Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Um, the residual side effects from steroids last HOW long???

252 Days to Go

How much do you love that new picture of Kendrie in the strawberry field on the top of this site?? Well, maybe the better question would be “how much do *I* love that picture?” and the answer would be “Pretty darn much”! Her Pre-K class took a field trip to a local pick-your-own field on Tuesday and we had such a nice time …. The weather was perfect, the kids were agreeable, and I even got Kendrie to laugh for this picture (I won’t mention the dozen or so others I deleted before taking this one.) But isn’t this one great?!

Anyway, she had a good time and was quite motivated to fill up her clamshell to share with the rest of the family at dinner that night. I was so carried away by the happiness and spirit of the moment that I even promised we could dip the strawberries in chocolate and have them for dessert.

In a small way, it made up for the day before, when I had to cancel our plans to go to a nature park for a picnic. My goal was to make the last day of Spring Break (Monday) a fun one for the kids, but they woke up in incredibly foul moods --- grumpy to the point of abuse, so I nixed those plans before 8am, explaining to them that I don’t take kids that act **that** ugly out to do fun things. Then I had the rest of the morning to watch them sulk. Except for Kendrie, who started complaining that she didn’t feel very good. I thought she was just tired, but around lunchtime she threw up twice and then laid down for a nap. I chalked it up to the chemo from the night before and secretly congratulated myself for keeping them home. So needless to say, having a nice day with her on Tuesday helped make up for the lousy day we had on Monday.

WELL! Fast forward to Tuesday night around 5:15pm. I was putting the finishing touches on dinner (Who am I kidding? My scrapbooking friend Renee felt sorry for us and brought us a meal, so all I had to do was set the table! Thanks, Renee!) when Kellen asked if he could have some strawberries with dinner. I said sure, and Kendrie reminded me, in no uncertain terms and VERY LOUDLY, that I had said we would dip them in chocolate for dessert. When I replied that it would be ok if we had them both ways, she informed me that SHE picked them, they were HERS, and SHE was the BOSS of the berries! My head began to pound a little.

We sat down to dinner, Kendrie still pouting because Kellen had the nerve to eat a few of HER berries, and I realized that my head was seriously starting to hurt. By the time the meal was half-over, not fifteen minutes later, it was a full-blown migraine, complete with nausea and hot and cold flashes and other bodily functions that don’t need mentioning here. I croaked at Blaine, “I’m sorry that you’re on morphine and basically crippled but I need to you clean up after dinner so I can go lay down” and stumbled into the bedroom. So I’m laying in bed, alternating between sweating to death and freezing, thinking to myself that under no circumstances can I throw up or my head will literally explode …… when I hear Kendrie screaming, “BUT MOM SAID WE COULD MAKE CHOCOLATE FOR THE BERRIES!!!

Oh Dear God, somebody just melt some chocolate chips for the girl!

Apparently Blaine told her no, that it would have to wait until I got up, and she was crying because she knows that she is cut off from all food about half an hour after dinner and she’s going to run out of time, and she’s running into the bedroom, jumping on the bed (my head, Dear Lord, my head!) howling that her Daddy doesn’t know how to melt the chocolate. She’d been off the steroids for 48 hours, but it was one of the biggest tantrums yet. (And really, can you blame her? If someone promised me chocolate-covered strawberries and didn’t deliver, I’d probably do the same thing!)

So in the meantime I’m curled up in the fetal position, wondering what the heck has happened to me. I haven’t had a migraine in years, and I’ve never had one come on that fast, and I’ve never had one located directly behind my left eye. Was it allergies? I mean, I don’t *have* allergies, but everyone is talking about how bad the pollen is. Was this the same thing Kendrie had the day before?? Poor thing, no wonder she felt terrible. Was it the last vestiges of the measly cold I had? Was it a tainted bag of beef jerky? Then suddenly it hit me as clear as a bell. I mean, it’s obvious, given everything our family has gone through -----------

I have a brain tumor. Who the hell is going to hold this family together now?

And as I lay there, feeling sorry for myself because I’m obviously dying, all I can hear is Kendrie screaming about the chocolate for the berries. Blaine comes in to check on me and I whisper to him that there is some chocolate almond bark in the cabinet and if he’ll just melt it in the microwave for a minute the kids can dip the berries themselves. We do it a lot in the summer (I like them as much as the kids do!) and it really won’t be much work for him. So he’s grumbling, and limping out of the room (poor guy, like he needed THIS extra chore tonight?) and I hear him go in the kitchen, get the strawberries ready, take out the almond bark, melt it in the microwave, put plastic wrap on the table, Kellen and Brayden are hollering “Woohoo! Chocolate covered strawberries!” and the next thing I hear is Kendrie screaming, “Well I don’t even want any! I’ll make Mom buy me more berries tomorrow and I’ll make them all by myself and for now I want SPAGHETTIOS!!!

I’m not sure what happened after that, but I distinctly remember Kendrie coming in to my room, bringing me a wet rag and the thermometer, and kissing me on the forehead, which was pretty much the sweetest thing she could have done. If it hadn’t made me nauseous to move I would have rolled over and kissed her back. She wound up falling to sleep on Blaine’s side of the bed and spent a good portion of the night there, until she got tired of having to share my pillow and gave up and went to her own bed.

So this morning when the alarm went off I cautiously opened one eye, sort of testing the waters to see how I felt. And when I got up, and realized my head no longer hurt and my stomach was no longer pushing the eject button on its contents ….. well, you know that scene from The Sound of Music where Julie Andrews is spinning around on top of the mountain, with her arms out wide, sunshine on her face, singing, “The hills are alive … with the sound of music” ? That’s pretty much how I felt today.

And I’ve decided it’s probably not a brain tumor.

AND! Kendrie extracted a promise from me to buy more strawberries, and more chocolate, for tomorrow. I was so happy to be alive I agreed.

Thanks for checking in,

PS. I want to share with you guys a really good picture I got of Kellen the other day. I know, I know, this caringbridge site is turning into my own personal photo and music forum --- but how cute are my kids?!?!?!



Today was a good day. My mom was in a good mood and had lots of energy, probably from sleeping eleven hours straight last night. She was even willing to drive back home this morning to get me my Power Rangers watch that I forgot to wear to school. See? A good day!

BEST PART ABOUT HAVING CANCER TODAY: Well, duh, the part about wearing my Power Ranger watch to school! And did you know that I am a champion strawberry picker???

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