Sunday, April 7, 2013


I’m finally getting to the other side of my cold and trying to catch up from the time spent in bed. Last week was little boy’s 12th birthday and the year anniversary of my surgery. I realized that I’m barely six months out of treatment and while it’s still on my mind, still so much a part of my every day, it seems like ages ago. Only a year and a half since diagnosis, can that be true? Less than two years ago, I was a mere civilian living a normal life rife with possibilities, decisions unencumbered by trauma, disability and potential relapses and death. Man, that was one serious tornado that sucked me up and spit me out and Kansas never came into the picture.

J wanted only to spend some special time with “mom” for his birthday. I think he’s going through a delayed reaction, fear of loss, excess appreciation, he tells me not to get into any car crashes, and I think “honey, car crashes are the least of our worries”. He invited to me to watch his afterschool improv class during which he waved to me throughout, unthinkable that he’s almost a teenager, he’ll never be that kind of teenager. We went home afterwards, had warm brownies and ice cream and watched an episode of Doctor Who on the laptop. Then it was lego bliss for the next day and a half as he assembled the Battle of Helms Deep.

We’re going on vacation in a week and I’m hoping that sitting under a palm tree I’ll be able to breathe. I don't think I'm fully breathing, I need my chest to open up, my teeth and shoulders to unclench and just breathe, breathe, be quiet and breathe. A change of scenery, new smells, new sights, I think will do me a world of good and actually getting a vacation together instead of just talking about it will feel like an accomplishment.

I was listening to NPR in the car today and there was a story about the Human Genome Project. A  man with leukekemia has a relapse and was sinking fast, the doctors didn’t think they could do anything for him. But a doctor, I don’t know who, or how the chain events took place, but a needle-in-a-haystack-creative-physician decided to look at the genome of healthy blood {I think it was the blood, it could have been something else} and compared it to the genome of the patients’ and found the patient was making excess of a protein he shouldn’t be, so they deduced that this protein was feeding the cancer. They did a massive search and found an approved drug for another condition who’s unwanted side effect was to turn off production of this protein. He started the medication on a Friday and by Monday, the difference in his blood counts shocked everyone and years later, he’s chatting about it on the radio. I haven’t encountered any of these physicians on my “journey”. I’ve heard of them, and wonder if one can intersect with them in any way other than accidentally.

I’m sitting in the waiting room of a Toyota dealership while Sparky has her 6-month checkup. Kelly and Michael, formerly Kelly and Regis, formerly Regis and Kathy Lee is on T.V., this show is on in every waiting room I visit. I realize that there are millions of people at home watching this show, which I can’t imagine. Maybe I’m a misanthrope, but I can’t stand watching these rich, beautiful, perfect people having zany fun and acting like they’re my happy-go-lucky BFFs or next door neighbors, but the audience cheers and cheers. Apparently, people love this insipid show.

The place I bought Sparky was a dump, filthy, crowded, noisy, but what they saved in overhead, got me a good price on my car. The dealership I took her to for the bashed bumper had a tiny, yucky waiting room, but thanks to a tip from Librarian Sarah, who has been my new car mentor, I’m sitting in a plush, comfortable room at the spacious, luxe toyota dealership. I tried to buy my car here, but they wouldn’t give me a good price... there are advantages and disadvantages to overhead, I’m loving it from this point of view. So there’s my advice, buy your car at a dumpy dealership and service it at the posh one.

There’s a Target right up the street, so when the car is done, I’m zipping right over to pre-vacation shop, taking the whole day off work. I can’t even remember the last time I strolled through a Target, I’m always working or sleeping. It’s kind of twisted when a trip to Target is such a treat. I’m getting really excited about our trip and I need to buy a suitcase and some snorkels to fill it with. Kris Carr, a famous, trendy, cancer survivor and author thinks cancer patients should do a lot of frivolous shopping. I didn't know that, so I'm starting now {more on Kris Carr later}.

I’m aiming for the restorative powers of swimming with the fishies. I can’t remember the last time I swam in the ocean. I’m such a wuss, New England water is too cold for me. Immersing my achy, itchy, tired self into the gulf of mexico sounds divine, just waiting for my SPF shirt to arrive, I'll be the one under an umbrella wearing a burka... the sun hates me and it's kind of mutual. Having my kids visit a tropical beach, if only in Florida also seems like something one should check off the parental to do list. Tall one needs to snorkel before going to college, for some reason, that will relieve a bit of parental guilt... erase all the times we've eaten dinner in front of the t.v., which is, um... always. That's another of my deep dark secrets... we don't do family dinner, we rarely all eat at the same time. Snorkeling will ease my conscious.

1 comment:

  1. I think the family dinner thing is a little over rated. I don't think you should have any parental guilt because you are a super Mom.
    I bought my car at that posh dealership and Target was always my next stop. Our first car photo has Target in the background.