Friday, July 25, 2014

Fourth of July one year later

The weather was idyllic after Hurricane Arthur moved up the coast. Breezy, seventies and eighties. No rain on the drive up 95 on July 3rd.  Hardly any traffic either! We celebrated Independence Day in our traditional manner with an estimated 180  of Melanoma Man's extended family. The Riverton 4th of July celebration, includes parade and picnic and kids swimming in the river with various cousins. This year Larry, ex-husband of Lucy, persuaded the local fire department to participate in our family parade. Melanoma Man and I missed the festivities last year due to his brain radiation surgery. At the picnic many relatives surprised to see Melanoma Man here. When asked " How are you?" Melanoma Man always replies cheerfully "just fine, happy to be here!"

I made numerous treks from house to river and back throughout the day. The trips back and forth by myself make the whole event more plausible for me. I'm not the type who enjoys a crowd. On one of my returns to the house I found Melanoma Man in the living room with his cousin Nick, Lucy's brother. "I came over to hear about melanoma!" Nick said. I know it's true. He really did come to hear about melanoma. Nick's sister Lucy, also Larry's ex-wife, died of melanoma more than 20 years ago. Nick was diagnosed with primary melanoma this year himself. I say hello and head to the porch to hang out with Cha kitty to prevent myself from intruding on their fellowship, from interjecting my story into Melanoma Man's. There are few people that Melanoma Man will share his whole story with and Nick is one of those few.

Walking back from the river on the fifth I spot a bright red pick up in front of Mamie's house. I know it must be Evelyn and Bob. The house has been uninhabited at least for the past 22 years, which is as long as I have been coming to Riverton. Mamie was Bob's Mom and Melanoma Man's great aunt. Every July they return. Evelyn sweeps and tidies up the yard. They talk of fixing up the house on the inside. Bob is a cancer guy too. I'm not sure what to call those folks who haven't been cured, but live with their cancer and medications to subdue it. He has a form of chronic leukemia. Bob mentions that he had a melanoma removed from his left cheek, and that his mother Mamie too had a melanoma on her left cheek.

MM is looking and feeling remarkably well this summer. The Mekinist and Dabrafenib have been good to him. His color is good. His hair is growing back, especially the all important mustache. He got a good report from Moffitt in July, no new tumors. He plans each day with the boys the night before, merit badges and reading in the morning, then a swim, or errands, and usually a movie picked up from the library.  He delights in them and they in him. There is dinner every night prepared by MM as his offering to me. 

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