Thursday, April 4, 2013

"It's Five days of Hell Mom!"

It was on Tuesday that I realized, how many weeks, no months it has been since Mom and I have had a full day together, just the two of us. Zack was scheduled to have his lab work done to see if he needed blood or platelets. We "knew" he was in good shape and as always had a back up plan in the event he needed some. He was spending the day with Drake, Leah and "lil man".(Leah's baby). He was going to tell them he would return on Wednesday if he did indeed need blood. He wanted the day off as well and was going to take it! 

As usual, there were a few obstacles before I could actually get on the road to see Mom, once they were completed I was singing all the way to Hendersonville. Though Mom and I haven't had as much time together, our bond is still as strong as it was before the diagnosis. She is my rock, though at times throughout this journey, she was more like a broken rock that had fallen. She has been devastated by everything Zack has gone through and luckily she is able to see the light at the end of the tunnel and is coming back around. We started out with lunch, a delicious variety of sushi for Mom and a "bento box" of Teriyaki chicken, brown rice and steamed vegetables for me. We then proceeded to hit all of our usual thrift stores. Zack checks in with me and lets us know his counts were good, so he is on his way home to hang out with his friends and chill.  Once finished with five or six stores, we get the urge for our usual  "Belgian break". I won't go into that detail! (smile) On to WM (they don't deserve free advertising). The experience in that store was less than stellar. We were unable to find a lot of the groceries we needed and then waiting in line for 25 minutes because there were only 4 out of 20 registers open.. Customer Service be damned at their place! It is now 8 pm, Bob has checked in to see if he must fix his own or if we are bringing him dinner. "Fix your own it is!" Mom is finally getting tired. This woman is amazing, she is 81 years (young) and because of her constant walking of the dogs up and down her hill and around the cemetery several times a day, she can outlast me!! In my defense, I have been told to rest a lot!!! I know.... I know... don't tell me!! Spring is just around the corner (the calendar may say it's Spring, but the weather doesn't agree) and with that, I am outside a lot more. I check in with the guys and tell them Mom and I are having dinner together, then I will be home. They have ordered a pizza and are in good shape, so no worries. Mom and I arrive at her house, unload the groceries with Bob's help and I jump in their shower in a hurry. Our water heater has arrived just today, but will take a couple of days to install since the floor needs replacing. By the time I arrive home it is 10:30 pm. What a great day we had together! I'm so glad that Zack was able to go with his friends and have some time AWAY from his Mama and I some time WITH my Mama!!

Wednesday is a day of work for us all! Frank has started a new water feature and Zack is up to working and eager to make some money. I am the first out the door at 6:30 am, followed by the guys, who must get everything loaded and out the door around 8 am.  Frank told me later that there was one point where Zack started to loose steam, took a 15 minute break and bounced right back to finish up the day. He said he tried to get Zack to go home, but he was determined to work the entire day. This was an especially physically challenging day as they were moving big boulders in place. I had a lot of fun at work. I love my job and still can't wait to get to work in the mornings, as long as I know Zack is fine, I'm fine. At one point today the "egg man" delivered four dozen eggs to our office. He hands me a dozen and says "check out THESE eggs". Anticipating they were green or some other odd color I open the carton. Within seconds I screamed and cussed, yes I said a cuss word TWICE!!! In between 11 eggs was a little chic, I'm not sure what I thought it was, but it scared the living daylights out of me AND my reaction gave everyone in the office a big laugh! 

When I arrived home, I went into Zack's room to say hi. He had COLOR!!! He was not pale, he actually looked really good, even without eyebrows (which are already completely gone again). He had been working all day in the sun and didn't wear his hat, so he had even color on his beautiful bald head. At first I was worried because the medicine he is on, makes it bad to be in the sun, but he wore 70 SPF sunscreen and it gave him some color and vitamin D! He had advised us that Chris F was coming over to spend the night and hang out the next day. We haven't seen Chris in a long time. He has had to work on his Senior Project, is in band (one of their first chairs), golf, sports, etc.... Basically he is doing everything a Senior should be doing! It was so good to see him again. Frank was exhausted and apologized in advance if he fell asleep while talking to me. I just laugh and tell him we can carry on better conversations when he is sleeping. I know, the ultimate smart ass! 

It is now Thursday and the mood is slowly changing as the day progresses. Zack and Chris have spent the day with Sam J. These three boys have been friends since kindergarten and though they haven't spend a lot of time together, reconnect easily when they do see each other. They are all Seniors and going to cross the stage together. Sam who walks in with bright orange/red hair is the lead singer / songwriter in a band and I have made him promise to buy me a house (as his second mother) when he makes it big! The three together are a sight. Zack, of course, is the tallest, most casually dressed with his camouflage pants, matching jacket and hat, Chris is the "dapper" dude who loves to play golf and always looks like he is ready for an important meeting. I have such a soft spot for these boys, having watched them grow up and knowing their families closely. We are all Moms and Dads to these boys and that's as it should be. (It takes a village) The day is nearing it's end. Frank has managed to replace the floor and install the new water heater. Yeah!!! A shower tonight!!! Life is good!!! Zack is showing signs of frustration and anger. He doesn't want to go back into the hospital tomorrow! Even though I try and cheer him and tell him this is the last one, he still says, "but it is five days of hell Mom." My usual reaction is always to make a joke, so I tell him "three of those days I'm there with you!!, oh wait maybe THAT'S what you're talking about." He quickly laughs and tells me I'm nuts!! I have been anxious all day and finally realized it's because I am going in to donate platelets on Saturday. It's not the actual needles in the arms thing, it's my past coming back to haunt me. I had suffered from panic disorder for many years and could not do things like this. When I would go to the grocery store, I needed a list of what I needed by aisle, if I missed something I couldn't even go back for it. I haven't had this for at least 7 years now, but whenever I am challenged with something new, the old fears tend to pop up. It is then that I must talk to myself and remind myself that I don't do that anymore! On the long way home from work,  I stopped at several business that aren't open during the day. One in particular "The Quarry" is a quaint restaurant/ bar which strongly resembles the set of "Friends". Sofas and big fluffy chairs are all around. There is a small stage where live music is played six days a week. I ask the owner if I could put up one of the posters for the fundraiser, she stands up and we immediately hug. She is the young lady that Sue (my friend who is working on the FR with Nancy) had asked to originally play at the event. Her band was unable to, so she helped Sue get the other two bands together. It felt as if we had known each other our whole lives, she introduced me to her wife and other band members, who were all rooting for Zack. With a promise to return and a couple of menus in hand, I stop at five more places and all were thrilled to help us out! Each stop gave me another opportunity to not only share our journey, but to help some of them share theirs as well. Before I know it, I'm pulling into our driveway and it is 8:30 pm. 

For the rest of the evening we will pack, load up the car and be ready to head out early in the morning. This will be our last hospital stay and THAT is something to celebrate!! We will make the best of the week and hope that Zack doesn't have a strong reaction to the chemo. As more beautiful items arrive for the silent auction, we are all getting excited about the upcoming fundraiser. It will be nice to celebrate "surviving" this past year and opening new doors for the changes ahead. Until Tomorrow my dear  friends, thanks for being in our lives, being our support system and being YOU!!!!!


  1. Just a big hug to the awesome person who is donating platelets on Saturday...and another for that amazing son of hers!!!
    Good night and sleep well, soon all this will be over ...

  2. Awe, so sweet Angela!! Thank you for your hugs and messages, they help keep me going!!