Thursday, May 04, 2006



Kendrie -- Day 140 OT
Blaine -- One radiation treatment down …. Many to go

As I am fond of telling my girlfriend Renee’, I have never in my life seen two children LESS equipped to be military brats than Kellen and Kendrie. Blaine left Monday for Seattle, and his final vision of our home was of our two youngest children trying to crawl under the garage door, in tears, arms outstretched, for one final hug. They sat at the kitchen window and cried the entire time he was pulling out of the driveway, and have, at some point, cried every day since he left. And they *know* he’s only going to be gone a little over a month. Heaven forbid Blaine is ever deployed for six months to Iraq, or tasked to serve a one-year remote assignment in Turkey or Kuwait ….. the two of them would simply melt into little puddles. How can THESE children be Air Force kids?????

Brayden, on the other hand, is so independent she could be living in her own apartment right now. Blaine calls every afternoon and evening, and if she’s not “too busy”, she’ll agree to talk to him for a moment or two, but only if a commercial is on. That’s not to say she doesn’t miss him, because I know she does. She just doesn’t fall apart on a daily basis like her two younger siblings. Although, she does use it to full advantage whenever she is angry with me …. Tossing out the “Dad is so much nicer than you --- I wish HE were here!” comments when I make her do some despicable chore like brush her teeth or put on clean underwear. Of course, Blaine assures me that she does the same thing, in reverse, when *I* am the one who is gone, so I don’t take it too personally.

However, when Kellen and Kendrie aren’t busy weeping about how much they miss their father, they do have some pretty clever ideas for dealing with his absence. Apparently the first night he was gone, they decided we needed some added protection around the house. I guess they didn’t feel as safe with their dad not here. Out of courtesy, I elected not to tell them that *I* am the one who wakes during the night and comes to check on them …. their father sleeping the sleep of the dead, oblivious to all the bumps and noises in the night.

Kristie: “Blaine, wake up! What was that noise?”
Blaine, mumbling: “It’s the ice maker dropping a load of ice. Roll over and go back to sleep”
Kristie, more urgently: “No, I don’t think that was it! I really think I heard something!”
Blaine: “What you heard are the voices in your head. Now for the love of Pete, shut up and go back to sleep”

And who gets up and walks through the house, double-checking the locks and windows, risking death and dismemberment at the hands of the roving band of axe-murderers who have just broken into our home? ME.

Like I said, although I have no idea where the younger two get this crazy paranoia, they apparently felt we needed some added protection, so they devised a fool-proof anti-burglary system in our hallway:

Stuffed animals, army trucks, and motorcycles, ready to spring to life and defend our home from invasion. When I asked exactly “how” these things would protect us, Kellen simply replied, “They’ll protect us if strangers try to come in the house.” Um, ok. I especially like the Camp Sunshine mascot cow tucked into the tank and am confident that a thief would also find it terrifying and flee in the night.

Something else I should point out to the kids is that there is no way anyone would break into our home because:

a) We don’t have anything worth stealing, and

b) Better than our motion sensor lights, our alarm system, our prickly bushes under the windows, our locked doors, and a mother who sleeps with the cordless phone next to her bed, 911 on speed dial, we have this: the Mount Everest of home protection, the safety and security that comes only with top of the line defense systems …. The fortification of the canine world:

Lager. Our deaf, old, arthritic dog, who stays in this position ninety percent of the day and night, getting up only long enough to eat and move to another spot on the carpet. Really … who *wouldn’t* feel perfectly safe and secure with this ferocious beast around, safeguarding your family?

On second thought, maybe the cow in the tank is a better bet.

PS. A MOST sincere Thank YOU to the people who responded to my request in the last post for hook ups with people who have radiation experience. I was pleased to receive several responses and have been able to ask questions of quite a few people. Also, I’m a little embarrassed to admit there was an online support group (right in front of my FACE!) that I overlooked, which someone was kind enough to direct me to. So hopefully between the people who have been nice enough to e-mail me personally, and the people on the support list, we’ll be getting a better idea of what Blaine is in for with these radiation treatments.

He started this week and things seem to be going ok so far, although he admitted yesterday that having his head bolted to the table in the Jason-mask is a little disconcerting. (His actual words were, “I had no idea I was claustrophobic, but this sucks!”) I reminded him of all the young cancer patients who have the same thing done and have to be sedated because they are only children …. And gave him a gentle reminder that perhaps he should be grateful that although it sucks, he *is* an adult and at least in better control of the situation. He agreed, and thanked me for always being right and wise and smarter and all-knowing.

(OK, so that last part isn’t true, but you know what I mean. He SHOULD have thanked me for all that, because I totally AM!)

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