I like the idea of inspiring you by how great I’m doing during this – let’s call it a trial (since I don’t want to use on my blog the kinds of words I’m really thinking) – but today I totally can’t do that. Instead I come to you because this is one way I can reach outside myself when all I really want to do is curl up in a ball and think about my trouble.
I have a PICC line in my arm. That’s how they administer the chemo every couple of weeks, for a full week, three different times. (That’s my schedule, which I didn’t mention before because I was trying to follow appropriate blog safety rules, which frankly go out the window every time I post a picture of my children.) And sometimes during the day, too many times, and sometimes at night, I want to rip it out so badly I can hardly stand the sensation. I want it to go away. It freaks me OUT. “If I’m gonna go to the hospital for anything, it’s gonna be for this THING STICKING OUT OF MY [ARM].” (Classic Joey. From Friends.)
Then there are the side effects which keep coming like a torrent, like the nurse practitioner who warned me about them actually spoke them into STONE and I brought that stone home with me so my body could follow it like a happy little checklist. I don’t like the tiniest one. I don’t like it because no matter how tiny it is, it REMINDS me what I’m going through and how awful it is.
And today, sometimes, I was overwhelmed by all of it.
So instead I gotta tell you how good other people are. I gotta tell you about this guy, the 5-year-old, who started a new adventure today to ride the bus home from school because we think it will be easier through this process. And you know what he said after the full two minutes he was on there? “Whew! What a ride! I want to do that EVERY day.”
And I gotta tell you about his dad who, taking all things into account, has pretty much the same mental onslaught that I do – and yet he has taken on different responsibilities at work, which is pretty much the OPPOSITE of the leave I’ve taken just so I can take the time to cry every now and then and rebel against the need to eat every single time I have to. And I gotta tell you how he came up with the brilliant plan that I take these three weeks of chemo, and I give one to each of my boys, like I’m birthing them all over again. Which I kinda am – into our new life together, cancer-free. Technically I’m still working on the first since I have a couple weeks to recover from Chemo Week 1, so John’s new life hasn’t quite begun and Drew and Jake are barely thought of. Which is weird, because they’re all here, kissing my head, bringing me food, drying my tears, picking up after themselves, picking out movies to watch that they remember I actually enjoy as well, and doing their lives, without complaining, without confusion by some of the adjustments to it, without complaint.
Look at them tonight instead of me. I know I am. I have better little boy quotes for what I’m going to say when this is all over. “That was berry hard,” comes to mind. And, “You know what happens when you leave that place? You feel good.”
But if I had any moxy. If I had half the wonderful my children do, I’d smile and say it.
Whew. What a ride.