Saturday, April 10, 2010

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Griffith

I started Friday morning out by being asked for our insurance card at the pediatrician's office once again. We were just there on Monday. And the week before that. And the week before that. I promise my insurance has not changed in the past four days. Isn't my word good enough? No? You don't remember us? I'm the really tall girl who comes in with the bald kid twice a week. It's beginning to feel like the obstetrician who would introduce himself each time he walked into the exam room and say, "Hi, Ms. Uhh...[looks down at chart] Griffith." After I had been going there for 6 months. Twice a week. Third baby. I guess I have one of those faces.

Eve had her blood work done and amazingly enough (emphasis on amazing) her ANC was over 1800, her hemoglobin was 10.3, and her platelets were back in the normal range. Just over two weeks post-chemo! We had to double check the date on the report to make sure it wasn't an old one. We were told in the beginning that counts normally would hit rock bottom 7-10 days after treatment and then would creep back up again. Eve has never been normal (need I tell you that again?); she would always bottom out at about 14 days post-chemo before climbing back up. Which is why the oncologist we saw at her last chemo told us to wait 3.5 weeks instead of 3 to get cycle #4, so her counts would have adequate time to recover. But now it's looking like I can talk my way into the clinic at the 2.5 week-mark, to get back on schedule. (Sorry for that confusing paragraph. Cancer-moms will know what I'm talking about.)

Did I just jinx myself by typing that? I'm not sure why I'm so set on staying on schedule. It's not like we've been able to do anything for the past six months. Why start planning now?

Today was a day where both Matt and I realized we needed a plan for our yard, and quick. I sort of detest yard work, but I know Matt still needs to do it. I, for one, have a black thumb. And if I can't eat it, I don't have any interest in growing it.

We have an very unlevel lot and the builders spared lots of expense by cheaping out on things like, I don't know, making an even front "garden." I wouldn't even call it a garden- it's more like some sad looking, haphazardly planted shrubs that would push a depressed person over the edge. One side is two feet lower than the other. Just crappy, crappy landscaping.

Matt took Dan to Home Depot to devise a game plan. Eve napped, and Nat and I played in the sandbox out back for a little bit before I determined I was too big to be playing in a sandbox. I got the good idea to make 18 trips to the front yard with all the pine straw I had raked up. That Radio Flyer wagon really comes in handy when you don't have a wheel barrow.

I thought Matt would be impressed by my efforts to clear out our fire hazard of a backyard, but all I got was a "Why are you doing that? You know it's just dirt under there, right?"


We adjourned to the dining room and ate supper and watched Dan needlessly injure himself as a result of being stubborn. We discussed preemptive Tylenol every four hours for the next five years.

Matt left for Home Depot again while I put the kids to bed. He returned, van filled with pavers and sand.

Which brings me to our front porch. Here I am, 11:29 p.m., watching Matt build a retaining wall in our front yard. I'm sure it's suspicious to some of our neighbors, but I promise the digging is completely innocent in nature. We just don't have the time to do it when the kids are awake. It's just placing pavers, I promise.

My job has been to hold the hand-crank flashlight and keep it cranked while Matt carefully makes sure each paver is level. It's hard, tedious work, but I totally got the better end of the deal. I did my share of heavy lifting though by getting all of the pavers out of the van and putting together a sick sort-of Pet Cemetery arrangement in the front lawn.

Our old 3-CD player from my high school days is in the garage, on random, filled with The Doors, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and a random 80s Power Rock CD. Unfortunately, I am reminded that the random mode never quite worked very well as it randomly plays Whitesnake's Here I Go Again over and over and over. In fact, here it goes...again!

My job duties also include refilling Matt's Gatorade cup and serving up delicious Extra Crispy Ore-Ida Tater Tots. But on a very serious note, why wouldn't you buy the extra crispy ones? Why is there even a choice? Soggy tots are weak. We need strong tots. It's like medicine. I'm always gonna buy the extra-strength stuff. Come strong or not at all! By having extra-strength Tylenol on the market, it's practically admitting that regular Tylenol is a failure.

I have done my job, holding the flashlight (for part of the night), refilling Gatorade, and serving delicious tots. I am here, on the front porch, trying to forget how cold I am. I keep adding layers to my ensemble, and I'm starting to look like a bag lady. Sun dress + jeans + sweater + scarf + boots = Natalie picked out my outfit.

Here I go again!


  1. LOVE the post, but seriously you just jinx yourself. Go find some wood and knock on it real hard. Praying counts stay up.

  2. don't turn to a life of crime because you don't have a recognizable face and mountain of bills piling up. i'm just sayin'.

    cheers to you on the hand crank. i think i would have grabbed the first household lamp i came too so i could double fist the tots and one of those cheap canned beers that might still be floating around your fridge...because nothing deserves a good celebration like kick ass counts.

  3. You always make me smile! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog! Eve and all of you are in my prayers! Love your family.

  4. I love reading your blog, you are an awesome writer!
    Stacey TMer

  5. Cheri- Ok, just talked to hem-onc and they scheduled us for Friday chemo as long as her ANC and platelets are good. So we'll see just how much jinxing I did!