Monday, November 2, 2009

Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Dear Clotters,

We have excellent news. After three weeks of WAITING, Dennis’ blood was drawn again. This time, the labs showed the tumor markers that had been elevated, are back down to normal. NORMAL! Once again – NORRRRMMMMMAAAAALLLL. Can you believe it? We are euphoric, and a little dazed – as if we’d just taken a tranquilizer dart to the brain. We can hardly wrap our minds around the concept that there does not appear to be an upward trend that would indicate a possible recurrence.

I am trying to spark my consciousness out of its bewilderment, resume minimal brain function, and reclaim some semblance of perky competence. So far, I’ve only succeeded in appearing cuckoo, and inviting ridicule.

I am overwhelmed by monumental concepts, and lost in small thoughts. But our family is reveling in uncontained mirth. Mental fitness will come later.

Cancer is eerily unpredictable. And there are times when it seems doing anything is better than doing nothing. But Dr. Mulvihill said wait. And so we waited.

There is an art to the “wait.” I “wait” ugly. I am definitely a candidate for “wait” management training.

While we WAITED, we went to Disneyland, where we indulged our hedonistic behavior receptors by riding on Indiana Jones 3 (count ‘em…3!) times in succession, ate dinner after 8:00 p.m., and stayed up past 11:00. Pure depravity. Don’t tell me we don’t know how to PAARRR-TAY!

Disneyland really is the magic kingdom. It’s the only place on the planet where menopausal, varicose-veined, crepey-skinned women with pendulous…arm flaps can wear full Tinker Bell regalia and not be ticketed for impersonating a fairy. No one did so much as a double-take.

We saw a whole coven of Tinkers (do fairies travel in covens?) moving through the streets of Disney as if they were 9 minds without an abstract thought.

They were an eclectic consortium, ranging in age from perhaps 3 to barely ambulatory. This, of course, is an approximation, since it would have been rude to stop the procession to count cellulite thigh rings in order to get an exact carbon date. They were a hybrid of the fantasy of childhood and the inevitability of age. But the point is, they were all sharing a joyous time, and for that reason, I found it endearing. In fact, I wanted to apply for citizenship in the land of the Tinker “Belles.”

I suggested discarding my witch’s hat in favor of Tinker Bell wings. But Dennis said he’s grown accustomed to my wart, and changing characters mid-Halloween could lead to a serious identity crisis. But I think multiple personalities should be stored in everyone’s closet in case of shortage. Besides, fairies and witches, in reality, are just opposite sides of the same Rorschach.

It has been hard to GET MY HEAD IN THE GAME while I’m WAITING. Sometimes the air I’m attempting to breathe seems liquid, and I’m laboring to schnuck it into my lungs. I try to be patient, but that lacks long-term sustainability. Patience are not me!

Practicing my “wait” technique is sort of like trying to ignore a canker. No matter what you do, you are never not aware it is there. Whatever I’m involved in, I am always conscious that I’m WAITING.

Dr. Mulvihill is a wise sage. We never regret abiding by his counsel. Sometimes, though, he asks a lot of us.

And Boy Howdy! Are we ever going to need patience. Saturday we are having a family portrait taken. That alone strikes terror in the hearts of three generations.

We have instructed the photographer to snap the picture if at any time Asher is still. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the “Dirty Dozen” are in a collective blink.

That child is like a run-away train. He puts the “loco” in “locomotive.” Raising him to adulthood without debilitating brain damage will require “extreme cage patience”…and a whole lot of miracles. (Unconditional love is a constant.)

Saturday, we took care of our favorite gangster for 5 hours while Erin went somewhere or other. We made her swear a blood oath she would return before he hit puberty. We were not at all reassured. However, Asher actually fell asleep as we drove him through the streets singing lullabies. Asher sleeps cute. We realized that sleep is Nature’s way of persuading us not to eat our young.

We survived the Family Felon in O.T.

Last night we turned the clocks back and got an extra hour of rest. Sleep surplus could prove to be a dangerous thing to the severely sleep-deprived. But we have a sleep debt as large as the national deficit, and that extra 60 minutes didn’t even touch the interest!

But today is November 1st. There are mangled jack-o-lantern guts in the streets, as if the
The Great Pumpkin himself had been pummeled into orange, pulpy, grinning road kill by revelers high on sugar and mischief…silent reminders that Halloween is history.

For now, the only numbers that concern me are how many days until Christmas, and will Dennis always weigh in at 128? Forget the stock market, the temperature, the national war debt, and the number of cavities. I’ll let the dentist worry about all of the above.

It is the season of gratitude.
So here are the things I’m thankful for:
1. Asher (and all his cousins)
2. The number 38.
3. The word “normal.”
4. The Utes beat Wyoming.
5. An extra hour of sleep last night.
6. Patience.
7. Autumn leaves.
8. Loved ones who care.

Things I’m not thankful for:
1. The number 45.
2. A glut of Halloween candy mocking me on Fast Sunday.

Waiting is a daunting task…anticipating with hope and dread the phone call that will deliver crucial lab results that will critically impact our lives.

Halloween haunts have nothing up on the soulless demon that is the specter of cancer.

But we have emerged from a 3-week fetal contortion emotionally lobotomized. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude. And our heads are back in the game.

Bring on Thanksgiving, turkeys, pilgrims…Asher, and Loved Ones.

Our lives are blessed and richly abundant because of your constant love and support.

We are so grateful.

Love to all,

The Clot

1 comment:

cristie said...

oh, i so love wonderful news! xox