Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Death of the dancing flower...

Today started out more or less a normal day. Frank and I went to work. Zack came and got my car to run around and do errands for us and just hang out with his friend. The love and support that I feel when at work is amazing. Many of our patients know about our new journey and offer nothing but positive reinforcement. (I won't allow any negative talk, and have no problems stopping someone should they head in that direction, which hasn't happened.) With the news of no cancer, it is so much easier to stay positive. We are still nervous about what what lies ahead, but somehow feel a little more in control (and we KNOW how I like to be in control!).

I was more "present" at work than I have been all month. I was able to focus better and didn't feel like a zombie trying to find her next meal (okay, too many zombie movies). The energy in the office was calm and everything flowed. The closer it was time to head home the more anxious I became. It hit me! I don't have to REALLY think about any of this when at work. I stay busy and put on a big smile and "pretend" everything is normal. It is 4:30 pm and I start to whimper inside, I don't want anyone to see that I'm about to loose it, again, for the billionth time. I can hold on just a little longer. If I can just make it to 5:30 I can let go.

It is 5:30, the office is closed and nothing! Not a single tear! What the hell? You were waiting for this? Where are the water works? Not even a drop? Well, going through this plus menopause at the same time I realize I'm entitled to change my moods as often as I want. So... no tears, I am again feeling the gratitude, I feel so blessed that my child does not have a tumor anymore, doesn't have to fight for his life like so many other children out there with sarcoma. Maybe I don't need to cry as much, maybe I don't have that many tears left right now.

Zack picks me up, I put a fresh basket of tomatoes on the floor in the back seat, right on my little dancing flower. I pick it up and hand it to Zack to place back on my dashboard, the flower is broken, ( I BROKE IT!!!) I loose it!! How can you put that on the floor, now it's broken. Why can't you leave my stuff alone and treat it with respect. I am yelling and he is getting angry at himself, all of this over a stupid dancing flower. I realize that instead of tears the anger is there. But I can't get mad at him, what kind of a mother am I? How dare I yell at my child, he is going to start chemo next week. We don't speak on the five minute drive home. We arrive home, both storm in the door, Frank and Sidi (our shitzhu) stand there ready to greet us and quickly run to the hills for safety. Zack slams his bedroom door while I sit at the table and tell Frank the horrors of my broken dancing flower. Frank looks at me calmly and says, "you need to do what you tell me to do". Okay, I tell you to do a lot of stuff? Which one are you talking about? ( I can dish it, but can't take it ) He says " you need to let it go,  it's okay that you got mad, he needs to learn to respect other peoples things and if it wasn't on the floor it wouldn't have been broken". "We still have to teach him right from wrong, this doesn't change how we have to raise him". "We can support him, but can't coddle him, he doesn't need that and doesn't want that."

I get it! I go to Zack's room, sit on his bed and just chill. That's usually a good way to get him to start opening up. I just sit ,shut up and let him start the conversation. He apologizes for the flower, I tell him it's just a stupid $7.00 flower that I had no business buying. He says "no, you liked it a lot and I wasn't respectful enough to put it in a safe place", we both knew it wasn't really about the flower. He is texting on and off, I ask him what's going on with his friends. He says they are all freaking out. He explains that they are all texting him and saying they want to make things for him, are praying and thinking about him. He tells me he doesn't want to get the attention, he doesn't want anything from anyone. I try and explain that his friends are trying to deal with this. It is scary to adults, so it must be twice as scary for kids. They are doing the only thing they know to do. They want to support you and be there for you, but they aren't sure what to do or what to say. If someone wants to do something for you, you must let them. This may help them in dealing with the situation.  He starts to tear up and tries to hide his face. I tell him, it's okay to cry, it's okay to be confused about this. I'M confused and I'm not the one having the treatment. He opens up about how pissed he is and how he doesn't want to be different or bald. I tell him to picture himself in a year, when it is all done and his hair is growing back. He said I will be bald and skinny. I can handle the skinny ( at 6'5" and 330 lbs now, he welcomes some weight loss, but not this way) but what if my hair grows back red or blonde. I want to be brown like I am now!! We start to laugh, I tell him he would look just like his cousin Darrick.  He says, "HE looks good with red hair, can you imagine ME... a redhead?" He reminds me of the doctor saying that some people's hair comes back curly and different colors. (Thanks Doc!!!) We are finally able to start laughing again.  Frank comes in and Zack tells him it's all under control!! NOW let's eat some pizza.

I am now too tired to fool with eating it is 8 pm and I still have to get my papers ready for tomorrows meeting with the insurance agent. I spread out the papers on the bed and start to organize when Zack comes in with a panicked look on his face. "Mom, my leg doesn't look good!" He shows me the incision where the lymph nodes had been removed last Thursday. The cut is open, the wound has torn about an inch. He is more worried that his leg looks yellow and I remind him that is from the antiseptic they use to cleanse the area before surgery. I call Frank in (who is less squeamish than me), "yup, it tore open", I immediately call the doctor at the Center. (Our new instructions are to call right away if ANYTHING doesn't "feel" right). Dr. S is on call, we had already met him twice before and he also did the bone marrow biopsy. He tells me to clean it and make sure it is not bleeding, which it is not, he said clear coming from it is part of the healing, that is normal, but he may need a couple of stitches or a butterfly bandage on it. He assures me it will be okay until tomorrow morning.  Frank is cleaning it and putting a bandage on it, when I freak and call the doctor again,  are you sure we don't need to do anything tonight? Both Zack and Frank in sync are telling me to chill !! It can wait until tomorrow.  The Doctor laughs when he hears them and assures me again, it will be okay. Without asking, Zack calls his friend and says " I need you to ride with me to the Center tomorrow. I may need stitches and I need a driver in case I can't make it back myself", "yeah man, my parents have to work and we can do this without them!" "Cool, see ya at 9".  Who is this person? My "little boy" is a young man. I realize he is going to be just fine, he wants to do this on his own and we must let him. We are here when he needs us, but we must let him be strong on his own too.

I eat a bowl of cereal, pull the covers over myself and chill.  We made it through another day.

1 comment:

  1. Glad I read it all and did not hear it on the phone, no telling "what" I would have "heard".