I haven’t slept all night.
I haven’t done anything much with the day or night, either, writing only for a few hours this afternoon while the children slept, and then taking an afternoon nap to match the morning one. Dinner with C and the children, then they bathed and came in for a cuddle to watch the new Life series on Discovery. We’re learning amazing things from that show, and it’s our one exception to the 7:30 bedtime — the children beg to be allowed to stay up to 8 and watch it; we relent and revel in the togetherness as we are wowed by the creatures’ adaptations, even as we spend our days and nights together, this is one more. One more joy; one more memory. We laugh, we learn, and then I put the children to bed, with two books and a story, made up on the spot to teach something, some unusual thing we’d seen yesterday on our drive.
Yesterday we drove up to see Grammy. We met her halfway, at the Carter’s store and the playground. We sat and talked and laughed and cried over pretzels and lemonade, watched the kids play freeze tag with other park children, wild, native creatures in their own right, and then Grammy and I went shopping.
Ever since my oldest was a baby, we’ve made these semiannual trips to Carter’s, choosing the brightly colored tees and polos, navy and brown shorts or pants, and the cuddliest printed jammies to snuggle in. This year, I’m early for the Spring/Summer trip, but tomorrow, I suspect, wheels will be set in motion for treatment to start and spontaneous trips will end.
So we shopped, and talked, and bought the brightest colors, the comfiest shorts, and the snuggliest jammies, in the boys’ sizes and the next size up, for treatment could last for 4-6 months. We bought baby gifts for newborns and newborns-to-be, little outfits for boys we consider cousins, and birthday gifts for our Florida cousins, who will turn five in June. We bought what we’ll need for the next few months, and it felt good to not have to worry about new clothes again until the Fall.
Exhausted and flushed with the rosy cheeks of little boys playing tag on a bright April day turned unexplainably cold, we hugged our Grammy’s neck and returned home, to wait.
Later this morning, we will go to the hospital, to drain the ever-larger seroma, the ball of fluid growing to fill my armpit (making it not so much a pit as a thin crease between my arm and torso), to meet with my neurologist about the tremors that largely disappeared wih surgery, against all predictions by boh oncologists, who told me not to get my hopes up and scheduled this meeting with a neurosurgeon, and, then, to meet with my oncologist and set up a treatment plan to catch any stray cancer cells that escaped the thirteen nodes or which have set up residence elsewhwere in my body.
Dissapointingly, it’s all I can think about. I swore not to waste this time before treatment with worry, but it’s an idle boast after all, as I am strong, but not strong enough not to worry, when we know it’s cancer, and we know what to expect from the grueling treatment ahead.
and so it’s 4 a.m. again, but this night I have not slept.
I stretch my arm out and above my head, grimacing as I try not to let the underside of my bicep touch the ball of fluid bulging from my side (looking for all the world like, as another blogger described hers, a misplaced breast) and the tender, bruised skin that strains to cover it. It is a constant reminder, evident even to my baby, who touched it gently not an hour ago (he is a night waker, who staggers into our room between 2 and 4 lookig for mommy or daddy to cuddle him back to sleep) and asked me “Mama, why dis bump?”
It’s okay, my sweet. It’s just a bump left over from my surgery last week. The doctor will fix it tomorrow.
And so she shall.
if you pray, today we need prayers that my medical oncologist will lay out an agressive and appropriate treatment plan that, no matter how difficult, will give me the best shot at living afterwards.
I want to be here for my babies as they grow up, smoothing their hair over their worried brows, comforting them once again after the inevitable bad dreams with a reassurring “Shhh,” and the whispered promise, “Mama’s here. It’s okay, little one. Mama’s here.”