Heat wave

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My husband is having an affair.

I think is started quite innocently.  From daydreaming to internet searching to the real thing.  One thing led to another, and before I knew it, he had a new love. 

I'm almost happy for him.

He smiles more.  He has a spring in his step.  His cheeks are rosy.  And he's definitely getting more of a regular work out.

But he thinks about it all day long.  And he's even buying lots of special presents for the lucky new object of his affection.  Lust?  Hardly.  This is full blown infatuation.

He's madly in love.

After the kids go to sleep, it's no longer TV time with yours truly.  Nope.  I've been replaced.

Now, he quickly puts on protection. 
And hurries out for a date.

(there's even early morning wood ice)

How do I feel about this? 

My mood bitter.  My heart raw.  My soul icy.


The rules

Saturday, December 28, 2013

This cancer stuff is not a game, but for the purpose of this post, please just go with it. 

To attempt to win the game, players must adhere to a strict set of rules.  You must administer and take meds on time.  You must wash your hands often and stay far away from sick people.  And you must always, no-matter-what, go straight to the ER if you have a temperature over 101 degrees celsius (or 38.5 farenheit).  A temperature is the first sign of an infection.  And an infection can stick to the port implanted in Ari's chest that goes straight to his heart. 

If you break any of these rules, you may lose the game.  (Are you following what I'm saying?)

Okay, so we've been diligent rule followers.  We want to win. 

But after a week of high fevers, a bunch of trips to the ER and the clinic, and the same result each time (it's a virus...) we felt a little too comfortable at 2am Sunday night when Ari spiked another high fever.  And by comfortable, I mean very tired, warm, and cozy.  And by comfortable, I mean Ari was playful and happy.  And by comfortable, I mean, after 18 exhausting months of this seemingly never-ending game, we made a not-so-informed decision to disregard golden leukemia rule #3. 

We all (nervously) went back to sleep. 

And when we woke up in the morning, we very quickly made our way into the clinic for what we thought would be the same-old same-old fever story.

But this time, Ari didn't have a virus.

He had an infection.

I am being a bit dramatic in my story telling because it wasn't the type of infection that grows in the blood and adheres to the plastic line in his body.  It was an infection caused by the virus he had earlier in the week.

Either way, I learned my lesson.  We have 7 more months to compete and we will follow all the rules and do our best to kick cancer's tushie.  (Even if that means driving to the ER at 2am.  Or listening to Ari in the middle of last night give a two hour-long steroid induced monologue about trucks and fish and Christmas trees and swimming pools and anything and everything else on his mind.)

And I'm so relieved (understatement) that we're still in the game.


It's getting hot in here...

Monday, December 16, 2013

On Thursday afternoon, Ari awoke from a nap with red splotchy skin and a soaking wet pillow.  And then told me his hand was a goldfish.  At first I thought he was being silly, but then I realized he actually thought his hand was a goldfish.

Something wasn't right.  I took his temperature.  It was high.  Very high.  Rush to the hospital high.

Don't freak out faithful readers, he's okay.

After two weekday trips in and out of the hopsital (misspelled on purpose) and 3 weekend phone calls with his doctor, we feel fairly reassured that a pesky virus is causing my baby boy to feel awful and that Ari's compromised immune system will indeed fight it.  In the meantime, however, my little Ari is so sick.  For 5 days, he's had a consistent temp of 104 degrees (without hallucinations), he has a cough that sounds like a gooey slug is stuck in his chest, he isn't eating or drinking, and he has become narcoleptic:

Someone (definitely one of the germy kids at school) took the batteries out of my energizer bunny. 

We're recharging him with syringes full of gatorade and hoping that when we go to clinic tomorrow, his counts haven't plummeted.  I'm no math genius, but I do know that Fever + Low Counts = one long ass incredible annoying Hospital stay.  

Get better soon Ari.  I miss you.


Genie in a bottle

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Years ago, I watched a video produced by The Onion that reported on a little boy battling Leukemia.  The "story" was that the 8 year-old kid wished for unlimited wishes, and because the Make-a-Wish Foundation cannot say no to any qualifying child, this patient was granted so many over-the-top trips and lavish toys and other expensive opportunities, that he forced the Foundation into bankruptcy.

Videos like this used to be funny. 

(Okay okay, you got me, I can still appreciate a little cancer humor.  This video does, indeed, make me chuckle.  To the person who thought of it and created it...You are creative and smart.  Oh, and you are a giant asshole...without a soul.  But I digress.)

When we found out that Ari qualified to make a wish of his own, I was confused.  Like almost everyone else, I was under the impression that wishes were reserved for kids with terminal illnesses.  The reality, however, is that any child suffering a life-threatening illness is eligible to make a wish.   

So, a few months ago, we filled out the initial paperwork and a few perky volunteers came to our home to ask Ari to tell them his wish.  Because we give him everything he wants Ari did not understand the concept of wishing, he asked for yogurt.  As you all know, Ari greatly enjoys healthy foods like green veggies and sushi.  Yogurt, however, is not, and has never been, part of his daily diet.  He won't go anywhere near a bowl of yogurt.  (This trait he must get from his dad.)

We waited, we explained, and we let him think and mature.  And then we helped him out by showing pictures of things like beaches and playgrounds and foods and famous people (kid really loves Obama...and btw, Mom would not have turned down a ticket to tonight's White House Hanukkah party), but in the end, it was the Mouse (and the big aquarium at Sea World and the fireworks and the beach and the tattoo parlors and Golden Corral) that convinced the wish granters that he would have an incredible time at Disney World.

Unoriginal?  Yes. 

But hey, we can't all be BatKid.

And like magic (kingdom), the amazing people at Make-a-Wish began working to fulfill Ari's ultimate want.  Yesterday, we received the dates and draft itinerary and today, I started to get excited!  This will be our first family-of-four vacation ever.  It gives us something really fun to look forward to after we survive the coming months of cold and colds.  And, can you believe it, will get us pretty darn close to the conclusion of these two years of treatment.  3 1/2 months until Disney.  Then 3 1/2 months until the end of chemotherapy (and steroids).

Coincidentally, tomorrow is National Believe Day.    All you (or any kid you know) has to do is mail a letter to Santa and $1 will be donated to Make-a-Wish. 

The mission of Make-a-Wish is "to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.”  I am so appreciative of the work of this organization and am really looking forward to the planning and the packing and then the photographing (and therefore Facebook posting) of our smiles and laughter and fun.  We will swim and play and ride and fly and explore and shop and monorail and dream.

Do you think I'd do away with all this cancer stuff and give the trip up in a heartbeat?

I wish.


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