Thursday, May 01, 2008

Re-entering Cancer World

Well, I am sitting in our hospital room by myself. LW is in surgery to get her portacath.

I was doing just fine until the surgeon intern began asking me questions. So she's had a port before? Why is she getting one now?

And I discovered that I do just fine, and can even think that I'm doing better than I think ... as long as I don't have to talk. Apparently, there is some loose wiring. I open my mouth to speak, and tears begin pouring out of my eyes. I should call home and see if the garage door is going up and down.

And it just all hit me. Because this isn't just a simple procedure (although it is, or should be). This is opening up the big old double doors and being escorted back into cancer world.

I have been somewhat shielded from it this week. They put us on the 11th floor, surgery recovery, rather than 9, pediatric oncology. "Maybe it's a good sign," I had said to The Husband. One week ago.

This is her 6th time to go in to surgery. Six times, and she's not even 3 years old.

I keep a site to give friends and family updates on how she is doing, without all the sturm and drang (and honesty) of this site. I was half-consciously looking at it last night, along with talking on the phone, putting on a video for LW, eating a balance bar ... and for this brief moment, unthinking, I felt sorry for the family I was reading about. And then I remembered it was us. Is that weird?

So, here we go ... port inserted, hand sterilizer at all the kitchen sinks. Bubbe and Pops are on their way, with RV, to stay in a park 15 minutes away, to be our "beck and call" girls, to quote Pretty Woman. My dad loved that reference, last time.

My parents turn 78 and 79 this year. They have already buried one son. Haven't they had enough pain? Don't they deserve to be out taking trips, and enjoying this time?

Oh, it’s a long, long while, from May to December,
And the days too short when you reach September.
And the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame.
One hasn't the time for the waiting game.

Days dwindle down to a precious few...
September ... November ...

To be a grandparent in this situation is a double whammy. Your little grandchild, that you love so much, in this is bad enough. But you also have to watch her parent, your child, suffer. I know that it is an overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. Just about anything else, they could -- and have -- given advice. Marriage, job, the need to prune the bushes in my backyard ... but they can't give advice on this. They have none to give. It is outside their experience.

Aunt SIL is still in town, staying with the older three. The DRE-BFF is marshalling forces, making help schedules, and has apparently already cooked so much (and got others cooking), that my freezer is completely stuffed. She has to foster some of the dishes in her own freezer, which I think is touching, but also completely hilarious.

Everyone is at battle stations. Ready, set ...



Christine Robinson said...

"ready, set, go"

And so many with you in spirit and in prayer...


Lilylou said...

We're here, LE. Ditto Christine.

ogre said...

(aside) It speaks so much of you, LE, that you're busy worrying about your parents... and how this affects them... at this moment.

We hold each other in hope and care, like we hold the doves nesting in a place that may be--to our eye--questionable. We do what we can, the best we can, and we hope.

Holding you and yours...

jbgrinch said...

sounds like you have a great support net. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers

Earthbound Spirit said...

You know, there are times when it would be o.k., I think, to tell an intern that s/he should read the medical history and stop asking stupid questions.

Still holding you in hope and light, and taking deep breafs for you all...

Anonymous said...


I know you only through the strange ethers of the blog world, but you and LW are in my prayers.

in peace,