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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Okay? Yes. Fine? Well...

This is a Cancer Post™. Also a rare-ish Post With Bad Language™.

You have been warned.

The thing about long term medical emergencies is that life goes on around them. A few examples from this week:


Laston is - as usual - annoyed with television commercials. Possibly even more than usual, as he was stuck in a hospital room and hates working with his phone or tablet for computer-y things. So he watched a lot of TV, and let's just say, he never again wants to buy Bush's Beans, half a dozen different drugs, or any number of potential products and services for which the ads were practically infomercials.

Not that he ever really did, but he's even more adamant than usual.


Abby had a key lime pie to make as a belated birthday gift for her dad. She started it when I was at Weight Watchers on Friday, and - being Abby - she faithfully texted me to ask permission to turn on the oven when I wasn't home. Then she called me on the way home to ask me to get eggs, as she needs more yolks for her pie. No problem. Got eggs. Watched her mix ingredients. Watched her heat the oven (she waited for me after all; such a conscientious child). Watched her put it in. All is well.

Timer dings. I hear rummaging noises and then, "Oh, NO!"

Oh yes.

I rush into the kitchen and there is Abby, pie filling in her hair, a slightly red scorch mark on her forehead (and filling on the oven mitt that matched the above), and an aluminum pie tin folded in half, where it collapsed when she picked it up.

She got in the shower, and I got more condensed milk and pie crust.

And then she put the second pie on a cookie sheet.


Lizzy is an interesting mix of eight-year-old inattention and scientific curiosity. She is simultaneously grossed out by the mere thought of the (nine! nine liters!) of fluid the doctors eventually got out of Laston's gut, and fascinated that it could all fit in there. 

We received her report card in the mail yesterday, and there she is, my little brainiac babygeek. All threes (at grade level) and fours (exceeding grade level) in academics, and the still-working-on-it scores in  those things like self-starter and consistent-at-turning-in-homework-on-time. She got props from her teacher for showing the beginnings of leadership skills and for sheer determination for the things she cares about. 

It's the boring stuff like that homework that she's having trouble with: the hallmark of the bright kid. 

I'm just glad she knows how to be nice to people. The origami heart she gave one of the nurses (Daddy taught her to make it) with "take care of dad" printed in it is evidence of that.


Not everything is normal. 

The kids don't normally get piles of candy when it's not a holiday, for instance, but Uncle Steve took all three of them to QFC (the hospital gift shop was closed) and let them loose in the candy aisle. 

Thanks a bunch, Uncle Steve. 

Abby's dad took her for the weekend as usual, but he's transporting both ways this time. Usually I take Abby to him (because traffic sucks) and then he brings her back on Sunday. Thanks (and this time I mean it, unlike with Uncle Steve).

My sister took Miz Liz Friday through Saturday afternoon. This is also not usual; generally when Lizzy and her cousin have a sleepover it's at Grandma's house. Thanks, Sis.

A friend offered to make a Costco run for me. It isn't necessary at this time, but about the nicest thing I can think of just now.


Laston, it turns out, is suffering from malnutrition. This is a combination of not having any appetite, and that his liver has thrown up its metaphorical hands and said fuckitall, so he's not absorbing what he does get. To that end, the hospital dietitian has him on an Ensure (or equivalent; I got him the Kroger brand with extra protein) three times a day, plus whatever he can choke down by way of food. 

Popcorn chicken seems to be okay in small amounts. He also didn't mind some beans (not Bush's), some yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, and what Abby is calling Deconstructed Key Lime Pie.


And me? I can laugh now, but today marks the first time in about twenty years that a customer has made me cry.

I won't give you any identifiers, because that would be unethical, but let's just say that my supervisor, Erinn, plucked the headset right off my head and took over the call. Now, Erinn generally shows equanimity in the face of just about everything, and even she was hard put to talk to this customer (I won't call her a lady; that term is inaccurate) without her hands shaking.

So yes, I'm almost certainly oversensitive, but this person managed to flap the most unflappable customer service person I know.


We're doing okay, all of us.

So when you ask, and I say I'm fine? I'm not fine. 

But I am okay.