Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Hands, Red Feet, Warm Heart


For greater clarification of this blog entry, we recommend clicking onto Brodi’s blog link of March 28th

We got back from Disneyland last week, and we have needed to make some adjustments.  We lost an hour when we moved our clocks forward to accommodate daylight savings time.  It’s getting late early these days.  Morning always arrives sooner to Utah than it does to California.  My body is still running on Disney Standard Time, and showing up late to Utah deadlines seems to offend punctual attendees who do not consider obscene mouse ears on the head a legitimate excuse for tardiness.

Also, since our return, there is a shocking lack of amusement park rides to occupy our time.  No, the roller coaster doesn’t count.  And there are no diminutive Disney characters to cushion every trauma and “cute” us into projectile puking.  Unless, of course, you count our six rather adorable (not to mention gifted) little Yetis that are permanent members of the Ashton tribe. We wouldn’t trade them for all the French fries at the Goofy pavilion. 

Dennis managed the rigorous park-hopping quite admirably, assisted by a robust determination, caffeine, and a speedy wheelchair loaded with giddy grandkids.  

The “wheelchair set” receive privileged ride passes that allowed us to opt out of  waiting in long lines, which was quite an advantage considering how impatient five- and eight-year-olds can be.  To access compromising photos, click on to Brodi’s link.  She posted pictures that I’m genetically impaired to include.  They’re pretty impressive.

After settling back into our routine, we did our regular Huntsman run, in hopes of getting the weekly infusion of gemcitabene.  Since BYU’s amazing March Madness run, Dennis now refers to the potent chemo as “Jimmer-citabene.” Roger that!

Now, here’s the good news.  All his numbers were up – even his weight!  Oh yeah!  In fact, he actually had a “muffin top.”  That’s a noun that refers to the overhang around the mid-section created by pants that are a little too tight around the waist.  Actually, the last time Dennis managed a muffin top, he did it with a corset and pocket lint.  We were so proud, we paraded him around the infusion room like some kind of exhibitionist with a fetish for corpulence to the oohs and aahs of our fellow infusees.  A muffin top is the ultimate fashion accessory.  I’ve worn one for years - without the corset and lint. 

Unfortunately, over the last few days, the muffin top has disappeared, and he has resumed the contour of an unleavened breadstick. We thought we understood the concept of weight management.  Calories in and calories out, these are the basic components.  We’ve definitely mastered the concept of long-term weight-loss success. But hey, that’s OK.  We like bread sticks.  Pretzels are us. They’re unencumbered by contour.  Besides, we know that greatest change comes at the edges and works its way in to the center.  Dennis’ hands and feet are red, tender and swollen. This condition adds to his over-all illusion of bulk.  We know the chemo is a weapon of mass destruction, and there is obviously massive destruction going on with the cancer.  We can deal with side effects.  This is so good.

So many expressions of love, support and optimism have been sent, which warms our hearts and fuels our determination.  We are immensely grateful.  Some of our most inspirational expressions have come from our daughters.  Again, I defer to Brodi’s blog link.  It will be fairly obvious why she is such a compelling author, and an invaluable warrior in the battle we are waging.  We could not read her entry unmoved.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Wow- we are really pulling for you Dr. Ashton :) It sounds like you have the best support system one could ask for, in your family.