Stricken by my annual Nesting Instinct, and staking out territory at the top of the food chain, I decided to cook a Thanksgiving turkey. Personally, I prefer to munch on invertebrates and microscopic algae, but we’re surrounded by a family comprised mostly of carnivores, who become predatory at this time of year.
So I donned my monogrammed “GRILL MASTER” apron and started preparing the feed bag.
I began the “apocalypse planning for future survival” by freezing the bird’s packaged innards. I’m not really sure just what each item is, and I do not ask questions. I don’t know whether to read the entrails or cook them. So, I simply place them next to the ice trays and wait till freezer burn dictates date of disposal. Very tidy. No guilt.
We managed to prepare all the traditional dishes and achieve a degree of nutritional value at the same time. Thankfully, we live in a country that has decreed pizza a vegetable, so we are able to hit some serious food groups simply by having Domino’s on speed dial.
As usual, it was a requirement for everyone to tell what they are thankful for. But with restrictions. Family, country, etc. were not allowed. This left the field wide open.
There were some creative and thoughtful things presented. Josh was grateful for drive-ups. Without them, it would be more difficult to get a “happy meal” so fast. I liked his thinking.
I personally was thankful for thumbs. Without opposing digits, (and an upright posture) life as we know it would be quite different. The kids proved my point by trying to eat using utensils with only their fingers. I stopped the demonstration when most of the contents of their plates ended up on the carpet. Our daughters went into collective depression when they realized without thumbs, they couldn’t text. Only MY routine wouldn’t change without thumbs, technologically speaking.
I stuffed the bird and then the bird stuffed us. As we were hauling out the carcass and hauling in the Christmas tree, our phone rang. It was Tom Buchholz from M.D. Anderson in Houston. He told us he had gone over Dennis’ PET scan with Dr. Chang, head of the thorax division and all things lung. Apparently they decided that high-intense radiation known as SBRT could take out three of Dennis’ five remaining lesions.
Dr. Chang said he was going after the hot lesion and two of its satellites. In order to ensure I understood exactly what he was saying, I said, “So, you’re offing three of the little buggers?” He concurred, with only a barely detectable eyeroll. I don’t think he was aware that whenever I refer to the “lesions,” I am accustomed to dropping the “B” grenades, “bugger” being the only one fit for blogging.
Of course, this changes the whole equation. I was overwhelmed. I wish I could master Kim Kardashian’s technique of crying without moistening a single manicured eyelash or dislodging so much as a single layer of carefully applied mascara. All her tears are contained within the boundaries of eyelids that remain botoxed in cement and unblinkingly carved in an impossibly perfect, vainglorious face…a mutation of inbred narcissism.
My tears splash out of my lids and mock my claims of eyes of cork. They wash over my mascara and carve rivulets of India ink down my cheeks, joining the streams of viscous nasal pond scum that compels onlookers to avert their eyes in disgust. But I mopped up the mess, and couldn’t stop doing the moonwalk as we packed our bags and headed to Texas with less than 24 hours notice.
In spite of all of the above, I landed in Houston looking laudably perky in my sunshine yellow cardigan and pathetically matching saffron shoes. Thanks to the moisture content of the equatorial atmosphere, I arrived at the doorstep of M. D. Anderson looking like a bedraggled, jaundiced fur ball coughed by a stray cat with toxic dyspepsia.
I heard from a Jesuit priest that yellow is the color of intelligence. Thankfully, I had packed plenty of burlap, the color of the neuron impaired.
We met with doctors and technicians, who created a body mould for Dennis, and then did calculations that would stupefy the intelligently elite, to prepare for the two weeks of intense radiation that will eradicate these invading nodules.
In order not to nothing ourselves to death, we decided to explore some points of interest while we waited for Monday. We went to Galvaston for a romantic walk along the beach and release our inner sanity. However, the wind blew so hard, it swaddled my head in platinum and root re-growth, making me look like a cross between cro magnon and the missing link. Not exactly a Kodak moment. But somehow none of that mattered.
It has been said that what is past is prologue. Dennis began his intense and precise treatments today. For us, it is Christmas. And perhaps that’s what this season is all about…prologues and possibilities.