I made someone feel uncomfortable yesterday. And I'm so pleased that I did. I was standing in line at one of my local haunts of late, Walgreens, to pick up Logan's Fluconazole. The line was long and as slow as molasses, so I zoned in and out of conscious awareness while I waited. That is, I did until I heard the word cancer. My emotional antennae shot up and I overheard a snippet of conversation from a mom and teen daughter in front of me: The mom: Has she posted anything? The daughter: Just 'I hate cancer' with a sad face. Mom: Have you talked to her lately? Daughter: I sent her a message earlier this week. --shrug--
The mom: Has she posted anything? The daughter: Just 'I hate cancer' with a sad face. Mom: Have you talked to her lately? Daughter: I sent her a message earlier this week. --shrug--> Then the daughter went back to playing with her phone and I stood there uncomfortably, wondering if God was giving me a window. I took a chance and spoke up.
Me: Sorry, I'm totally eavesdropping. Mom/daughter turn around and eye me, looking suspicious and a touch annoyed by my confession. Me: But my son has cancer and people totally disappear from your life when you're dealing with that kind of sickness. So be there for your friend. Send her little 'thinking of you' notes each week. She needs it.
Then, of course, there was a super awkward beat that made me want to find a hole and crawl inside before the mom very, very uncomfortably said that she could imagine how hard it would be.
My slingshot thought was No, no, you have no idea how hard it it. None at all. Because you can ask how someone else is doing, get the scoop, and then go back to your smart phone and play Angry Birds or check your mail and forget that cancer happens. But it's your daughter's friend's reality. It's MY reality. But fortunately, all of that remained internal, and I choked a little as I replied well, maybe.... But the girl did say she'd continue to keep in touch with her friend --though her expression was a bit bemused over the whole exchange-- and the interaction was over.
But I'm pleased that I spoke up. And I hope she takes the chance to make her friend feel remembered, loved and well-supported.
Now THAT was a long anecdote! I must have free time... and I do. Ah, the perfect sequitor to my subject line. Adam's parents took the three older kids for the weekend, so Adam and I are down to just Brady boo for the next day and a half. We don't have any grand plans. We considered going somewhere, but decided against it because traveling would probably be more stressful than being at home. And frankly, because home --and none of our usual spots, really-- hasn't felt like a relaxing place for a long while now. So I don't know what we'll do; maybe bum around, watch old episodes of 24, talk, who knows. Maybe just try to remember what it feels like to relax without worrying about an endless stream of medications, chemo ports, dressing changes, temper tantrums, fights and full-on screaming meltdowns.
Just to back up a little, the past week was fine. Adam went to his office Monday through Thursday. I took all of the kids out --with Logan masked, of course-- two different days, hitting Target on one and Costco on the other, not really because we needed anything, but because I need to get out of the house for a few hours.
Logan has continued to do well. He and Abby (and Isaac, in a way) made what I consider a pretty epic fort in our living room using a collection of blankets, pillows, a play kitchen, a bookcase, a table and some chairs. They've also played hospital and another game which involves Abby and Isaac pretending to be dogs, though I haven't yet figured out what that one's all about. (All I do know is that Isaac has the perfect yippy-dog bark. It's impressive. And piercing.) A few mornings ago Isaac came to me after he'd gotten our his Fisher Price car ramp --maybe his favorite toy of all time-- and some Cars diecast vehicles and said he wanted Logan to play cars with him. I told him to ask Logan, assuming he'd say no (since he and Abby more often than not refuse to play with poor Isaac) but he surprised me and said yes. It was such a joy to see them sitting on the floor zooming their cars along. Such a simple thing, such a mundane thing, but still such an amazing joy.
He finished his first week of the oral chemo, and handled it reasonably well, though it definitely seems to have taken a little wind from his sails. I suspect he feels more tired and a bit more nauseaus than usual of late. But as usual, he's handled it like a champion. He has substantially more hair now, mostly on sides of the top of his head (think male pattern baldness), and it's very, very dark. It's shocking, really, since he was strawberry blonde before, but they've always said that it could look very different when it grows back in. The back, where he was irradiated most aggressively, is still pretty smooth with just a few little prickles of new hair growth.
I want to close with some prayer requests. First and foremost, and as always, please pray for sustained, true healing for Logan. I still get nervous over all of it sometimes, so pray for confidence and faith for Adam and me as well. Please pray for protection for Logan and for the rest of our family, and also for every member of his prayer team. Thank you so much for lifting us all up, and for being here. You're a blessing to us.
Finally, I have two more people for you to add to your personal prayer lists. I've become something of a clearing house for prayer requests these days, and I feel honored to pass them on to you, well-aware and confident that God hears them all! I'll just give names and conditions: First is three-year old Abby who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer; second is Angela, who has colorectal cancer in a late stage. Also please pray for the family of Janel, a young woman who passed away from cancer last night.
Thank you for being a part of Logan's team. Thank you for continuing to spread word of his story and for continuing to recruit prayer warriors for him. Happy weekend.