Monday, August 11, 2008


Had a CT scan this morning to see how the last two rounds of chemo worked. Doctor's appointment this afternoon to get the results. If all goes well, I'll start another round of chemo soon, maybe even today. I think I'm ready. I hope I am.

A knock on the door today. Daniel had been playing with my car keys. A tall young man in his 20s or 30s, dark hair, stands there. "I really hate to ask this, but do you have a child who's been playing with your car keys and honking your horn from inside the house?" Uh, yup, that would be us. Terribly sorry ... I'll try to keep them away from him (wresting the keys out of Daniel's hand, prompting a loud outcry). What a way to meet the neighbors.

Daniel and I go to L.'s house last week to meet her new baby, the younger brother of one of the boys in Daniel's playgroup. Midway through our visit, Daniel stands up and announces, "I want to get going in the car." Moments like that, I'm astounded at how much my little boy understands, knows, is growing.

My eyebrows and eyelashes are falling out. I have two lower eyelashes left on one eye, five on the other. Haven't counted the top lashes, but a little bit more. My eyes feel sticky when I close and open them. I feel like a freak. Steve and I have a rare, wonderful date yesterday afternoon on the patio of W.A. Frost, having drinks and eating a cheese plate. He says he doesn't notice my eyelashes, just my beautiful brown eyes. I love that man.

At the grocery store last week, two upbeat women are accosting every soul who exits the store, asking them to help "save the children" by donating to their charity. I walk out, and the woman nearest me takes a glance at me (cane, cancer hat, freakish eyes, no doubt) and just says, "Good afternoon." No pitch, no request for money. Why? It feels wierd.

Inside the store, I'm standing in front of the pre-bagged salad section, wondering which kind to get. A woman next to me looks at me and then asks, "Can I help you get something down?" I'm thinking, do I look like I'm incapable of reaching out and picking up a bag of salad? I want to snap at her: "I'm perfectly capable of getting my own salad, thank you." And I almost do, but then I soften it at the last minute to something like "I'm fine, thanks." She was only trying to help.


Anonymous said...

Em, good luck this afternoon.

Sometimes outside Cathedral (in Portland), bums will hang around after mass, asking for money. But often they'll "spare" asking Mom and Dad, because they notice the boys and must think they "have enough on their plate." Your story of the two annoying people outside the store reminds me of that. Hard to say if it's good or bad.

- Susanne

beemama said...


Rather than thinking of yourself not looking capable of getting down the salad, think of it as meeting people with enough empathy to want to ease your burden in any way they can. As someone who doesn't have cancer, but whose life has been touched by cancer on many fronts, I can really identify with the person in the store. When you're not actively fighting it yourself but understand the gravity of the battle at hand (even for someone you've never met) the instinctual thing is to do something -- anything -- that helps even a little bit.

I can see it from your perspective as well, and wouldn't blame you a bit if I were the one trying to help and you were short with me. I suspect most of the people you'll encounter feel the same way.

Your strength is an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

I didn't notice the eyelashes or eyebrows at all today, Emilie. I was aware of a very pretty scarf with cool gold threads and a warm smile, though.

Thinking of you hard right now and praying the doctor's saying good stuff.

--Laura S.

Jennifer V. said...

The moments of life that stick out so much more, when one is faced with the pain of Cancer.

I hope the results today, come back favorably. You are always in out thoughts.

Jessica Griffith said...

I am praying for good news today. It must be very hard to feel as if you look like you need help.

Adam once found my keys and triggered our burglar alarm. Good times!


Sully said...

Hoping for good news for you!

MrsSpock said...

I hope your news is what you want to hear...good luck.

Anonymous said...

We didn't get to talk very much today at the park, but I wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you and your CT today. I hope so badly for good results.

Jennifer B.

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for good news. You're doing an amazing job. And your blog is so filled with life -- the writing is beautiful -- that your life must be filled with equal beauty.


Beth said...

Hi Emilie, I've been reading yr blog for a while, but haven't commented as yet. I am a sarcoma (osteo) survivor. 23 years (was 16 yrs old at diagnosis) and counting! Went through so much of what you describe, had leg amputation, lung mets, chemo after both surgeries,also lost ALL body hair, was so sick, such a hard time but you WILL get through it.

Just wanted to say that I am thinking of you and hope your doc has some good news for you today.

Take care