When I first heard the news, it occured to me that I might never smile again, let alone laugh. And writing - forget about it. How could I continue to write snarky blogs or romantic comedies when my every thought was filled with anger and sorrow?
And then the news spread in my small town faster than those wildfires consuming Eastern Washington. After we told two people, it literally took only twenty minutes before we had over a dozen texts, phone calls and emails from concerned friends and co-workers. Awesome.
And then my husband accidentally butt-dialed some kind of code-blue. If you're curious what happens when you push the red button in a hospital room - everyone in scrubs comes running. Impressive.
And then my family packed me some much needed change of clothes. They ignored the eye-level shelves containing my normal clothes, pulled out a ladder, and reached up to the top shelf of my closet for some items of clothing I had not worn since the nineties. Not only were they out of style, but my pre-childbearing body must have been pretty svelt, because when I tried them on it was like I was wearing toddler clothes. I considered doing a "fat girl in a little shirt" dance for the night nurses, but I was pretty sure they were too young to get my Chris Farley reference. I won't get into the items they exumed from my underwear drawer. The question isn't so much "what were they thinking?" as much as why are such things floating around in my closet in the first place? Awkward.
And then my sweet, polite little boy whose tastebuds are not working properly loudly announced that his strawberry smoothie tasted like fart. Descriptive.
I had to laugh in these moments. And it felt good. There have been so many things to smile about, in spite of the hell we are going through. Our family and friends have flooded us with cards, gifts, words of encouragement, and financial support. The doctors and nurses at Children's have been amazing, and go out of their way to let us know how special our son is. And our son continues to be thoughtful and sweet, despite what's happening to him.
Leukemia is a special kind of hell, beyond my worst nightmares as a parent. But I have to believe whatever hardship we face, there is always some good to hold onto.
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