Childhood Cancer Forgetfulness opposed to Awareness. Get it? Er…forget it.
So, anyway. I keep forgetting I have this blog! No. Just kidding; I don’t. I’ve just been very busy, and haven’t had the burning desire to write anything lately. I guess life doesn’t feel quite as eventful lately. And where cancer is concerned, that’s a good thing. In fact, it’s sort of what this post is about.
Now that we’re in the second half of Clio’s two-year treatment, much less of our daily life is taken up with cancer-ness. Clio still gets her boatload of regular meds, including daily Lovenox shots. But whereas we used to have to go to the clinic twice a week, with each visit lasting anywhere from three to five hours, now we only go once every three weeks. As a result, Clio isn’t missing nearly as much school, and Alastair and I don’t have to take nearly as much time out of our work weeks.
We still interface with the medical pros weekly: Every Tuesday or Wednesday on non-clinic weeks a visiting nurse comes to draw Clio’s blood for labs and talk with her about cats (our current VNA is a cat lover) and then the next day Alastair or I give her a “push” through her port of a kind of chemo called Methotrexate, then remove the port access needle. It’s a little nervewracking, but so far we haven’t done anything horribly wrong… And we get to keep chemo in our fridge! Tra la la.
Clio feels much better overall, too. Her legs are hurting less, and she has much more energy. She’s still pretty cranky and tired on chemo / steroid weeks, even with the lower doses, but it’s much better than before. She was even able to make it through the first three days of school on a treatment week, whereas before treatment weeks were pretty much a lost cause. Meanwhile, she’s losing steroid weight, and her hair is growing back.
So, given all of this, her cancer feels like a much smaller part of our lives. Sometimes, in very brief moments, I even sort of forget that she’s being treated for leukemia. It feels slightly surreal when we go to the clinic. Like, “Oh yeah. This place.”
And then she spends a week feeling lousy and driving us crazy (as she is about to do, starting Wednesday), or she gets a slight fever and we get nervous, or I have to tell her soccer coaches about her condition and the precautions she needs to take, or I simply have a moment of reflection, or see an old picture from our life BC and feel a sense of sadness and loss, and I’m reminded of the devil we’re dealing with here. I feel the weight, the frustration, and the worry.
On the whole, though, it’s nice to be able to forget a little more.
Coming soon: A post about Childhood Cancer Awareness — the month, that is, which is September. (I can still sneak a post in on it under the wire, right?) Unless, of course, I forget.