It’s “Evaluate Your Life” Day

Heavy, dude. It sounds like too much of a chore to evaluate my life right now so I’m just gonna say my life is a big old sloppy mess. That’s the best description I’ve got.

Ben and I are in NYC until Wednesday. He finished up his fourth grueling round of 3F8 last Friday. The weekend was spent doing laundry, catching up on sleep and playing lots of video games. Ben had his 24-hour gaming marathon on Saturday. He played for 19 hours before falling asleep, but he made up the difference later Sunday while I was spending my $500 gift certificate at BCBG on 5th Ave. Ben sat and played his DS while I used my $500 on a pair of pants, a top, and a sweater. They are all very lovely, but I’ve never spent $500 on an outfit. Ever. It was a fun experience, though.

So, today was the first day of scans. Ben had to get his port accessed and drink nasty contrast for his CT scan. He did a great job drinking the contrast but as soon as we got to the hospital he threw it all up. We missed our 11 AM appointment and had to wait until 1 PM to get in for a scan. Mind you, Ben had not had anything to eat since the night before, so it was a long morning. Then Ben had to get the MIBG injection. I think they forgot about us in the waiting room because we waited for an entire hour before I inquired at the desk when we’d be going back for the injection. They called us back shortly thereafter, gave me the card that states Ben is radioactive (I’ll need this at the airport on Wednesday), and gave him the injection. We then took a walk over to the pet store, played with a long haired chihuahua and then came back to The Ronald. We’ve been chilling out ever since. Tomorrow, he does his MIBG scan at 11 AM and then the bone marrow biopsy at 2 PM. It’s going to be another long day.

While waiting for hours for Ben’s CT scan to take place, I struck up a conversation with a lady sitting next to me. I told her I liked her shoes. I was trying to take my mind off the scanning process and the fact that Ben was getting more and more restless from all the waiting. She looked over at Ben and said “I hate to see the little ones suffer”. Well, okay then. I guess we’re going to talk about cancer. Darn it all. Come to find out that she was there waiting for her 87-year-old father, Ed, who was just diagnosed with lung cancer. He went in for a routine heart exam a couple of weeks ago and learned that while his heart was fine, he, unfortunately, had the Big C. Today was the scan where they were going to be able to stage her dad’s disease and she was on edge. I let her talk. I let her get weepy. She told me about her dad and his gregarious nature. He’d lived an incredible life so far and he wasn’t letting this cancer diagnosis get in his way. I started to like this Ed character. Then I met his wife. She was beside herself with emotion. I watched her as the doctor came out and told her what was technically good news. She watched him with what looked like great concentration, shaking her head, saying “hmmm”, and crying profusely. After the doctor walked away she turned to her daughter and asked “What did he say?” Bless her heart. I’ve been in that same scenario. Trying to hear and not understanding. Trying to decipher only to get lost on step one when the doctor was already explaining step five. This whole cancer gig leaves the caregivers with a sense of severe shell shock.

Ultimately, it was touching to watch another family celebrate the life of their loved one. To mourn that the every day normalcy was over. To wonder what the immediate future held for Ed. For all of them. Ed was wheeled out on his gurney and we said our goodbyes. Ed’s wife hugged me and whispered “God is good. He’s taking care of your Ben.” I told Ed that I loved him as they wheeled him away. It was very touching and put quite a dent in today’s daily dose of cynicism that I usually unleash on the world.

So, Ben wants to snuggle now. Who am I to say no to that?

Love to everyone. ❤

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