonably perky all week, but I drug myself up there today. My breast hurts, and I am tired. "Natural," she says. I am still not recovered from chemo. This will take a year. Be kind to myself. All the usual, and I drive home feeling lighter. It is hard to get up and go up there first thing. It is not a motivation to get out of bed, and leave my dreams. I am not waking up naturally, but am deeply involved in complex other worlds, and now that there is pain, it is even harder to muster enthusiasm to drive up there.
When I comment on the pain, they say I am half-way through this part. There are 27 of what I am currently having, which is intense and is long radiation from two sides, both exposed and, then, flattened with the jellyfish. The last six will be intense focus in one spot. I guess I am supposed to be excited I am half-way through this part, but what I am feeling is pain and fatigue, and concern about the last six.
Plus, today, I arrive up there and notice a sign outside, "Marin Cancer Institute." It is huge. I wonder if I been in denial this whole time, not seeing this sign, and not recognizing that each day I was coming to the Marin Cancer Institute. It turns out the sign is new as of yesterday. I'm not in denial. They also have installed a new speed bump as you leave. Perfect! It feels just right to have your teeth jarred out of your head as you leave the Marin Cancer Institute. Bah, Humbug, I say.
Sandy and I keep saying in the course of our conversation, well of course, I'm not up to snuff, and then, we wonder what the heck that means, "up to snuff."
So, in case you are wondering about the origin, here it is, straight from the web and World Wide Words.
“What is the origin of the phrase up to snuff?”
The snuff here is tobacco: nothing to do with the verb meaning to extinguish. Several colloquial phrases are recorded that used the word snuff, most of which date from the early part of the nineteenth century in Britain, when snuff-taking was still common, but less fashionable than it had been fifty years before.
The first meaning of up to snuff was somebody who was sharp, not easily fooled. This may have come from the idea of snuff being itself a sharp preparation, but perhaps because it was mainly taken by men of adult years and some affluence (it was expensive) who would be able to appreciate the quality of snuff and distinguish between examples of different value. The evidence isn’t there to be sure about its exact origin, though an early form of the phrase was up to snuff and a pinch above it, which at least confirms it did indeed relate to tobacco.
Whatever its origin, the meaning of the phrase shifted slightly after a while to imply somebody who was efficient and capable; later still it often meant that something was up to standard, or of the required quality. It was in this sense very similar to another expression of the time, up to scratch. This comes from prize-fighting, in which the scratch was the line across the floor that a contestant had to touch with his toe to indicate he was ready to fight.
So, now, you have it. I am not "up to snuff."
While waiting, I read Time magazine for this week. The last essay is on birthday parties for 16 year old girls, which are shown on TV, and some of which cost $200,000. One has to wonder. Rome truly is on fire.
So, saying how tired I am, I feel better. One of the women who aligns me and draws on me has two 8 year olds and she says how hard it is to get them out of bed in the morning. She is feeling it will get easier, and I tell her it gets harder. I say I think many of our young people, especially in high school, are sleep deprived. I know how that feels now. I feel sleep deprived, and I see that I am alternating days of energy now. I feel well, and push, and, then, the next day need to rest. Tomorrow is a full day for me - radiation, horses, and my book group at night, so rest is appropriate today. Can I be kind to myself today, and allow it? Well, we shall see, won't we? Part of me wants to start jumping up and down, and another part knows I need to rest. I am worn out. I hope you are feeling energetic today, and all work is play.