Where's the Music?

I’m not sure if we’re at a plateau, a cancer backslide, or if it’s just the cold, but for a few weeks Gerry’s been having a hard time dealing with his pain.

His back pain has returned, along with substantial hip and rib pain. Obviously the cold is getting to him, but it’s more than that.

The pain may be linked to his stopping Zometa – he had to do that before the dentist pulled his teeth due to possible necrology in his jaw due to the use of bisphosphonates. Doesn’t that just roll off the tongue?

Each day I get the kids up, get them off to school, and take Gerry’s pain meds up to him. He stays in bed – warm and cozy – and tries to sleep through the pain. I can tell he wants to stay in bed all day, and I’d like to let him, but I feel it’s not the best thing in the long run.

So I’m mean, I try to get him up – and out – at least for a bit. We go out for breakfast, or to shop, or just to get some sunlight.

By late afternoon he’s more mobile. He often takes the kids to Hebrew School on Weds and piano lessons on Tues, those are chores that he both enjoys and needs to do.

I think – we both think (without really discussing it) that it’s important for the kids to see him as active as possible, as vital to their after-school activities as he can be.

We’re both crossing our fingers that this painful period is tied to the cold, that it’s temporary, that it’s not a return of the tiny tumors that mean more bone disintegration. Well, I cross my fingers, for Gerry any kind of bone movement hurts.

We’re due to go to the Mayo the first week in Jan for Gerry to get his regular full checkup, we’ll see what’s up then. This feels so eerily similar to Christmast 2006. Deja vu.

The day before Gerry’s checkup I’ll be teaching a small group down in Rochester, so we’re thinking of taking a hotel room overnight and bring the kids with us – a fun time for all – and ask a friend to come and let Atticus out and feed the pets. Gerry’s first tests are so early in the morning that it makes sense.

I wonder how much of his pain is tied to the general malaise of the economy now? Or to the malaise that is my own outlook with recent losses?

It’s hard to know what to do – there’s no map for this. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to google ourselves, to see where we are on a grid, zoom in, street view? It would be lovely to type in where we’d like to go, and have google figure out the best route and estimated time.

I feel frightening close to the place where fear can paralyze (I don’t dare say “freeze”) us into not moving at all. Every day I know I should be connecting with yarn shops, setting up teaching engagements, but I am fearful of leaving Gerry alone to be – well, alone. Alone and in pain is not good.

This is the Hope Dance.

It’s that odd configuration where we need to hang onto enough hope to get us through the day, but not lose ourselves in a rosy denial of where we’re actually at. Shuffle hop step.

It’s a more dramatic and athletic dance for us right now, but I think it’s the same dance that everyone does every day. It just seems more poignant this time of year, this Christmashannakwanzica-New Year-Festivus season.

I hope we have enough room to get our moves on in those narrow Mayo hallways…

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