I had no ideas for my blog tonight. There are probably things I could share about what “life-after-chemo” has been like, but like I said yesterday it has been a bumpy tumble down and I’m not in a particularly over-sharing mood. I have to admit that reliving all of these things this past month has been harder than I thought. There are so many feelings to sort through – and sometimes 5 or 6 of them fly by in one day. Guilt, Fear, Sadness, Happiness, Anger, Loneliness (that one is kinda hard to explain), Hopeful, Hopeless, Anxious, Proud, Grateful and Overwhelmed. It’s been a lot to go through the past 27 days.
So since I’m not in a oversharing mood, and I’ve run out of Caring Bridge pages to refer to. I found a few other references from back then and there are things I forgot along the way. So that’s what I’ll share tonight. Some are oddities, some are things I really had forgotten, some are silly things that I still do today….
- Day 1 at the hospital: When you walk in the lobby at PMCH to your right is a large wall hanging with lights, it looks pretty but the best part is there are four floor tiles that you can step on that make noise and the lights then correspond to the noise. One is birds chirping, one is waves crashing, one is some kind of happy/sunny thing and the last one is a crack of thunder with a bright flash of light followed by a grumble of more thunder. As I was leaving on Day 1 I unknowingly stepped on a trigger floor tile …. yep thunder & lightning. And to this day…. I only step on the thunder & lightning floor tile.
- Day 2 at the hospital: I discovered the fountains. There is one right by the door when you walk in the lobby. It’s blue/glassy/artsy looking. When you toss money into it there is a motion senor that sets off what sounds like a dolphin trill/whistle. I passed it everyday for 10 days and never went past it without tossing a quarter in and saying my “wish” — “Please let my daughter be OK.” There’s a larger one in the main part of the hospital, the one Teagan calls the fountain room, with the bronze animals and nuns. I started pitching quarters in it too. I walked around with at least $5 in quarters every day.
- Day 6 in hospital: Actually this occurred at night. About 1130-midnight as I was tossing and turning on the futon/couch thing that parents sleep on Teagan sat straight up in bed from a deep sleep and asked “Mommy do you believe in God?” That freaked me out. What made her sit up in the middle of the night and ask that? Was it because we were in a Catholic Hospital full of pictures of nuns and a crucifix over the door? Was it because people kept saying they were praying for us? Was it because one of the chaplains (or maybe a nun… hard telling because they don’t wear the typical black “Sound of Music” type habit anymore) had visited earlier? I don’t know but after she went back to sleep me and God had a lengthy conversation. There are a lot of questions at first… for God, for doctors …..and not a lot of answers. Answers come in time and they are not on your time schedule.
- Day 7 at the hospital: Dave stayed the night with her after her surgery. We rotated every night and he just lucked out that he drew surgery night. Dawson and I went home, I’m sure we stopped somewhere and ate dinner because his love of all fast food blossomed for the 10 days we were in the hospital. Dawson brushed his teeth and climbed in bed. I sat up awake. At about 1130 I decided to watch a movie to try to help me go to sleep. I laughed as I picked up 50 First Dates and popped in the DVD player. That movie, for whatever reason, made me feel better about everything. Even though it was fiction (far-fetched fiction at that) it was about a girl with a traumatic brain injury who was living a “normal” life. The thing that sucked me in was the scar they painted on Drew Barrymore’s head was almost identical to Teagan’s.
- Day ??? – sometime during chemo: We started noticing her hair was “thinning out”. Actually giant clumps of hair were missing in spots all over her head. One day we were doing laundry and Dave told me to come to the dryer. You could pick handfuls of her hair off the ribs in the dryer and then again out of the lint filter. That was the moment when I understood why I had Mrs. Simmons for Spanish class in high school. Her son had passed away from leukemia the year before I was in her class but she still would speak of him often. One day she told us that the doctors don’t tell you that the hair comes out in clumps. She would find a clump on his pillow or stuck to his shirt. She was who I thought of as I was picking my daughter’s hair out of the dryer.
- Day ??? in May: We shaved what was left of her hair completely off. There was no way to make the remaining strands look good even if we cut it short. So it all came off. And she was OK with it – the day we did it. Two days later…. she was completely inconsolable for hours because he hair was gone. And to this day she throws a GIANT hissy fit if we mention getting her hair cut and she absolutely REFUSES to get anything more than a trim. Her hair is just past shoulder length right now.
Tomorrow:……. yes I thought of something….. Soul Surfing 🙂