Monday, September 30, 2013

Carrying Matches

Teach us to always carry matches,
to light every candle we find.
They are key witnesses to the dark.
From here.

This post was originally written as a rant that I decided not to publish, and then this morning I read a poem over at the beautiful due, and a reframing happened.

So I was at the rink today - we are the rink most days. After B's game, as I was waiting around for him to emerge from the dressing room, and reading a book, I noticed two little girls being very loud, at the open area just inside. I looked up, but they seemed to be shrieking in delight, so I let them continue.

And then one of them started hitting the other and I heard phrases like "if you want it harder, I can hit you harder" and then the toys and books that are there for kids to look at started getting thrown around. I had been standing there for several minutes and no other adult had come by. Every so often I looked at the knots of adults standing in the restaurant talking but none of them seemed to be paying any attention either.

I looked one of the little girls in the eye and said "You need to stop treating these things this way. If you can't play here nicely, perhaps you need to be somewhere else." She looked at me for a moment and then walked through the swinging doors to another open area, which also seemed to be strewn with toys and books.

The other little girl looked at me to see what I would do next. As kindly as I could, I asked "Where's your Mom?"

"Oh" she said cheerfully "Today is a not a day that we get to see our Mom." And then she rattled more details about visitation and such and I looked at her and the mess they'd both made and I said "Somebody needs to clean these books up. How about you pick up two and I'll pick up two and then we'll see how many are left?"

So we chatted as we worked and I wondered who she was there with and an older boy showed up, hovering on the periphery of our conversation, and I asked if he was their brother.

"Nope", he said, a little grumpily, and I asked if he knew them.

"Yes he does!" the little girl I was cleaning up with said, so I kept guessing. Uncle? cousin? friend? Dad? He cheered up at that guess and told me "We're all in foster care."

I stayed with them chatting with them until another child came running up to tell them they were going now, learning their names and ages and favourite colours.

Teach us always to carry matches.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Here's Heparin In Your Eye!

I suspect I laughed harder at this than anyone else will, but I laughed really hard, so even if you just chuckle, it's all good.

So Brad comes home from chemo on Monday with a bottle o'chemo attached to him through his port via tubing, etc.  The bottle takes 44 hours to empty, and then we go back to the hospital to have the bottle removed.  This consists of unscrewing things in the right order, shooting a syringe or two full of saline up the tubing, another syringe full of heparin up the tubing, and then removing the tubing.  It's pretty easy.  It looks easy, and we were delighted to hear that I could do it for him at home.

Last week, I watched.  This week was I did it myself, with a nurse watching.  All went swimmingly.  Saline up the tube, saline up the tube, heparin up the tube, and the nurse reached over and clamped the tube, and I took the needle out.

You know, the needle that was still pressurized?  the last tiny bit of heparin shot out of the needle at an impressive rate of speed, hitting Brad squarely in the eye.

Bright side?  Next time he throws up, he'll only get bloodshot in one eye.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

High Time I Said Something

August 27 was my last blog post?


It's the familiar cycle - I don't blog the bad stuff, much, and when I'm having trouble keeping my head above water, I don't say a lot.  For someone who talks as much as I do, it's mindboggling to think that there are things I don't talk about, really.  (However, there might be a difference between what  I will say out loud and what I will nail up here on the Internet for ever and ever.)

Also I have a few part-time jobs (post office - yay!  I love it there. LOVE IT. And teaching poetry, which my pyschologist* calls "a marvelous short cut home" for me.  So I love that too.  Hi Person in My Class who reads (possibly present tense - I don't know) my blog!  How am I doing?**)

*I am not fond of the phrase "my psychologist".  I do not own the woman.  However "the psychologist I am seeing" is a bit wordy.

** I am doing fine.  I am good at teaching poetry.

So the cancer thing.  It's not horrible, so far.  Brad (or The Husband Formerly Known As Techno(noun or adjective du jour) is able to work - not 40 hours a week, but at least half the time and maybe even more than that.  Chemo week he's very tired.  Last Chemo Week we messed up his anti-nausea drugs, which is not an approach I recommend.  This CW we did not mess up his anti-nausea drugs, and he is hiccuping wearily away in his home office, working.  (The hiccups have gone from "debilitating" to "tiresome", now that we have tweaked the anti-nausea drugs the way they were meant to be tweaked.)

We still get many varied opinions, often from the same people on different days, as to what his prognosis is, so I personally am going to worry about his prognosis when it feels like I need to.  Brad can blog about his own reactions if he likes.  (not that he needs my opinion)

So that's the Christmas letter version of a blog post.  Wait I have not mentionned the children.  A can hardly be referred to as a child, what with her 18th birthday looming on the horizon.  She's awesome.  Thinking about what she wants to do with the rest of her life, because as comfy as her room in the basement is, she doesn't want to live there forever.  B made the AAA hockey team this year, which is time-consuming and challenging and energizing and I am so delighted he has this opportunity to play the game, and love it.

Oh yes and the dog.  Is nuts.  The last time she got her hair cut, they removed some of the "must be well behaved" portion of her personality and she is having lots of quality Crate Time these days, in which she is meant to be thinking about what she did, but I suspect she is in there thinking about what else she can eat, as soon as I forgive her and let her out.

Right, that's the Christmas letter version NOW.  Come back tomorrow for a post entitled "Here's Heparin In Your Eye!"

Also if there are typos - sorry, no time to proofread.  I have to be at work in Not Very Long and no-one is knocking on the door offering to iron my work shirt for me.