It’s Groundhog Day

Old Phil saw his shadow today, which means six more weeks of winter! Good thing I’m back on the East Coast for this very important holiday since we don’t have groundhogs out west.

I thought the western relative of the groundhog would be the prairie dog, but I was wrong. It’s actually the marmot. I’ve never seen an actual marmot in any of my western outdoorsy activities, but I do own a few items from the Marmot mountaineering and skiing equipment catalog. I think my friends out west were hoping for the marmot to see his shadow today because it’s been a particularly disappointing season for winter sports enthusiasts.

But I digress.

I just popped a couple of valium in hopes that I’ll knock down this anxiety a notch or two. Or twelve. I’m borderline psychotic and driving everyone crazy. We flew into New York City today to do the preliminary testing for this next (and hopefully final) phase of Ben’s treatment. I’m a little less than pleasant right now. There are many extenuating circumstances as to WHY I’m less than pleasant, but I admittedly always get anxious at the start of a new phase for Ben and then the ever-present “scanxiety” that looms over my head during scans, which are set for this coming Friday. Just thinking about it makes me want to throw up. C’mon, valium. You can kick in anytime.

I think we’re all a bit tired. Or should I say we’re all exhausted. We made a last minute decision to travel to Ohio to hit two fundraisers for Ben this past weekend. The first, the Snuggie Pub Crawl, was so much fun. Ben and Madeline’s Godparents (Aunt Patty and Unkie) put together a really fun event, and yes, wearing a “snuggie” was required. It was great to see so many of our friends and they were so glad to see the kiddos. We are so blessed to have so much love and support. Aunt Patty and Unkie ROCK! As soon as I get pictures, I’ll be sure to post them.

Then Matt stayed behind with the kiddos while I zipped out to Ziggy’s in Pataskala to meet up with fellow WMHS-ers. It was simply amazing. I laughed, I cried, I had plenty of cocktails, talked about what’s next for Ben, and caught up with classmates. It was a much needed break AND I walked out with a big bucket of cash (total for both benefits to be announced). Thank you to my high school “peeps” for not only doing some fundraising for the Bean, but making time to meet me while I was in town, getting your “hearts on” for an excellent cause, and just plain old taking great care of me. <3 Y’all are the BEST!

So we got home to Denver yesterday evening, did a load of laundry, and then packed again for our New York trip. We left at 8:45 AM this morning. Whew. I have to give a shout-out to Janet for hooking us up with buddy passes… Janet, our experience flying Frontier has been nothing short of incredible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

After our very short “home layover” in Denver, we got on another plane heading back east. We landed at LaGuardia in NYC in the early afternoon. Can I say that I am less than impressed with this airport? I was thinking snazzy, metropolitan, and hip with everyone drinking cosmos and wearing haute couture. Boy, was I ever wrong. It was dirty. Dingy. Had a slightly scuzzy feel to it. Yuck.

Then, once we collected our bags, we made our way out to the taxi stand to take our $32 trip into the city (which I would gladly pay again because I will NEVER drive in Manhattan. EVER). As we were standing in line for our taxi, Ben leaned into me and whimpered a bit. He said that he didn’t have good feelings about this new place because there were so many horns honking. I told him that I had to agree. Way too noisy, way too fast paced, way too much. I’ll take my wide-open spaces over the hustle and bustle of the city any day.

We had the privilege of traveling with Shing Ho, Medallion Number 1F23. He was kind, but I felt like the stereotypical tourist because no matter how hard I tried and how many times I asked him to repeat himself, I could not understand a thing he was saying. I just kept throwing out random statements hoping that I would eventually answer the question he was asking. He still took us where we wanted to go despite my “Excuse me’s” and “Would you say that again, please?”

I am a terrible backseat driver. And I do think this taxi ride was one of the worst things I’ve ever experienced. I applied my “brakes” every 30 feet and had a panic attack as Mr. Ho nearly rear-ended a mini van. Then he tailgated a school bus. Then he swerved in and out of traffic. I finally just had to focus on something else other than the road or I knew I would have a coronary. And the HORNS. Constant blaring. There was never the friendly “toot of the horn” that most of us learned in our driver’s education courses. When they honk, they lay on it. A person with low self-esteem could never exist in such an environment.

So now we’re here at Ronald McDonald’s House. It’s a pretty nice set up for the most part. Very close to MSKCC and there are restaurants as far as the eye can see. I’m sure we’ll have fun exploring while we’re here… we want to see the Statue of Liberty and Times Square and all the “big stuff”. We’re planning to see some big sites after meeting with his treatment team tomorrow.

But for now, I’m waiting for the valium to kick in to put me at ease. I just can’t take the stress (and a car ride certainly wouldn’t help at this point!) I just want my kiddo to be done with all this hooey.

Thanks, my friends, for all the LOVE and SUPPORT you’ve shown to me and the fam… I’d be lost without you. Feel free to send me encouraging messages to keep my sanity. It’s stretched pretty thin right now.

More later. <3

Oh yeah. We can get mail here. Our address is:

Ronald McDonald House, 405 East 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021 – Room 505. We’ll be here through this coming Sunday so feel free to drop off some mail. I do have to ask that if you plan to send a little toy or treat to Ben that you should send a little something for Madeline, too. She is especially struggling right now. xoxo

2 thoughts on “It’s Groundhog Day”

  1. Good grief! No question…I’m not cut out for the Big Apple. I’d have been right there with you in Panic Mode. Too much loud, too many people….crush….

    I’m sorry about the suffocating fear too. Been there, doing that. I so totally get it…I wish there were words that fit. I know NO ONE can help, we can just listen/care/send good thoughts. Scream, cry, beat your borrowed pillow for a while…then keep truckin’. Today is today…and you have things to see and experience. Enjoy what you can.

    (Hugs)
    Alicia from KNK

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  2. I have read your blog for quite a while, but have never left a comment. I was overjoyed to read your news today. I am so happy for your entire family. i will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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