Monday, December 27, 2010

D Day Minus 130: (October 29, 2009): Time Flies (When Life is Good)

“It’s working.” You’d said it once, but that was the third time I made you say it. Morgan laughed in the background, probably in the waiting room by the fish tank across from the vending machine. The one where I bought the Diet Dr Pepper that I couldn’t drink because it tasted like cough syrup last week.  You know in the waiting room at MD Anderson Phase I Clinical Trials. You thought it was so funny.  I threatened to never buy you another pack of Skittles— the cure all for everything.  Well it used to cure everything.  But that threat, only made you laugh harder. 

Anyway, I waited and waited all day for the good news.  I even forced myself not to call you every ten minutes and go all ‘Rainman’ on you.  It was just after noon in Virginia, so it was a little after eleven in Houston. I was in the middle of some analysis of my latest technology metrics. Well not really – because in order for me to analyze something my frontal lobe had to be engaged.  What I was doing was more of an instinct, which was actually a good thing.  Because mentally I was with you and Morgan in Houston at MD Anderson:
  • walking the SkyBridge, dodging the golf carts filled with patients too sick to walk and staff too busy to walk;
  • eating at the WaterFall Café and Café Anderson;
  • waiting with Morgan while you got scanned and tested; 
  • sitting in the chair opposite Morgan with you in between us in the hospital bed, while the nurse monitored your blood and vitals during treatment; 
  • taking in all the other sights like volunteers in their blue striped seersucker jackets manning the Jolly Trolley handing out coffee, tea or juice to any and all; 
  • watching the juxtaposition of the new cancer patients in the main lobby with their new fears and hopes (looking a little lost and confused) next to the old patients with their old fears and hopes, navigating the maze of carpet maps, buildings, and elevators like professionals; and  
  • waiting with both of you for test results in the waiting room, while we talked about food, Wegmans, Tony Horton and P90x, and whether I should start Morgan's latest workout, Shaun T’s Insanity, after I finished with P90X.
I hollered, a happy holler, loud enough for someone two offices down to stop by just to make sure I was okay. I gave him two thumbs up and a big smile. But I already knew the trial was working. I knew it the weekend after our trip where we almost didn’t catch the plane. Does “Holy Hannah” ring a bell?

Do you want to know how I knew?  It was in your eyes. They were bright and sparkly like the time you got Super Nintendo for Christmas.  Remember how excited you were? You didn’t expect the game because I’d gone on and on about Santa not having many toys and he’d have to share with other kids, so you shouldn’t expect Super Nintendo. When you unwrapped it, you danced up and down.  You even screamed like a school girl.  Don’t worry your secret is safe with me. 

Morgan caught the Super Nintendo fever too. That Christmas break, she didn’t leave your side. She was your one person Super Nintendo fan club. Remember how you explained the intricacies of  the game to her.  Sort of like how you explained the intricacies of bread making to me now.  Did you ever know that you were Morgan’s hero?  I’m singing it in my head right now and thinking how much I annoyed you – sometimes.

I know I digress, but I just wanted to let you know how I knew you were going to be okay.  It was in your eyes – your beautiful green eyes. Hey, I think you have my eyes. Does that make me stuck up for saying your beautiful eyes?

So mostly you eyes gave it away. But, your energy level was another clue. It was higher than it had been in years. Two or three times you worked ten or eleven hours at Wegmans and came home to work on plans for inventory and how much bread to make. And that was nestled between our trips to Houston. When you worked all those hours, I asked if you were doing too much and if you needed to take it easy. You said, “The store in Leesburg is opening next month and I want to give my team the tools to succeed with or without me.”  Last week you even bounced down the stairs, like Tigger, and said, “I feel pretty good.”  

The final clue was how fast time went by the past two weeks.  It compressed and literally flew by since the trip before last.  I know somehow we went to Houston, worked full-time, and managed to stay in touch with everyone – you with your Wegmans entourage and me with the Utah entourage. The only thing I remember was hope and going with the flow. 

Don’t you think time expands and goes really really really slow when everything hits the fan? Remember how long it seemed before we got an answer on the trial? Remember how long it took to figure out the first round of treatment – way back in the beginning – just before you graduated from George Mason. Remember the year you were on Interferon – it was nearly an eternity. I felt it every single hour of every single day you were on it too.  Time was dragging then. Now it was flying. I guess it does, when life is good. 

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