Thursday, January 23, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
I have been laid up in bed for 3 days with the flu. Felt a little strange on Friday afternoon,soles of my feet hurt when I woke up Saturday. By noon I was aching all over. Four o'clock fever, headache, dizziness and cough. Whoo that was fast. I got my flu shot in September as all good nurses do. Perhaps a different strain of flu. I weighed my options, to go to urgent care for an official diagnosis and possibly Tamiflu prescription or just hang out in bed. Since I don't have any of the high risk conditions associated with complications from the flu and the Tamiflu only reduces duration by 1-2 days I decided to hang out in bed, playing keep away with Melanoma Man and the kids. Nothing attracts a fan base like a sick and feverish Mom in bed. The keep away approach was unsuccessful. More of a boy magnet, something I never perfected in my youth. Today was MLK day, so kids home from school. iMac with several large homework assignments to mope around about. IMac had "forgotten" to disclose these assignments 7-10 days ago. This always leaves me furious with MM, as in WTF are you doing to help the kids learn organizational skills? Then guilty, as in cancer guilt. It is a miracle that I did not spew my anger and disappointment all over the house. iMac has completed oodles of work today and I managed not to destroy anyone's ego, except perhaps my own.
Day two of flu/ Sunday, the tears came. Something I don't like about being still, the tears come, and bring with them regrets and grief. It occurs to me that I don't have much to show for my life. Yes here comes the drama. Just to make myself feel a little bit crappier I recall that I was ranked third in my senior graduating class from high school. The student ranked second, just one notch above me, founded Ebay. And back to the tears, crying gives me a headache, so it is best to do in the morning, preferably on the way to work. Then I have a whole day for the swelling to go down and a chance at a good night's sleep without a headache. Crying on the way to work was a great solution there for awhile, when. I worked with the best Advisory Committee ever, Cici, Nancie, Ann, and Vicki who were always able to patch me back together in 15-30 minutes. So no car crying for me since starting the new job September 30th.
Tomorrow morning I plan to cure my flu and my attitude by going to work and being useful. I could probably even get away with some car crying. I could tell my new co-workers " My face is just puffy from being sick." They might even believe me.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Everything has been altogether ordinary and altogether not ordinary, which is my status quo. Melanoma Man is in good spirits and his energy level seems good too. The FDA just approved a new combination therapy for recurrent, inoperable melanoma. Dabrafenib + Trametinib= braf inhibitor + mek inhibitor. He got through the prior authorization process and the Trametinib will arrive Wednesday. He's been on the dabrafenib alone since November. In the early days of melanoma when we were newly engaged and newly married I read journal article after journal article in my attempt to understand and control melanoma. Now I just hit the highlights which is infinitely better for my mental health. I feel confident about the Weber and Dr. Rau and they make us feel like people, not just statistics. Last week one of the Dads at a Boyscout event asked Melanoma Man if he is Butter's grandfather. He was crestfallen. I remarked to MM, did you tell him that you are just an unbelievable stud, keeping up with your 47 year old wife? It made him smile. The dark clouds were brushed away as I shone sunlight upon his sky. It is important for me to remember that he should be someone's grandfather, as are all his college and law school classmates. It is important because he gets out of bed everyday cheerful, making plans for our boys, encouraging them, and coaxing them in spite of fatigue, breathlessness, and joint pain. Sometimes he pushes too hard, like trying to plan Butter's college career at Princeton. Me, I am trying not to look ahead farther than a few days. Butter, he is still talking about Heaven, if it is real, and how can I believe it, and how did I come to believe it, He wants every detail of my faith journey, but for now I sift through the memories and parcel them out.
Other big events in our extended family: MM's cousin Roy lost his battle with cancer two weeks ago today. I can't remember a trip to Riverton without seeing Roy, always steady, reliable, bright and humble. When I felt like such an outsider in this huge North Carolina family, Roy always pulled me to the inside, made me feel at home and part of. It's a true accomplishment because most of my outsider ness comes from within my own head. Roy turned 64 four days before he died. We saw him at Thanksgiving in Riverton. Even then he was planning a spring canoe trip down the Lumbee River and raising money for a college scholarship fund for some young man or woman from one of the poorest counties of North Carolina. MM and Roy spent summers together in Riverton, probably not together, but parallel. Cousins spoke of them in the same sentence as the cousins who survived cancer and embraced life. His death reminds me of the edge. It reminds me of the importance of Heaven. I am hoping Roy has met up with my father, JLS and my grandmother VEW. They would really enjoy each other. I like to think of them having the chance to meet.
Tonight I am in bed with a fever and headache. MM and Butter are watching Percy Jackson, Sea of Monsters. iMac is in Georgia freezing cold camping with scouts. I have in the refrigerator another ridiculous concoction, Black Bean brownies. Don't underestimate the importance of fiber I say. Shh, don't tell the boys!