I have been so topsy turvy moving, that A. I’ve not written a blog for too long and B. that means I’ve likely forgotten at least half of what I meant to write about. Perhaps if I start with the most recent events and work backwards…
Most of our possessions are now at the new house. Keep in mind this has been strictly a do it yourself job. As a result my forearms are developing muscles I’d not known I had but my back is in sorry need of a massage. Much is yet in boxes and bags and we can’t find Pete’s treasured teddy bear or the last netflix we viewed.
Yesterday some guys came for the ‘opening’ of the pool. It basically entailed pulling off the cover, turning on the filter and throwing in some chemicals. Removing a winter’s worth of leaves, pine needles, dead worms and debris is left to us, so I just spent an hour swatting mosquitoes and fishing. We’ve got our work cut out for us.
I spent yesterday at the house on Blueberry Hill; packing up a few final items and doing some housekeeping. The robins under the deck have fledged. I also paid a visit to Mary and Raleigh’s and enjoyed a cold glass of well water and a delicious piece of homemade rhubarb pie. Mary took me out to her garden and showed me a beautiful little nest beneath the grape vines; one sky blue egg now abandoned.
My friend and fellow lung cancer survivor, Diane Legg was there and it was super to have a chance to spend a day with her. I gained some useful knowledge and met a few people I’d really like to get to know better. And…I felt sort of out of place. My first clue should have been the title of the conference. The byline was A conference for people facing life after cancer treatment. That’s not me.
There was talk of life ‘beyond’ cancer and plenty of stories from people whose cancer was a harrowing but distant memory. I had that uncomfortable sensation of being the bad news at the good news party. And then I did something really ridiculous: I signed up for a zumba class. I love to dance, but my style is rather…interpretive (not scarves or anything; more like this). I am hopeless when it comes to following a lead, and can barely clap (my hands don’t meet squarely in the middle). However, I have an immense capacity for humiliation so was all for trying, but after a few minutes I just couldn’t catch my breath. I mean, what was I thinking?
When I got home to the ‘new house’ that night, I poured myself a glass of wine, drew a bath, and decided to take a jacuzzi. This is my first jacuzzi and I learned something. Evidently you need to make certain the level of the tub is well above the jets; which I neglected to do. When I turned the jacuzzi on, water began shooting out of the tub like a geyser. Frantic, I kept overshooting off and unintentionally turning it back on. Three times I did this and the tub was half empty and the bathroom soaked before I finally found the sweet spot. Oy vey.
On Friday Peter graduated from eighth grade. Brief little ceremony followed by a reception and dessert. Someone pointed out a big mess on the floor; it looked as if a child had strewn around a brownie (not inconceivable). Mysteriously, more and more of this ‘chocolate’ began to appear and at just about the same time I personally became aware of a sinking sensation. At that moment Peter picked up a large wedge shaped section of, not chocolate, but foam. Kinda looked like the heel of a shoe; which in fact it was. The soles of my sandals were completely disintegrating and (to quote from my favorite movie yet again, “that was me all over” (think Scarecrow in Wizard of Oz). The sandals were tossed in the trash and I left the celebration barefoot, apologetic for the mess, but amused.
On Wednesday David and I attended a production of Peter’s school play, which was a variation on Alice in Wonderland. Peter performed two roles admirably: the March Hare and Tweedle Dee. His classmates all did a fine job as well and the costumes were superb.
On Tuesday I traveled to Chelsea for a brain MRI. Karen, who has been tapping my veins for six years now, was the IV nurse on duty, and it was great to see her and get/give updates on our respective lives and children.
Afterwards I made a quick detour to MGH in Boston where I joined Leslie, her husband Rob and Rob’s sister Marnie. I met Leslie at the NLCP conference in Denver, and they had travelled from the west coast for a consult at MGH with Dr. Lecia Sequist. Rob also has ALK positive lung cancer, and is actively searching for the next best treatment post crizotinib.
Following his appointment, the four of us went out to lunch and chatted as if we’d been friends our entire lives. It’s been a surprising ‘side effect’ of lung cancer; the number of wonderful people I have come into contact with because of my diagnosis. We parted with plans to reunite at some point and just yesterday I got a wonderful package in the mail from my new friends: freshly roasted french beans from Peet’s Coffee. Two cups of joe down, and I think I’m up to speed.