Thursday, September 8, 2011


My parents stayed at Urgent Care for a couple of hours last night: they arrived about 6:30 and were home by 10:30 (ish-I'm not exactly sure of the times). Some dear friends met them there so they weren't alone and kept them company, playing the dual role of supporters and advocates. Mom had another chest X ray, which again came back clear. They went back to the Kline and had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before going to sleep.

There may be a diagnosis of pleurisy, there may be a diagnosis of bronchitis-I'm not sure if any definitive diagnosis has been reached or if I'm just hearing rumors, but Mom did start taking antibiotics. She's also on a steady stream of oxygen, which helps considerably. Dr. C is monitoring everything and will decide in the next week or two if Mom should postpone her next dose of chemotherapy.

As physical therapy the past few days, Mom has been walking using her wheelchair as a walker-essentially pushing it down the hall, then using it as a chair when she needs to take a break. Though she has been taking many more breaks in the past few days, she still walks and does other exercises. Her appetite is good and she's getting a lot of rest, which I also think is good. Long restorative naps in addition to good sleep at night is always crucial.

As I write this, I'm listening to a New York City press conference about the potential of a terrorist attack on or near the 10 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Which makes me crazy-all I can think about when I hear stuff like this is "oh, man, my parents are going to be so worried!" Gary was diagnosed with Zoster (aka shingles) yesterday, which sent us into a panic about the Pea and about our plans to visit Seattle in a week and a half. For the record, Gary and the Pea are totally fine, no freak-out was necessary, it's just an impossible habit to break. Ross is out of commission with a possible infection or flu or maybe just a bad cold. With Mom being in and out of Urgent Care, no one in my immediate family has really been sleeping much and I think we're really spending this week feeling the weight of reality. The reality that our family friends rallied at Urgent Care twice in a row with no notice because there wasn't anywhere else they'd rather be. The reality for me that I need to take good care of my body for the sake of our future daughter and letting myself lose sleep with worry is simply unacceptable too many nights in a row. The reality that we still need to live one day at a time with Mom's illness and that tomorrow is never promised, at least not in the way we imagine it to be.

Throughout the past few weeks, Woody Allen's famous quip "If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans" has surfaced in my mind again and again. We plan and we plan and ultimately, our plans don't mean shit. And honestly, as I'm truly coming to understand, that's the beauty of life. If everything went according to plan, we'd miss out on all the sweet, unexpected, unfathomable experiences that happen while we're waiting for other things to unfold. And you'd take every day you have with your loved ones for granted. So please, don't do that.

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