Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Blue Skies, Red Leaves and Bob Marley

Not our tree, but you get the idea.
Now that the final heavy chemo fog has begun to lift, I can start to see life in a more positive light.  I don’t know if it’s this difficult for everyone who undergoes chemo, but I definitely found myself repeatedly stuck in a hole after each dose slammed me and made me feel like a sick person for such a prolonged period of time.  At a certain point, no amount of 30 Rock can pull you out of your hole. 

I wrote more than one (unpublished) blog post with tears streaming down my face, just trying to get the deep sadness out of my system.  Luckily, I did get it out (plus Dan discovered me doing the typing/crying thing and rescued me from myself yet again), my energy is returning in small bits, and today I found myself thinking about things other than cancer!!  WOO HOO!! 

There are so many things about Fall that I love:  low humidity/high sunshine, our Japanese maple turning red, eating soup (that doesn’t make me want to hurl), wearing leggings, and snuggling under blankets to name a few. 

Today I was back in the saddle again (day 14 is definitely late for me) and able to drop off and pick up Judah from school.  I even picked up a few things (read: stayed in double digits) at Whole Foods, cut up a fresh pineapple, took Judah out to lunch, to run errands, and I made phone calls before crashing on the couch at around 2:30.  I love being able to take care of business, even if it’s only taking Judah to get his feet measured at the shoe store.  I love engaging in conversation with him; his questions are often remarkable (for a 3 year old) and show that he really processes so much of what we tell him. 

Why do people wear glasses?
Why do the leaves change colors?
Why do some leaves NOT change colors?
Is your boo boo gone yet?  Why not?
In the new kitchen, is the microwave going to be on the counter?
Did you know people are animals?  Isn’t vat silly?
Did you know starfish eat wif veir tummies?
I am in utter denial about doing away with his naptime – I know he could probably just do with an hour-long nap, then an earlier bedtime, but I am not ready yet.  In the past week or so, he’s been having a hard time falling asleep.  We listen to him sing to his animals for a while before going back into his room to cover him up, remind him his eyes must be closed in order for him to really try, and give him ideas of what to think about as he drifts off to sleep. 

Every now and then, Dan or I will go in and he’ll be out of bed, playing with his animals or switching the books he likes to sleep with for different ones from the shelf.  And every time he gets busted, he bursts out in tears, immediately playing the victim, “I’m having a hard time, I need you to lay with me…”  And who can resist that little voice?  The crying face (that is my exact duplicate) that requires so much effort to look real?  (Answer:  no one yet)

And then tonight, I gave him his very first bubble bath.  He has sensitive skin (don’t know where he could’ve gotten that from), so we’ve avoided fragranced and bubbly things until now.  I found an unscented organic herbal formula (yes, it was pricey) at WF and thought he deserved to know what a real bubble bath was like.  We squirted the soap in together and then watched as mountains of suds formed in the bathwater.  He was amazed and delighted and in turn, he amazed and delighted me.  He needed no toys, no cups, just the bubbles were enough to entertain him (and I had to finally drag his pruny little body out 20 minutes later).  He declared, "It's like warm snow."  It was 100% pure goodness.  If I were better at sharing, I would bring him out to spend time with other sick people as therapy.  But I'm not that nice (plus that would be weird for him).  So I'll just write about him instead.

Last night, my parents were over for another delicious (mountain o’ couscous) dinner (thank you Rabia) and as we (ha ha) started cleaning up from the meal, Judah grabbed his guitar to give us a concert.  The first set was the traditional Old MacDonald and B-I-N-G-O, but then he got into Bob Marley and we all joined in (his favorite thing in the world is to lead us in a sing-a-long).  When we couldn’t remember any more verses of Three Little Birds, I put on a CD someone had made us (thank you Mary) so we could sing with the real deal.  And thus began the dance party (we used to have these frequently post-dinner, but have been a bit limited in our celebrations the past few months)…  For a brief time (it was a good workout for me), we sang and danced (did we all really fit in our tiny kitchen?) as if this whole thing was behind us.  Which, I guess, is a good start.



  1. What a beautiful piece. Your writing put me right beside you, feeling the sadness pouring out as you typed those unposted blogs, sitting with you beside the bathtub and watching as Judah discovered the magic of "warm snow," and wishing we'd been part of the Marley dance party in your little kitchen. More than a good start-- what a wonderful family you and Dan have created.

  2. Why Do.. 'Some of those leaves stay green'?
    The child is quizzing you, he's very wise.
    Love from way out west,
    GG and Uncle