9/30/08

The hits keep coming


So, the vet calls to tell you that your dog, your 12-year-old dog, has lymphoma. She tells you that lymphoma is usually quite easily treated in dogs, that the chemotherapy has little or mild side effects, that remission is achieved in over 50 per cent of cases. She says she'll call you back the next day to discuss treatment options more in depth.

The next day, the vet's office manager calls to tell you that the standard course of treatment will cost you four thousand dollars. And the best case scenario is that your dog will live 12-18 more months.

What would you do?

Yeah, me too.

In a way, honestly, this is a relief. I was afraid the cost would be more in the realm of reasonable -- say, a thousand, or fifteen hundred, an amount that we could almost afford, an amount that I would be hard pressed not to spend. But four thousand dollars? It's so beyond our means that there's no question. We simply can't do it. There is no moral dilemma here; we can't afford it and that's that.

But that means that Finn is going to die of cancer. Fairly quickly. And we just have to sit and watch it happen.

9/29/08

Never ask what's going to happen next

Now, I have strep throat.

It hurts.

Why do people have to swallow so much?

9/26/08

I'm suspending my campaign, too

Yesterday, I took our dog, Finn, to the vet because she hasn't been eating this week and seems to have lost all her pep. The vet is thinking she may have cancer (all of her lymph nodes are enlarged). I'm waiting for the results of bloodwork now. And that's all I have to say about that.




Last night, Phoebe was congested at bedtime, so I gave her some sudafed. It cleared her up, but it also wrecked her sleep. When she woke up she had a fever and a hacking cough, so I took her to the doctor. Ear infection, hooray.




As I was leaving the doctor's office, my phone rang. It was the secretary at Mallory's school. "Mallory says she feels a little funny and may need either some medicine or to be taken home," she said.

"Put her on the phone," I said. When Mallory said hello, I asked her what the problem was.

"I have a stomachache and a little cramp in my arm," Mallory said.

"You're going back to class," I said.

"But--"

"You're going back to class," I repeated. "Put Miss H back on the phone."

"Okay, Mommy."

"Send her back to class," I told the secretary.

"Are you sure?" she asked.

"Oh yes," I said.




What else is going to happen today?

9/23/08

Memories

So this is weird. I wrote all kinds of heart-felt remembrances yesterday (well, two or three) and as it turned out, no one remembers them but me. Aimee doesn't remember that I told her to run away. Casey doesn't remember that I promised him a story about a mouse detective and never followed through. I have felt guilty for YEARS about these things and it was all for naught. (Well, honestly, I haven't, but what if I had? What a waste that would have been!) I remember that Casey threw a rock and hit either me or Jana on the head, I just don't remember which of us it was. I can remember the feel of the rock hitting my head, just as clearly as I can remember seeing the rock hit Jana's head. (Maybe he threw rocks at both of us?) The other day Mallory said something really funny and I repeated it to Chris and then thirty minutes later neither one of us could remember what it was. Makes me wonder why I try so hard to, you know, be kind and engaging and fun with my kids. They won't remember it anyway. Or they'll remember it all wrong. The inefficiency of memory: an excuse for poor living. Don't worry, I'll probably forget that theory in a matter of seconds.

9/22/08

Happy birthday to them!

Aimee, I forgive you for drawing all over my dolls with ball-point pen. I hope you forgive me for the time I encouraged you to run away.

Casey, I'm sorry I never finished that story about the mouse detective I promised I'd write for you. Thanks for listening, instead, to my rehashing of the King Arthur legends while we played basketball.

When Mom told me that she was pregnant, and asked if I wanted a brother or a sister, I said, "Neither! I hope you have a chicken!" (My only excuse is that I was five.) Needless to say, I'm glad that I got both a brother and a sister, and I'm glad they turned out to be you. Happy birthday. I love you!

9/18/08

School Tales

My children have settled into the school routine. Phoebe loves school, runs through the door each morning without even saying goodbye. Mallory has said that first grade is hard and boring, and, because of a certain mean girl, that she and her two best friends are going to start their own school, but I think she's fairly content as well.

Mallory had her first "religion" test last week; here are some highlights. It was fill-in-the-blank:

Heaven is more beautiful than a ranbo.

Heaven is more fun than to see Mily. (That would be Miley Cyrus.)

Heaven is prettier than my mom.

Heaven lasts longer than my laf. (I think she means life, rather than laugh.)

Dear Heavenly Father, please help me to see Hanna Montanna.

She got a 100 on this test, which leads me to believe that the emphasis is on writing skills as opposed to theology.

Yesterday was picture day for Phoebe's class. Because I was (am) still in post-vacation mode, I forgot it was picture day, so she came to school with uncombed hair and a semi-stained t-shirt, and I had to call my father-in-law to ask him to bring a check to pay for the pictures because I couldn't find my checkbook...none of which mattered, because when it was Phoebe's turn she burst into tears and refused to cooperate with the photographer. Last night I asked her why she wouldn't have her picture made. "Yeah Phoebe, it doesn't hurt," Mallory said, and Chris added, "If you don't have your picture made you won't be in the yearbook!" Phoebe held up her hands and said firmly, "Stop it, people! I don't want to talk about it!" So, I guess we'll try again on retake day.

9/17/08

Back

New York was fabulous. Well, our trip to New York was fabulous. It's always fabulous to hang out with my sisters and my mom. I don't think that New York would be a fabulous place to live, or even a fabulous place to visit more than once every ten years or so. But, it was fun to be there for a couple of days. I'm completely wiped out, now, and my feet haven't quite recovered, and I lost my camera somewhere between Little Italy and the Gap on 5th Avenue, so I have no photos to share...but it was great. I'm sad that it's over and that we don't have it to look forward to anymore.

And my kids did survive without me, of course. Now that I know they can, I should plan to be away more often!

9/9/08

Repetition will make it true!

I'm not getting a cold. I'm not getting a cold. I'm not getting a cold.

My kids will be fine without me. My kids will be fine without me. My kids will be fine without me.

McCain will not win the election. McCain will not win the election. McCain will not win the election.

9/4/08

Oh dear

I got a bad haircut last night. A truly horrible haircut. A what-the-heck-was-the-stylist-thinking-this-is-not-what-I-asked-for-AT-ALL kind of haircut. It's very upsetting, not least because I'm about to go on vacation and I don't want to be photographed in front of, I don't know, the Empire State Building or FAO Schwarz or wherever, with my lovely mom and sisters, with such hideous hair.

Sigh.

I'm thinking of going back to the stylist and saying, "Um, I hate this. Fix it." But it's so short already that it may not be salvageable with anything less than a buzz cut.

Super sigh.

Perhaps I'll buy a wig. Or a hat! Maybe a hat will do.

9/3/08

The mind of a 6-year-old

Mallory said, in reference to my upcoming trip to New York, that I shouldn't go at all because she will miss me too much. I said that I would miss her too. "But," I added, "I'm excited that I'll get to see Grandmom and Aunt Jana and Aunt Aimee, because I really miss them too. I don't get to spend time with them very often."

"Yeah, but you spend more time with them than you do with me," she said.

"No, I don't. How could I? They live across the country," I said.

"I mean," she clarified, "in your whole life, you've spent more time with them than with me. So you should stay home."




On a sadder note, my in-law's dog died last weekend. Sophie was a Miniature Schnauzer, a bit yappy and getting crotchety in her old age. She was never a great playmate for the kids, but she was always there, and she was loyal. (In fact, when I went back to work and we started bringing Mallory over there every day, Sophie made it a habit to go perch in the driveway and wait for her. On weekends, she'd sit and wait for hours before finally giving up.) Phoebe, I think, doesn't quite understand what it means that Sophie is dead; Mallory does, but I hadn't thought it bothered her all that much. But then on Sunday night, she said, "Do dogs understand words?"

"Well," I said, "they understand some words. Finn understands 'sit' and 'no' and 'come here,' for example."

"Would Finn understand it if I said, 'Don't ever go to heaven'?"

RIP Sophie, you were a good girl.