Wednesday, July 21, 2004

"Things You Never Want to Hear"

Week #7 of DI #2
What is the absolute worst sound in the world a parent can hear?

a) The sound of a bike being crushed as you back up the van in the driveway.

b) The sound of the principal’s voice on the other end of the phone line.

c) “Mom, have you seen my pet tarantula?”

d) Awakening to tears and cries of “My leg hurts! My leg hurts!”

No parent’s first waking thought should have to be, “Dear God, let her have slept on it wrong so it just went numb!” What a crummy way to start the day. Of course, it was a crummy night, too, as they have been since we recently started having Kendrie sleep in our bed with us so we could obsessively check her forehead for fever all during the night. I could never be one of those attachment-parenting people, because three to a bed, even if one of them is a little-person, simply does not work for me. I find myself perched precariously on the edge all night long, with her size 9’s right in the small of my back, or worse, getting an elbow across the face if I dare to roll over in an attempt to reclaim the other half of my pillow.

It all stops, though, in two weeks when school begins. Kendrie should (assuming counts are ok) enter her Long-Term Maintenance Therapy on August 5, and school starts on Aug 6. So there are several sweeping changes that will be taking place here in the Escoe household; I figure it’s a good time to start some new policies, under the guise of “but big girls that go to school don’t do it that way”. First, NO MORE cutting the crust off her bread! I am sick, SICK, SICK of doing that for her, especially considering we never did it before leukemia. Once I asked her, “Since when do you not like the crust on the bread?” and she replied, “Since I got leukemia”. Girlfriend knows how to work the system, don’t you think??? Rule #2, No more sippy cups of milk at night (good thing, since the nightly oral chemo she will begin on the 5th can’t be taken with dairy two hours before or after.) And lastly but most importantly, NO MORE SLEEPING WITH MOM AND DAD!

I personally think it is a great service to your child to teach them the independence and self-control that comes from staying in their own bed all night. I know lots of people disagree ……… but please keep your “someday you’ll wish they were little enough to want to snuggle all night long again” comments to yourself. I’m simply too sleep deprived to appreciate the lecture right now.

Daily fear of relapse aside (following the leg pain first thing in the morning) things with us are much improved. Thank all of you who continued to check in during our fever watch this past weekend. After being told “one more fever and she’ll be admitted”, I dutifully packed bags for the hospital, only for her to *not* run any more fevers. Obviously the key is in packing the bags unnecessarily. You know, along the lines of washing the car if you want it to rain, running to the grocery store **just this ONE time** in your house-slippers and sweats and bumping into your old high school boyfriend, things like that. I’ll remember the suitcase trick for next time, too.

She is pasty. She is tired. She is whiny. She is crabby. Most of these comments refer to Kendrie. Monday night was the home visit from her Pre-Kindergarten teacher and I can’t tell you how excited Kendrie was. After asking me ALL DAY How much longer till she gets here? Is she here yet? Is it time yet? How much longer?” it was very disappointing to see Kendrie poop out during the actual event. She simply got up during the interview, walked into her bedroom, laid down and fell asleep.

Just now, she got up after completing lunch and put herself to bed again. It’s odd to think that a year or two ago I’d have given my right arm to get my kids to take a nap. Now, it’s just not normal for a 4-yr old to put herself down for a nap. We are having her blood counts checked tomorrow to see if she needs a transfusion, or if her counts already hit bottom last weekend and are on the way up. If she does need a transfusion, then that gives us Friday to get it done before we (hopefully) leave on vacation next week.

So overall, things with us are good even if we are suffering from the cumulative effects of DI #2. Maybe what I’m primarily suffering is the boredom of my children as I keep them home for the past five days in an attempt to avoid the germ-infested world out there. Please, please, please let her counts be up enough to start school in two weeks!!! That’s my only wish for now. Or main wish, anyway.

Thanks for checking in and for signing the guestbook. We read every single entry and are much encouraged by those of you who sign often. And in regards to the quiz at the top of the entry, I have never heard A (although I did run over a mitt the other night …. Figured if Kellen left it laying in the garage he deserved to have it squashed flat as a pancake.) I have never heard B or C (Pet tarantula? Are you kidding? I freak out if I see a Daddy Long Legs in the house) and the reason D is so frightening is because leg pain is the one complaint Kendrie had weeks before diagnosis, that I continually brushed off as “growing pains”. Hindsight being 20/20 and all, I’m now worried that every pain under the sun is a concern. There should be some sort of Anal Paranoids Anonymous Club for cancer parents to join.

Love, Kristie

WORST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: I just feel grumpy! And I miss going to the pool .... heck, I just miss leaving the house! My mom keeps walking around muttering to herself (what's new?) something about "things could be worse, things could be worse." Grown ups are so weird.

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: In an attempt to keep me and my brother and sister from fighting so much (I DO have enough energy for that!) my mom dragged out all the puzzles and cards and games from when I first got sick blood. I had forgotten how much fun all that stuff is!

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