Sundays are precious days.
Sundays are for sleeping in and for second pots of coffee. For Sunday brunch and family dinner. For cheese grits. For creativity. For visiting with neighbors. For connecting with grandparents. Sundays are for reflection, which always leads to gratitude.
We enter this next week of Benjamin’s treatment feeling ready. The boys spent a nice chunk of time on schoolwork, with Michael’s help, and I took a few hours to prepare for the long days ahead. I took my research and my weekly solace at Whole Foods. The week’s meals are planned, or are being generously delivered. Granola, lunches, and quick breakfasts are made. Fruit is chopped for snacking. New batches of detox tea and bath salts are mixed. Prescription refills have been called in, and the week’s pills are split and placed in their proper compartments. The hospital bag is restocked. The coffee and alarms are set to wake us bright and early tomorrow morning. I give thanks for the time and space to prepare in this way. It provides me with an elusive sense of control. I’ll wake with confidence tomorrow.
Michael’s mother and sister have brought us dinner at least once a week since Benjamin’s diagnosis. Tonight, for the first time all year, we were able to come to their house to share a Sunday meal. It was so nice to be back. The boys filled the house with stomping feet and laughter. The food was delicious. The weather was gorgeous and beckoned us to play basketball on the community courts before sunset. It was a lovely way to end the weekend. I give thanks for these fine women, again and again.
Tomorrow Benjamin will begin his second week on this Ara-C (Cytarabine) cycle, with his fifth dose of the medicine. He’ll begin the week with a complete blood count. I’m very curious to see the numbers this draw will show us. I expect his platelet, hemoglobin and neutrophil counts have already started to decline. We are entering a period of uncertainty. Will he need transfusions? Will he be hospitalized? Strangely, I feel calm about these unknowns, much more so than I did the last time these were possibilities. I have prepared as much as I can prepare. The rest is a matter of trust, and of love.
If you would like to be filled with gratitude, as I have been, that Benjamin is battling leukemia in 2015, rather than in 1950, or even in 2005, I strongly encourage you to watch Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, beginning tomorrow evening on your local PBS station.