Yep, those are my guys being glad to see me. And me, sporting crazy hospital hair, even more glad to see them.
Within the first 12 hours of being home, I broke one of the many rules that Dr. F had laid out for me: avoid the stairs. I seem to think that I am younger and in better shape than what I am, thereby being exempt from silly rules. All I can say now is that the boys better keep their rooms clean, because I will not be going upstairs to check on them for some time.
Speaking of keeping our rooms clean...did you know that if you are living under this roof and you are in the 10-and-under age bracket, you can earn real $$$ by keeping your room clean? We call it a random room check (or RRC, for short, per Goliath). The RRC is the brainchild of Nana, who has moved in temporarily to do my jobs so I can rest and recover. RRC is a big hit with my cowboys!
My mother....I want so much to tell you what it means to me that she is here in my home. I want to tell you how I am amazed at how she keeps up with all the little boy laundry--something I am never able to do myself!--, keeps the kitchen spotless, and makes it all look easy. I want to communicate how her unconditional love and sacrifice makes me feel like I am the most important person in the world and how her presence here comforts me. I want to make you understand that The Sickness is just a part of the curve ball life has thrown at me this summer, and that she helps me navigate my way and feel hopeful that it will be okay. I wish I could explain how my sons have security and even a sense of normalcy because their Nana is caring for them. Words are simply insufficient. I have been overwhelmed lately with what I have in my life that is abnormal and faulty. But when it comes to my mom, I can't help but be overwhelmingly thankful, because I know that I have something in her that many people never get to have, and she blesses me beyond measure.
It is worth noting here also that my hospital stay ended just in the nick of time. This was my second stay on the 9th floor at MCD, and I think that my familiarity entitles me to make customer suggestions. My first suggestion will be that there be some sort of discount off the overall hospital bill for patients who are able to do awesome medical tricks, i.e. remove an epidural line that is inserted and taped to your back, or remove a 4-foot NG tube that was running from your nose down to your stomach. Extra dollars off should be rewarded for doing it in the shower without being aware of it. I will be looking for those discounts on my next statement.
Abby Dog's birthday quietly came and went while I was in the hospital. She is now 14 and 98 years old (human and dog years, respectively). I felt bad that she didn't get her usual family party, but maybe we can make up for it once I'm back on my feet. Honestly, she is so geriatric that I doubt she missed it much. The old girl remains my most faithful friend with the biggest ears. Love her.
Goliath and Baby are delighted that the first day of school is fast-approaching--come on, Monday, August 27th!!--while Little Middle is mourning the summer days that are slipping away. Thankfully, I listened to a smart friend last spring who has 3 boys of her own and offered me this advice: "Buy the wrap packs, Allyson. The boys don't care about the shopping. Buy the wrap packs!" School supplies will be there waiting on the first day. Backpacks and lunch boxes were purchased before I went to the hospital. Nana is filling in the blanks and is helping the boys get their back-to-school style ready. My Goliath has a definite idea about what a 5th grade boy's clothes should be; in one word: cool. Don't tell my mom, but I'm a little glad she is doing this shopping trip with him. My mommy-heart might not be able to handle the coolness of my little boy.
Although he is younger, Baby is also making choices regarding his own style. He is replacing his old athletic shoes with these:
Sniff. So cute. And grown-up.
My Little Middle, however, hates shopping. He would rather eat a vegetable casserole for breakfast than have to be dragged on a shopping trip, even if it is for his own clothes and shoes. In a nice arrangement that can only be made if your grandmother lives to make you happy, he has simply described to Nana what he wants to wear on the first day of school. She is going to shop for him and bring it home. He's happy because he doesn't have to go to a real store, and she's happy because she doesn't have to hunt for him in all the clothes racks. Problem solved.
And while the family does their thing, I am carefully nursing my long row of abdominal staples and working to keep food where it belongs. It's a glamorous life, I tell you. It will be another week or so before I know any results from chemo sensitivity testing. Until then, I plan to take it easy and soak up the goodness that surrounds me. There really is no place like home.