We've had a mellow and quiet day around the house, Gabrielle's first full day home. She has been able to cut her pain pills back quite dramatically, which is a huge plus. She is still in pain, but powering through. I will leave the exact details of the inner workings of her intestines to someone else. The other big event was a walk all the way to the end of our street with Daniel--down to the start at Fremont on one end, and then back the other way to the cul de sac. It is so encouraging to see her strength slowly returning. Oh, and she is eating real food now. Not a lot, but much better than what she was doing. Big smiles all around.
As for me, I keep thinking about songs I've been hearing on the radio. Two, in particular come to mind. The first one is that silly song about "Another one bites the dust". It's sort of depressing at first run through. But then when you think about it, doesn't it all depend on who or what is biting the dust? Years ago, my buddy Kenny at what used to be Seattle Harbor Tours told me he wanted them to play that song as the recessional song at his wedding. Yep, his lovely bride, Connie would have loved that. But, to Kenny, he was another bachelor biting the dust. Fortunately, common sense won out and he opted for another song (though I can't remember what it was).
But, how about cancer cells biting the dust? I am all for that. I think it would be a great song to play at the beginning of every chemo session. If there are any bits of tumor hiding in the recesses of Gabrielle's body, each and every one will be biting the dust left and right before the 18 weeks of chemo are done.
Then there's another song: American Woman. Oh, that's a depressing sounding one too, especially the line about: "I've got better things to do than sit around growing old with you". What a lie. I can't think of anything I would rather do than sit around growing old with Gabrielle. It is my idea of paradise here on earth, with her by my side. If I ever hear that song again, I will change the words to: "Ovarian cancer, stay away from me. Ovarian cancer, set me free. She's got better things to do than sitting around growing old with you."
There's another song that I've been thinking about, though I haven't heard it lately: Simon and Garfunkel's "I am a rock". I can't remember all the words, but they go something like this: "I am a rock, I am an island. And an island never cries; and a rock feels no pain." Paul Simon makes the case for life being simpler if you go through life as a loner, not allowing yourself to be touched loving someone else. I suspect he is actually saying the exact opposite, in an ironic sort of way, similar to Mark Antony's speech about coming to bury Caesar, not to praise him. Though I may be rusty on the details of Shakespeare's version of the events as they happened in the Roman forum (or wherever he was).
I can see Simon's point, though. One of the more appealing shows on T.V. I have seen in many years is that one on PBS about the old codger who builds the log cabin beside some lake in Alaska. Just him alone in the wilderness, with a few assorted animals along the way. It is so bucolic, tranquil. You just want to move there and build a house alongside him. But is being a hermit really the way to go? Do I really want to be that island? No way.
This is a long preamble to say that I am realizing more and more each day the rich tapestry of family and friends who have touched me deeply. From the beginning of the horror of all this unpleasant news, we have transitioned from being shell-shocked, to a more positive experience. We have been wrapped up in the arms of a terrific support network that is truly humbling to experience. From the professionals at Northwest Hospital, to neighbors and concerned loved ones showering us with treats, dinners, bagels, flowers, potted plants, wonderful e-mails, silly videos from a certain cousin, affirming messages to phones, texts, comments on this blog--it is such an outpouring of love and positive energy that sustains me (and all of us) during the dark times.
So this is a big and very warm-hearted thank you to each and every one of you. Your prayers and kindness have melted this rock many times over. Who wants to live alone beside a lake in the wilderness when I have friends like you? Now, let's all sing about the cancer cells biting the dust...