Monday, December 12, 2005


Only THREE days of treatment left!!!

Wow, my three-things list almost got changed at the very last second …. about thirty seconds ago, when I started typing this, to be exact. When it comes to the written language, I have three pet peeves: People who don’t know how to spell, people who don’t know how to use proper grammar, and people who type in ALL-CAPS, REALLY IS THERE ANYTHING MORE ANNOYING THAN THAT?????

So imagine my horror this evening when my hand slipped, I hit some bizarre combination of keys, and suddenly my Caps-Lock key was locked in the ON position. I was afraid this entire journal entry would be in ALL CAPS, which would be incredibly aggravating for those of you trying to read it, and incredibly aggravating for me as well, since my sarcasm and cynicism …. Er, I mean, wisdom and thoughtfulness might not come across as clearly without the ability to HIGHLIGHT and EMPHASIZE certain words.

Thank heavens for the delete key, is all I can say, and I was able to delete whatever command (I still haven’t figured out quite exactly what I did) that had it stuck that way. Whew!!! Now, you’ll know if I type in ALL-CAPS IT’S BY CHOICE BECAUSE I WANT TO DRIVE YOU CRAZY AND NOT A MICROSOFT GLITCH AFTER ALL.

"Three Days to Go, Baby!"

So! Back to my original Three Things List:

Three Goals I Have for Off-Treatment;

Short-term, Medium-term, and Long-term.

1. My Short-Term Goals for When Kendrie goes Off-Treatment:

a) That we are able to settle into a quasi-normal routine fairly quickly. No waking up at 3am, hyperventilating because we forgot to give her medicines (for the record, we have never forgotten her evening meds, but I fully expect to have the 3am panic attack sometime in the next week or two!) No undue alarm if she runs a fever or complains of an ache or pain (yeah, right, like we’re going to be able to relax *that* much???) No wondering about her ANC level before sending her to school or going for a playdate, no planning our vacations around clinic visits, no double-checking that I have emla cream in the car, no fear we will run out of her latest steroid-craving, no running to every pharmacy in town to get all her prescriptions filled, no driving to the school in the middle of the day because her stomach is upset and she’s out of zofran, no limiting her dairy intake before bed, no refusing to allow her to touch a turtle or frog for fear of salmonella, etc. NORMAL people live without those sorts of limitations, right? And although I would hardly classify us as "normal", hopefully we can, too. The one exception is my obsession with Purell and antibacterial wipes. I cannot, will not, learn to stop. This habit could not, should not drop.

b) That Kendrie remain cancer-free.

c) That I lose 20 pounds (Ok, not cancer-related, but a goal is a goal, right?)

2. My Medium-Term Goals for When Kendrie goes Off-Treatment:

a) That we somehow find a balance as a family between being proud of all she has gone through, and no longer letting her milk it for all it is worth. Not that I think she necessarily tried to play us too often, but I do know she got away with a lot more than her older siblings did at her age. We overlooked a lot of tantrums and whiny behavior and demands, and blamed them on the side effects of chemo, specifically steroids. We often (probably too often, if I’m being honest) let her have her way, and made her brother and sister give in to her more than was fair. We let her stay up way past her bedtime, often, so she could eat again after her 2-hour medication window. We let her sleep in our bed with us … oh, that one is **SO** going to stop! I'm tired of waking up with her size 12's in my back, or an arm across the bridge of my nose! Please don’t think she is a brat, she’s really not. At least not most of the time. But we need to figure out a way to laud her accomplishment, and her status as a cancer-survivor, and yet reign her back in as a fully-functioning, rule-following member of our family again.

b) That Kendrie remain cancer-free.

c) That I lose 30 pounds.

3. My Long-Term Goals for When Kendrie goes Off-Treatment:

a) I want to figure out some way to make a positive contribution to the world of pediatric cancer. I don’t mean a measly donation to some charity once a year, I mean do something really worthwhile. Like Grainne Owen, or Kristin Connor, who turned their own pediatric cancer experiences into personal missions and are making such a difference! Like the parents who train and participate and raise funds through Light the Night, or Team in Training. Like the parents who start charitable organizations, or support group websites, or in some way dedicate themselves to helping kids in treatment. Like the parent who starts up an environmental watchdog group, or goes back to school to become a nurse or doctor.

So, let’s evaluate. I’m too lazy to run a marathon and too terrified of public speaking to be a corporate fundraiser. And Lord knows I don’t want to go back to college for four more years or try to run my own non-profit organization! If I were being honest, what I’d really like to do is figure out a way to get this journal published and either provide free copies to cancer parents, or actually sell it and donate the proceeds to charity. It would make me happy to think I could give hope to newly diagnosed families, or perhaps provide a laugh, or some insight, to others. But I know nothing about the field of publishing and am pretty sure that literary agents have thousands of manuscripts sent to them, and file them in the circular file, each and every day. And maybe I’m kidding myself that anyone besides my Caringbridge friends would find it interesting, anyway. Many of you have a personal connection to this cancer and/or disability world …. Someone never affected by cancer, especially pediatric cancer, might not be interested or entertained in the least little bit. (sigh) Does this mean I’m going to have to get up off the couch and run a marathon after all???

b) That Kendrie remain cancer free.

c) That I lose 40 poun --- oh, the hell with it. Where do I sign up for a tummy tuck???

So, those are my goals. January 1st is coming up …. What are *your* goals for the New Year?

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