Thursday, March 31, 2011



It's hard to believe that March 2011 is over. My life has been in a bizarre suspended time limbo since December and it's difficult to register time passing in a normal way. Since Mom's diagnosis, I have been back and forth between New York and Seattle constantly. When I'm in Seattle, I sit by her bed for hours a day, day after day. Time seems frozen, the days are indistinguishable from each other. If I'm spending the night at my parent's house, I drive to the Kline through the rain, listening to NPR and the latest Middle Eastern revolution. The best way to differentiate the time is by which country is in revolt. Tunisia when Mom was moving from the hospital to the Kline, Egypt was my last solo trip:10 days there before 1o days home before the wedding. Libya after that, the wedding trip, so bloody, tragic, still on going. If I'm spending the night with Mom, the days don't end. In New York, I don't listen to the news. I travel by subway, listening to mixes that Gary makes on my iPod and playing Freecell on my phone. I work 6 days most weeks, catching up the first week and then preparing for another departure the second week. The one time I was home for three weeks, that third week made me crazy. It was impossible to be away, yet so nice to feel like I was in the normal swing of things. I saw friends. I felt guilty.

Now I don't have a return ticket, I don't know when my next trip will be. If Mom has more days like today: ravenous, strong, I don't really need to be there. But I am conscious of the time I'm missing. Conscious of the struggle between living the life that I chose, far away, and feeling the sting of regret that I chose that life.

Mom had nearly a perfect day. Physical therapy and occupational therapy in the same day; that's always the plan, but it's very seldom executed. She walked to the gym, rode the bike for ten minutes, then walked back to her room, all after doing various strength and stability exercises. She had OT in the afternoon, after a big lunch, after a big breakfast. She visited with lots of friends and took lots of naps. But by tonight, her stomach was hurting and her appetite had disappeared. Chemo kicking in. Not nausea yet (and maybe that won't come) but discomfort.

This is the start of her third round of chemo. She had one and a half rounds before she got an infection that sent her back to the hospital, they day I sent out my wedding invitations. I'm assuming I'll get another signal that it's time to go back when it is. Or I just won't be able to stand it anymore and I'll go for a long weekend. I'm definitely planning to be there for Mother's Day and planning to make a huge freaking deal about it. I am trying to create milestones for her to reach that are attainable and worth looking forward to. I was very worried that she would sort of crash after the wedding was all over and she didn't, which is very encouraging. So, now on to the next thing. On to April.

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