Benjamin’s teacher pulled me into the classroom this morning to show me the watercolor self-portraits the class had done as part of an exercise on similes. When I saw Benjamin’s painting it brought me to tears. He wrote, “My hair is as curly as a fresh born pig’s tail.” Beautiful.
This morning I had a phone conference with the financial department at All Children’s. These are never fun, but I get through them and try very hard to understand what I need to understand. At the end of the conversation, the woman on the other end of the phone said, “Good luck! Hope everything works out for ya!” Clearly, this department could use some training. I may have to send this person an email. She should know that using words she may have chosen to describe a job interview–in a tone that was bordering on chipper–is inappropriate. Had this been said to me a year ago, I may have lost it completely. Regardless of her tactlessness, I gave big thanks for a family business that pays for my sons’ health insurance. We will be impacted more heavily this year than last year, but in the grand scheme of things, our coverage is superb. I am so grateful that we have it.
Benjamin’s guitar lessons were canceled after school because his instructor’s wife was in labor. An excellent reason. I used the opportunity to tell Benjamin he could choose our meal for the night and go to the store to help me buy the ingredients we’d need. We decided on homemade pizza with dough from scratch. We made one with marinara and one with pesto. Benjamin loved the process and, as always, was most excellent help in the kitchen.
We rode our bikes to the bus stop to greet Banyan and his friend, who would spend the afternoon with us. We came home, shot a few hoops, shot a few Nerf guns, then the boys were extremely responsible about getting their homework done. I am so proud of their efforts. I know Banyan, particularly, is very proud of himself, and he really should be. He found what he needed within himself. That’s a big deal.
Benjamin felt like he was getting a mouth sore tonight. I looked, and it doesn’t appear to be one, but we are now upping our game with twice daily mouthwash and glutamine. I had just been projecting today that his ANC should be on the way down, as should his other numbers. Time to step up the immune protection. As Benji was climbing into bed, he started to cry. He said he felt weak. He needed a boost. He asked me to lie with him until he fell asleep, and he was just kind of moaning. I think he had a very active day, and he was tired. He was also extremely hungry today, four days after his last steroid dose, so it would make sense to me that the other effects of the medicine are amplified–including bone pain. We just ran out of Calcium and D3 yesterday. I’ll be getting more in the morning. I massaged his back, silently naming every organ beneath my fingers, willing them to detoxify, infusing them with visions of clean, pure light.
I never know what aches and pains are caused by cancer vs. chemo vs. normal eight year old boy life. I always think cancer first, and probably always will. A woman I met whose daughter has been cancer free for twenty years told me that would be true. She said her daughter had swollen lymph nodes last Easter and it sent her into a panic, all this time later. I completely understand.