To Hell with Cancer

Posted: October 5th, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Cancer, Friends and Strangers, Husbandry, Miss Kate | 1 Comment »

I really hate to always have something to whine about these days but the preponderance of cancer I’ve been hearing about seems a legitimate reason.

First I find out that my friend Barb has a 40-year-old friend with late stage lung cancer. Never smoked a day in her life. Then Blanca, Kate’s former Thursday babysitter, tells me her father has cancer that they first thought was isolated and treatable and later determined was spread throughout his body. Then Mrs. Demopulos, Amelia’s mom, is diagnosed, which is a crushing blow since my mother already got cancer so it doesn’t seem fair that hers should too. And also because I love Mrs. D like a second mother. Then yesterday my father asks me on the phone in the course of an otherwise mundane “how’s the weather there?” conversation whether I’d heard that my Aunt Mary has colon cancer. (I had not.)

Aunt Mary isn’t really an aunt. She was our neighbor growing up and in many ways is closer to my sisters and I than many of our blood relations. I guess the aunts that you pick versus those that you just get can be that way. I mean, not to say anything remotely negative about my “real” aunts–but Aunt Mary is an amazing special person and force of nature. She’s super positive and friendly and fun and a great cook and has tons of energy and a fabulous head of (natural) strawberry blonde hair and you’d never know in a million years that she’s 87. In fact, she’s got so much vim and vigor that she takes care of her 92-year-old sister.

I still don’t know the complete story of what the doctors have said the deal is with Aunt Mary, and with all this other cancer news and Rose having died and the new job and new nanny and Mark traveling for work a lot stress, I kind of just can’t deal right now. Hopefully maybe there is something they can do about it.

Speaking of Mark, he’s away for one night for a work retreat and I’m forlorn like a schoolgirl. I think I’m still feeling the fall-out of the world’s stressiest week last week and while we all continue to transition into me working again, I would just prefer that he be here to sit in the couch with me and pat my hand saying “there there” as needed. Next week he’s away Monday through Thursday in New York. (Don’t tell any robbers.) I may well languish without him.

Speaking of “there there,” I really want to get Kate to sleep through the night more consistently. It’s never fun to be awakened from a deep sleep to go and nurse her, but when I need to wake up at 6:15 the following morning to go to work, it’s particularly unsavory. So, the other night when Kate had already woken up once, we decided Mark would go in the second time and try to get her back to sleep sans boob.

Kate’s pediatrician told us to do the ole Ferber thing of going in and saying in an unemotional tone, “It’s time to go to sleep,” and rubbing her belly to try to calm her down. Mark has done this a handful of times and more often than not it results in Kate losing her shit upon seeing him. It’s clear her internal dialogue then is, “What are you doing in here? I want the one with the boobies! I want miiiiiilk!” She starts crying hysterically and when he comes back into our room I always say to him, “How’d that go?”, and every time I think that’s a really funny thing to say.

What was so weird/funny/great was the other night Mark went in to do what we refer to as “there there” and when he arranged her blankets nicely over her and cooed, “Time to go to sleep,” she actually did! When he got back into bed we didn’t even say anything to each other because we were both bracing for her to lose it (and of course didn’t want to jinx anything). But despite us waiting for the other shoe to drop, she just settled back down into sleep. It was divine.

Of course, when he tried it last night, she lost her shit, and a few minutes later I caved and went in to nurse her. Ah well. As my grandmother used to say with a sigh of resignation, “What are you going to do?”

1 Comment »

One Comment on “To Hell with Cancer”

  1. 1 cheryl said at 6:33 pm on October 8th, 2006:

    i second that (e)motion: to hell with it. my stepmother just found out she has two brain tumors, a year after having a cancerous lung removed. the doctors say its very treatable and the outlook it good, but c’mon already. life truly is not fair.

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