when in doubt, hire it out

So, I have lifted my head, literally and figuratively, from my sopping box of Kleenex and am unleashing my inner Mary Poppins to get the proverbial house in order.

Or rather, back yard.

The grim weather we’ve endured lately has culminated in what every urban dog owner would call – “prime turd-picking-up season.” With snow forecast this week and a freeze today, conditions were perfect this afternoon and the backyard was an exposed minefield.

Rather than aggravate my tender back with this loathsome overdue chore, I decided to hire it out. My employees? Zoe and her friends, Vera and Naomi.

Armed with bags on hands and bags for “deposits” they kept track of how many frozen turdlets they cleaned up with the fervor of an Easter egg hunt while mentally spending the $.10 they would be paid for each one. Naomi lost count several times, but they each filled three bags and I am out a grand total of $54.30. Look out Target toy aisle, they are armed and dangerous!

And if you can believe it, there are still more frozen doggy deposits out there waiting for the next hard-working kid. Care to come over? The pay is through the roof and it’s all coming out of Daisy’s college fund.

it was the week that was

Here’s the week in a nutshell:

Monday: home with Zoe on our days off from school. Nursing my back since I fell on the ice in the driveway on Saturday, but not thinking it’s anything dramatic.

Tuesday: get a CAT scan. Have lunch with my brother while I have chemo. Sit in a chair for much of the day while getting treatments of one type or other.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning: 1 a.m. Oh my word, my back hurts so much I can’t move. Perhaps I can just lightly fall out of bed so as not to wake Mark while I crawl through the house in search of painkillers. No light falling? OK, then I will slide slowly. No, not that either. OK, great force of will then sideways down the steps takes ten minutes to find no painkillers in the kitchen either. Lie on living room floor for a while wondering what to do. Inch back to bed, unsure why since pain is… OK, you get the picture.

Wednesday: 9 a.m. Mark brings me to ER. No broken bones. Lots of painkillers until I am myself again. Do get the lovely experience of trying to transfer from gurney to gurney for x-ray while in excruciating pain and trying to remain pleasant. Morphine and another IV and some Vicodin and I’m happy.

Thursday: All day in bed on painkillers nursing back waiting for oncology visit. 3:30 oncology visit learn that: lung mets are stable (good news), but spot on liver that was noticed in July has gotten bigger (not good news). So, I’ll need a CAT scan in 5 weeks to see what’s up with the liver. If there is a spot there, we may be able to radio-ablate (“zap”) it rather easily. Rather. Make the round of phone calls that needs to be made after such a visit and wish I could talk to my mom and dad who are en route home from Vietnam.

Friday: Get Zoe off to school and wonder if I should just stay in my Vicodin haze or actually try to make a go of the day. Opt for bed and my friend the heating pad on my back. Phone rings a lot. Friend, Sara, says on my answering machine, “OK, I’m coming over.” This means I will need to get out of bed. So we sit in my living room. We cry. We drink lattes. We cry. We laugh. We talk about plastic surgery and celebrities. We calculate how many hours it will be until my parents are home. And slowly I come back to myself and am no longer feeling like I’d like to seep into the cracks of the floor boards and disappear. This is a small but crucial victory.

Now: I’m taking plenty of pain meds, but laying off the Vicodin during the day. I’m feeling OK about the liver thing and just want the test over with to know what happens next. I’m reminding myself of the decision I made almost 4 years ago, “Well, Tash, you’re not going to die of cancer today, so what should you do instead?”

Today that meant hanging out with some of my favorite people.

I hope it always means that.

And I hope I don’t have another week like this one for a long, long time.

worrisome times

verve pipe family albumLast month Mark brought home the Verve Pipe family album courtesy of his friend, Connors, who currently plays bass for the band.

We have not stopped listening to it. All three of us love it. I was not cool enough to catch the Verve Pipe wave the first time around, but I’m telling you this family album is right catchy.

Zoe and I were both home today and I think she played the album a total of 20 times. My favorite song, “Worrisome One”, seems appropriately stuck in my head since this is worry week for me. A CAT scan tomorrow and a doctor appointment on Thursday.

The lyrics, “These are worrisome times and you worry sometimes.” Brilliant. I think it just may sing me right to the end of the week.