I'm convinced that Dan is overwilmed (get it?) with how our lives are right now. I let him watch TV in our room while I got a shower. Before I left him, I turned it on Sesame Street. Sitting Indian style, he appeared interested in the programming. When I checked on him after my shower, he was watching static. Sitting Indian style, he appeared interested in the programming. Either he was trying to convince Carol Anne not to go into the light, or he wasn't lying when he told me he didn't feel anything.
Natalie was sad I couldn't take her to ballet today. I told her I would go with her next week. My friend has been taking her every week and I am so grateful for that...we really want to keep the kids on their normal schedule. I would have liked to have gone and see her dance, but I had to get Dan ready for soccer while Matt took Eve to get some blood work at the pediatrician's office. No matter how hard I try, I cannot be in multiple places at once. I am not Santa Claus.
Matt got home with Eve in time for me to find out that Eve's ANC (Absolute Neutrophil Count) was 602- under 500 and you are considered neutropenic, meaning you are at a very high risk of getting an infection. Dan and I rushed out the door to head out to soccer. I did my best to get him pumped up. We talked about soccer the whole ride out there.
As soon as we got there, he decided he needed to use the restroom. When we were done washing hands, he asked, "Where is the hand sanitizer?" Good to know something is rubbing off! Any of you who know me personally know that I am not a germophobe. This is the girl who once watched 2-year-old Natalie bury a cracker in the mulch at the playground and the next day watched her dig it back up and eat it. Did I freak out? No. Do I freak out when someone breathes in Eve's direction nowadays? Absolutely.
Dan's soccer class is 50 minutes. 20 minutes into it, he just walks out and heads toward the exit. No tears, no anger, just says he wants to go home. I bribed him to stay with ice cream. He thought about it and decided he did not want any. I told him he was free to go, but he had to go tell his coach he was leaving so the coach wouldn't worry about him. Dan gave a half-hearted goodbye, and we were on our way back to the van. I explained to him that this meant no ice cream- he responded that he didn't want any ice cream. He told me three times on the way home that he wanted no ice cream. Until we pulled into our driveway. Where is my ice cream?!? I want my ice cream!!!
After chasing him outside around our house, then around our neighbors' house, then around our house again, I finally caught the screaming child and wrestled him inside. Had I wanted exercise, I would have signed up for the Mommy and Me version of the soccer class.
Coming back into the house, you will usually see a stack of of mail, and on top there is bound to be a thick envelope from Duke University Health System (or DUHS, as is written all over the hospital...I'm convinced they spray painted that on the back of the wheelchairs for my amusement). When this whole cancer thing started out, the last thing on my mind was money. You just want your child better. That's it. But then people started giving us money here and there. Some of whom don't know me from an alley cat. (How amazing are these people?!) Which made me think for the first time, Oh crap! We actually have to pay for this stuff!!! After seeing some of the bills in which there are multiple radiology charges, Matt and I have a vision in our heads of radiologists sitting around a big table, passing Eve's scans back and forth. Each time it comes into their hands, a tick mark is added to the bill. "Pass that scan back over here! I'm saving up for Cabo!"
It's comforting to know that we are not the only ones going through this, though. And then I feel like a bad person for finding comfort in the fact that there are other people going through this.
And cliché as it may sound, it really is a small world. When I first began my email campaign to your inboxes, I got so many responses from people who had friends or family that had been through Wilms. One good friend from home sent my emails to her aunt, who is friends with the mother of one of the 14 kids in the original bilateral trial (See: Monday, October 26, 2009, part 2). I found out over the weekend that an old coworker's one-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Wilms back in June and has now finished up chemo. What are the odds?
I do feel as though I am in a position to comfort my friends. If they are anything like me, I am sure they have pictured what it would be like to have their own child stricken with cancer, and the thought is pretty upsetting. But when it is your reality, you just have to do what you have to do. I don't really have a lot of time to be upset right now- Nat, Dan, and Eve won't allow it.
Maybe I just made some more time for myself, though--- I went out to get a major haircut. Like, enough hair on the floor to make it look as though Edward Scissorhands and Axl Rose really got into it. I wanted something that I could spend 60 seconds on, tops. More time for being with the kids. Those minutes really add up when you think about how fast they are growing.
(Although Dan might not be growing anymore on account of the Nasonex.)