Thursday, October 04, 2007

TGI Thursday

Quelle drame this week, darlings.

So I had the Mohs on Monday, my head still hurt on Tuesday, I took a painkiller since I can't take Tylenol, woke up with a raging migraine side effect on Wednesday. Barfed. Barfed some more. Then some more. Dragged my sorry a** to Dana Farber for my appointment. You may have seen me there. I was the girl sitting on the bench outside barfing into a plastic bag I had presciently brought with me for just such an eventuality. Made it through phlebotomy (not without warning the nice lady that Things Might Go South at any moment), saw my doctor. Learned that I really can take Tylenol, just not more than twice a day.

What was that old rhyme about "For want of a nail?"

So after a Wednesday of drugged-out "sleeping it off" interspersed with "waking up to barf" I am now back in top form and further committed to spreading Mr. T's advice: Don't Do Drugs! And also to wondering why barf bags and basins are always so small. Like, those little kidney shaped basins? And those little round barf bags? You're supposed to vomit your guts up into that little round hole with tidy precision? What, am I the Tiger Woods of barfing now? So much pressure on a sick girl.

Anyway, all of the day's emesis prevented me from enjoying the fact my blood counts are the highest and closest to normal they have been in probably 15 years. I couldn't appreciate it yesterday but I definitely appreciate it today. My immunity is still for crap, mind you. But my bone marrow be a-workin' and that's the silver lining on yesterday's cloud of hurl.

Bambina, as always ahead of me by light years, asked on Tuesday, a full 24 hours before getting my great blood counts, if I would be all better when the "red has left your face." I ran to the mirror expecting to see big welts or dry skin or something. I almost burst into tears looking at my very normal reflection because I realized that my 3 1/2 year old kid has never seen me with rosy cheeks and bright red lips before. I told her that everyone has rosy cheeks and now I do too BECAUSE I'm getting better. She got all excited, immediately forgot about my health, and said, "I have rosy cheeks?!" Yup, you do! Thereafter ending in a cheek ticklefest.

As I thought about her question later it struck me that kids pick up on more things than we realize. We talk regularly about what's going on, she comes along for the ride to various doctor waiting rooms, meets all my doctors, and she knows I'll be all better next year. We've made an effort to strike the balance between letting her feel a part of it and giving her a comfort level with where I am when I'm not home, while protecting her from details she can't comprehend anyway. However, it's clear that she's thinking about it more than we realize, especially when I remind myself that she is a full 6 months older--and wiser--since we began this whole journey. Every time I realize that fact I resolve to take more time to comfort her and reassure her about me, making sure she knows that it's not her job to worry about Mama. And then, just as I think we're about to have a teachable moment about her concerns about my health, she reminds me that she's wonderfully and life-affirmingly still a kid:

(Playing with my surgical gloves)
Bambina: We're wearing your medical gloves!
Me: Yes we are!
Bambina: Do you know why we are wearing gloves, Mama?
Me: I'd love for you to tell me, sweet girl. (Here it comes, my chance to have a conversation that is reassuring and comforting for her when she says "because mama is sick" or something)
Bambina: Because we are preschool teachers and we are about to wipe somebody's bum.

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