Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Day 2 of 21. Or Tuesday.

Today is not any Tuesday. It is a Tuesday following chemo. Normally on Tuesdays I go to physical therapy, but not this Tuesday because my referral hasn't cleared yet. This Tuesday is also special because it is the boy-child's Birthday. 16 years ago today, I birthed my very first human.

There are so many emotions. My baby is 16. This is amazing. I managed to get a child through 16 whole years. Which in and of itself is an accomplishment. Throw in Li Fraumeni Syndrome and a BUNCH of luck and here we are.

I wake up to that kind of mildly nauseous, I just had chemo feeling that takes over. I am still tired but I see the door is cracked and a mop of red hair with two eyeballs is staring at me. Bella Boo. She's got a cold. She hid a bean burrito in the fridge and ate it and now her tummy doesn't feel good. Imagine that. I give her a magic antacid and tell her it should make her feel better soon. I think about rolling over but it's the boy's birthday- I promised him breakfast. He only breaks his vow of teenage hermitdom to his room for food and working out. And the occasional adult television show will also draw him to the couch for an undisclosed time. I think he enjoys how we yell at the girls every time they even peek down the hall. Do not engage the teen hermit, they will retreat if spoken directly to.

I get downstairs and 4 pairs of expectant eyeballs are on me. They would like to know why they were not informed about the boy getting to get to breakfast for his birthday. I tell them it is because it is not THEIR birthday. He and I started this day out together 16 years ago- we will today too. Plus- there is a pumpkin spice something waiting for me somewhere. They give me grumpy looks and head out the door. The boy is ready to go.

Once he is fastened into the car  with a seatbelt and it is in motion, I slowly try to communicate with the teen. One must proceed here with caution. I elicit a few non gruntorious responses, so in my mind- today is already a success. It only took bribery with a venti caramel macchiato and a tomato mozzarella panini.  I find myself making really oddball statements just to get a reaction. And I'll admit most are highly inappropriate. I grew up with oddball parents. Obviously it will turn out ok.

I get home and leisurely enjoy my pumpkin spiced breakfast. Phil asks me to please take it easy, don't do anything today, just relax. I love the idea of that and him to death for encouraging it. Just relax. Ha. So I check Facebook. Everyone is making themselves into Peanuts characters. I know what we are going to do today Ferb.  I make a Jen and Phil Peanuts.

I send it to Phil, just to make him smile. He responds- "what in the hell?"  

I defensively reply I was told to do nothing today and I was just following orders. Which is funny because I suck at following orders and he knows this. So really we are just playing with each other.  He spends the next 6 hours explaining that it was an impressed "what the hell" and not a what the F$#! are you doing with your time "what the hell". 

I then spend the next hour creating mini Mallory Peanuts, because it's funny. And I go back and forth because apparently the mini Peanut gallery is limited to about 6 skin shades and we are not. I go back and forth with Kiera- too dark, too red, too light. I figure it's summerish go darker. In between mini nuts, I answer emails and blog about chemo Monday and figure out a few posts for Living LFS. Lily is another enigma. She's got her own olivey tone- right between me and Phil. Closer to me by a skosh. Bella is easy and I giggle with Phillip. They have their shoes. I am so sad they don't have anything with freckles. It's time to pick up the girls from school. I've effectively done nothing. Well, stuff I like to do, nothing. 

The kids start homework and I work some more on my nuts. Hee. Hee. Lily comes down with something for me to sign and starts giggling at what I am doing. She says Kiera is too light. She helps me make hers. She apparently sees herself and Kiera as much browner than I do.  I text the finished copy to the minions. It results in a mad barrage of group text madness about the multitude of inaccuracies in their cartoon renderings. I feel compelled to point out it is a CARTOON. The next thing I know - I have all 4 kids gathered around- literally non stop from the Peanut gallery. We all finally agree that the CARTOON is a good enough depiction of our nutty little family. Good Grief. 
I check the clock, it's dinner time. Tuesdays are piano lessons for Phillip, Lily and Bella and ballet for Kiera. Phillip requested Taco Bell for his birthday dinner. Phil said he would be home in time to pick it up before piano. Phil texts he has been detained at work longer than expected and will probably not make it home before either lesson commences. The only one who is surprised by this is Phil. I hear a car out front and I look to see a desert themed pilot at my door. Any time someone unexpectedly stops by from work- my heart stops. He is delivering a big container of soup from another pilot- I give him a huge hug. Neglecting to remember that my day of nothing included not showering or brushing my teeth. Don't judge...I am so supremely grateful for this kindness. One, that he took the time to drop it off and that another busy friend took the time to think of us. Nothing usually sounds good to eat on chemo weeks(definitely NOT taco I am truly happy to have a nutritional alternative. Something that I can just grab.) We are so lucky to know so many wonderful people. 

 I grab Kiera and we head to ballet. She takes the teen/adult class where the littles used to do hip hop and ballet. I park in the parking lot, in the same spot I got the call from the nurse 3 years ago that my biopsy was breast cancer. I think of it every time we go. And then I think- well hell that was 3 years ago. 3 years ago I sat there not knowing how much time or what was around the bend- and here I am. Then I get out of the car and walk while Kiera does ballet. I watch for a bit when I'm done walking. I love that she is graceful and although her instructor is tough, she balances it with a lot of positive reinforcement. I see so much of me in Kiera sometime it aches. I wish I could just give her all the good and spare her the crazy- but I guess everything in moderation, right? 

It's 8:30 before we get home. The others have eaten. It's time for cake and presents. The boy isn't a huge fan of cake and every year requests Dr. Pepper floats and angel food cake. Nothing like plying your kids with caffeinated ice cream drinks at bedtime. I am tired. My bones hurt. I feel the throbbing in my ears that happens when I run around too much and get overtired. But I ignore it and sing Happy Birthday to my baby, who is 16. No longer a baby. Not quite a man. Like me, he cringes at the attention. Even if it's just family. It's a big day and just a Tuesday all at once. And as I fall into bed I am so grateful I felt good today. Our laughs around the computer and the table. Cramming what we can in. There is no room for insomnia tonight. I sleep. 

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Lily Kay Monkey

Lily Kay Monkey
November 2008 Photographed by Shelley Detton (7 Layer Studio)