8.30 a.m. Leo, Grant and Tom play ‘pretend’. Grant and Tom are pretending to be miners. Leo is the mining boss. Grant and Tom are pretending to go to work but are actually preparing presents for their pretend boss. They surprise their boss (Leo) with his presents.
So grateful for the peaceful play the boys are enjoying for a large part of every day. Am I allowed to be proud that we are handling Cliff’s diagnosis honestly with them, but not burdening them with our sorrow and confusion, so they can continue their childhood in the same way they always have? ‘The Kids’ are the most important aspect of what we do in our daily lives. And I’m seeing, in reality, that daily life is all we have, all there is. ‘The Kids’ seem to be going very, very well. Man, we love them.
I can’t guarantee we’ll continue to handle what comes in the future well. But so far. It’s O.K.
10. 00 a.m. Went for a run.
I’m going to have to listen to my recording of Brad, the chemo nurse, this afternoon as a reminder for all the things we need to remember about the chemo. There are a lot of things we have to know about keeping everyone safe from the chemo and I’ve put it all out of my mind since thee weeks ago.
When I have the strength, I’ll talk about the cancer, the cause and those gruesome details. But I need to build more strength before I can go there without getting stuck down at the bottom. It’s like the muck at the bottom of the sea I’ve been trying to get out of for the past three weeks. I’m slowly learning tactics to pull myself, occasionally, to the surface for a breath. So going back down there to grab some muck and hold it up for you to see and explain to you is dangerous. I might not remember how to pull myself out again.
12.30 p.m. I noticed Cliff’s hand resting gently on Leo’s back as they sat peacefully eating their lunch together.
2.20 p.m. Grandma Glo and Papa Moose sent a care package to the boys from America. It had a fun board game in it.
3.00 p.m. Two little friends, Erin and Izzy made Cliff brownies.
4.10 p.m. Finished de-cluttering my bedside table.
In the before photo the poor little clock had no room and constantly fell off. Now he’s a lucky little Vegemite with acres of real estate!
6.09 p.m. Just went upstairs to see how Cliff is. He is resting in bed, reading and listening to music.
I sat down next to him. He says, ‘I’m worried that tomorrow everything we’ve worked for will come crashing in again.’ He means the calm state of mind we’ve been striving to achieve since the last chemo. ‘It’s just easier to maintain that everything will be alright and believe I’m gonna beat this thing when I’m not in a hospital bed getting chemo pumped into my veins.’ His eyes were red and watery and his whole body was frowning. So, I did the coach thing. I felt like I was in the final scene of The Bad News Bears film.
I said, ‘It’s not going to come crashing in, because this is what we do now. This is our life, our routine, this is normal. This is cool, we do chemo. We’re gonna beat this thing and this is the beginning of us doing that. This is different than last time. We didn’t have the skills or experience last time. We’re not going to lose ground on the mental strength we’ve worked so hard to claw back over the past three weeks; that’s ours. No one and nothing can put us back in time or take that away from us. It can throw new challenges at us, but even those will rock us less. We’re good for tomorrow. It’s gonna be O.K.’
We talked more and he said he was better after the pep talk. He did seem cheerful, happy and confident and he even helped me look for a belt. (That’s code for … you know. Once we were in the walk-in-robe together and Leo walked in on us. We only had a few seconds warning but we managed to quickly sort ourselves out and Cliff said, ‘Just helping your mother look for a belt.’ )
6.45 p.m. This is what the world’s greatest salmon dinner looks like.
Chase delivered it to our home tonight. I wish I could capture the aroma with a camera. The greens had the most amazing flavor and I didn’t know salmon could taste like heaven. But Chase could make an old boot taste like that.
Guest Celebrity Chef Chase MacPherson in our kitchen.