“So, we’ll have you come back and finish round three on Friday.”
Finish? Friday? I thought we were done with round three. I thought we would be home for rest until round four started. I was stunned. Doctor Pagel had just assured Dylan that everything was going well, better than planned, yet, I couldn’t help think that the blood draw had revealed something sinister, but I wasn’t thinking straight. I hadn’t slept much. The blood results hadn’t been uploaded to the computer yet, so somewhere in all my busyness I must have misunderstood the end of round three.
My internal calendar moved ahead to Friday. Oh, that’s when the fundraiser was happening. We had hoped Dylan could make an appearance and thank the people who were organizing it, but now that wouldn’t happen. Oh yeah, that also means Dylan won’t be able to attend the David Bazan living room concert and he was really looking forward to that…
Anyone who has been through, or had a family member travel through cancer treatments probably knows the truth of it. There are no guarantees. Plans for the future are lines written in water. The moments when things are going well are moments to live in, the future will happen and all the planning in the world isn’t going to change what might happen. This has been a difficult adjustment for our family. The center of our family has become Dylan’s cancer treatment and everything else circles around that. It’s not fair, but it is the only way to manage our lives at this point.
This means my daughter ends up as second fiddle in our quartet, which isn’t fair, but we have tried to open pockets of time for her to be the center of our universe and she has filled those pockets with activity. It was one of the reasons I was tired at Dylan’s appointment on Monday morning, Emma had filled my Sunday with Emma activities. There was a brunch with Fresh Jess, coffee with Grace Kelly (Public Relations, not the Queen), and an evening of job shadowing Sunday Night Sound Sessions at KUBE. It was a full day of driving around Seattle and spending time with Emma. She is an amazing kid who never seems to wonder if she should do something, she just does it. Her nickname in our family has been Moneypenny (the secretary who always orders James Bond around), because she is the most organized and demanding member of our family. She can remember the address of a hotel we stayed at in San Francisco five years ago. Want to know the name of the woman you met at a party? Ask Moneypenny, she’ll remember. (Moneypenny hates her nickname, which only causes Dylan to take it up a notch and call her Moneypenny with a Scottish, Sean Connery imitation that really is pretty spot on.)
Emma and I spent the time between her appointments wandering around. We know how to fill time in places we both enjoy: used record shops, REI, and bookstores. It was a really good day for me because it was Sunday and street parking was free. To me, finding a free parking space is like finding a five dollar bill on the street, so I spent the day finding free parking and sitting in coffee shops reading as Emma had her meetings.
When I picked her up at midnight from the radio station, I was pretty tired, but it had been a good day filled with activity and too much food. I always think about how I’m going to work out while eating apple pie, but then I get home and decide that apple pie is probably good for me and I don’t need to work off apples.
I woke up early the next day and got Dylan ready for his appointment. We had an 8:30 blood draw, 9 am doctor’s appointment, and then a spinal shot. When would the spinal happen? Nobody really knew, but soon. Soon is different in the hospital than it is at my house, at my house soon is in about 15 minutes, at the hospital soon is either right now or five hours from now. The good news was that the spinal happened and we were able to pack everyone up and head home that day.
Tomorrow at 10am, Dylan will be back on the 12th floor of the hospital where Howie Myers was born. The fifth and sixth floor of Swedish is for babies, the fourth floor is radiology and surgery intake, the 8th-10th floor is surgery recovery, and the 12th is oncology and overflow. Starbucks is on the ground floor. The cafeteria is in the basement. I don’t know what is on the 2nd/3rd/11th floor, but I do know that the building is filled with pain and joy. I also know there is a bed waiting for my son and there are people there who will welcome him with smiles and hugs. Things are good at this moment and that’s all that is important.