Chinatown

california-chinatown.jpg

Saturday Rob insisted I leave the house. Its not that I didn’t want to get out. It’s that I usually do not feel up to it. Short walks wear me out. It is hard to accept but at this point my body is just under a lot of stress and I am exhausted. My red blood cell count is low and I am getting a medicine called procrit every two weeks( shot in the stomach). And I have cancer which I think is tough on me…plus chemo and the extra baggage. In any case, Saturday we had an outing. And it was wonderful but it nearly killed me.

I know this may sound like complaining. It isn’t. It actually was just crazy to me that I can not handle the level of activity that was nothing for me 4 months ago. In this case we parked in Chinatown and walked 5-6 city blocks to Viet Nam with Bailey and Clay. Rob carried Clay in the backpack. I carried my purse. We sat had a nice meal. Clay loves bok choy. Bailey ate raw flank steak. It was fun. Then we walked 9-10 blocks back to Franklin Square park. A scenic downtown playground that has a lovely carousel and extensive playground equipment( with padded ground of course). Rob and Bailey decided to play miniature golf there. So I had Clay. No problem I thought. He’s my baby. I have had lots of babies. I have been alone with him plenty. Not really true as of late but how hard could it be. Well Clay was great. I pushed him in the swing forever. They were still gone so I talk him out and we sat on the bench. I was dragging around our purse,diaper bag,and backpack combo so moving around the playground was no easy feat with Clay in my arms. If I put him down, he ate leaves and sticks. So I had to hold him or swing him. They were gone for 2 hours!

I honestly was so exhausted I wanted to fall over. Rob wanted to do a carousel ride with them so I shuffled my way over and was happy to just watch Clay hold on to Rob for dear life and capture it on film. Interestingly, I was standing next to a woman with a scarf on. I looked closely at her drawn on eyebrows. I swallowed hard and made eye contact…”Are you in treatment?” I asked. She looked a little suspicious but shook her head.. I lifted my turban to expose my stubble and uttered, “Me too”. “Breast cancer?” she replied. I nodded. We talked cancer for the 5 minutes my children were on the ride. Her walk is a bit different..stage 1, small little lump. We are both cancer people.

When I told Alec later about having met her he said,” Are you totally jealous of people like that? People with little cancer?” I sighed ,”yes”. So petty. I am jealous of people with easy to get rid of cancer. I would love a little lump. A little 4 round treatment of chemo with some radiation. I would love an 80 – 90% survival rate. Bring it on. I could do that in my sleep! On my big bald head! No such luck.

I was burnt out when I got home. I went to bed and Jesse, Alec and Bailey bathed Clay, fed him, fed themselves cleaned up and went to bed by 11pm. I slept. At some point they gave me the baby to put to sleep but otherwise they just held down the fort. Lucky me. I could do nothing without my teenagers. They are my favorite people ever. I feel really sorry for moms who struggle with their teens. I am so grateful for mine and they are so good to me. Even when they are difficult its usually mutual.

So the moral of this story if there is one is that I am really not able to do these things right now. I think I need to rest. Maybe having a desire to get out and do things requires a helper. And a way to leave early if I am fading. I was trying to keep it together mostly as to not disappoint Bailey. Who was disappointed because she wanted to use all that cool playground equipment. So that is my life right now. I need help. All the time. And that is a bit hard to deal with. I feel sad about it. But I ‘ll get over it.

Praise God. He is so good to me.

4 Responses to “Chinatown”

  1. Aimee says:

    Andrea-

    thanks for coming over! girl, we are going to have so much in common!

    my oldest son is 18. he just joined the Army, so has been gone about a month. i have a 15 year old daughter and a 12 year old son and we’re about to acquire 2 foster sons. when my 3 kids were younger they were always wanting to go do these wild things- like Magic Mountain. it’s an hour drive away. but when i was in treatment i was too tired, too sick, unable to climb the hills of that park, and i’d swell up from the lymphedema. they hated it. they would balk about how boring i was, how cancer “wasn’t nothing”. they wanted to blame me. but i know it is the cancer they were mad at. and i get mad at it too. there’s so much i can’t do now. but even though things are different, they’re better. cancer has changed my family for the better.

    feeling sad is the mainstay of my cancer trip. there’s just a lot of loss. and a lot of fear. but you’ll work through it and find your “new normal” when the time is ripe for that.

  2. I always was a bad influence…

    😉

    R

  3. Robin Slick says:

    Andrea:

    I stumbled on your site while googling Rock School related matters and have been quietly following your blog, both heartbroken and stunned as a woman and mother; but objectively as a writer and editor, I’ve been astounded by the depth of your writing talent. And so I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve contacted an editor I know who specializes in memoirs and womens’ issues as I think the two of you would be a good fit and perhaps your story could lead to eventual publication which would assist your family and what surely must be crippling medical bills. So I hope you aren’t upset that I took this step without checking with you first — I just hope that this pans out and the two of you connect. Her name is Rachel and whether she will contact you directly or write to me first I don’t know — just wanted to give you a heads up.

    Also, Eric has expressed a strong desire to help you with meals and the kids during the day. He is around this week but leaves for a two week tour October 10 and will be back from the road on October 24. He says that you can count on him for anything and if you write to me at Robin81700@aol.com, I will hook you up with his cell #. I think under the circumstances, Eric would be a wonderful companion to the kids as they already know him and they’ll always have that Rock School connection.

    xo
    Rob

  4. leah says:

    i’m so happy that you got out for the day, i does help a lot to do things out of the house, even if you don’t feel up to it. but it sounds like you had a great day anyway even tho you were tired at the end. keep up the great work.