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Friday, February 25, 2005

Love Manifested

The outpouring of love has been overwhelming. From comments, to emails, to diversions. Even an amazingly funny and poignant lunch hour drunk dial from Toddy and Auburn Pisces, which I covertly ran around the corner of my office to listen to. I smiled because they thought of me. A lot. Especially AP. She's become celestially sent in my life, and now more than ever, when I'm holding on by the slightest sliver of fingernail, her laughter is a precious sound I find comfort in. You've all been amazing and if you don't already know, all the loving thoughts are helping to heal my breaking heart. I love how you love me.

I'll update on Shanahan's condition with apologies. I don't mean to mull on it too long because I know I'm doing that too much and I'm sure it's getting old. Believe me, no one would love to get back to "comforting shenanigans" more than me. This is just ONE major thing going on in my week. Charlie's mom's lung cancer is back and seems to have metasticized to her spine. In her biopsy yesterday, her lung collapsed and she was admitted. This 81 year-old Kiwi Wonder has kicked brain cancer's ass TWICE, lung cancer once, and lost part of her intestine and spleen. This time, it doesn't look as hopeful. Especially since she's as weak as she is after breaking her hip last summer. So, in this last couple of weeks, my poor husband has had to deal with my crying, my period and my crying, my new job nerves and my crying, and his mother and my crying. I'm surprised he doesn't slap me, but he doesn't. He just keeps opening his arms to hold me and tell me it's gonna be okay....eventually. As I said to Auburn Pisces, I feel like we're being attacked on all sides and I'm having a hard time figuring out why. When does the peace come?

After 7 nights in the hospital, Shanahan finally had some improvement. The doctor had been talking about doing a biopsy on the fluid buildup in her abdomen, but it miraculously dissipated. Her pancreas was still a bit swollen on one side, but it wasn't worse. She had no fever, no vomiting, she actually ate something and kept it down, and so on the 8th day (yesterday), they unhooked her IV and let me take her home...with a FAT $3,000 bill. They're letting us make payments. The doctor said that it seems to be one of those cases where you just don't know. She might pull out, and it's hard to say it's time to "pull the plug" when she's still viable and wanting to fight. He said she had a feisty fighting spirit. He said that if she were his, he would give her time. She deserves the chance. He said the best thing to do at this point was to take her home where she would be comfortable and just let her little body rest.

When she went in, she weighed 18.5 pounds. When I brought her home last night, she weighed 14.0. She's weak, tinier than we've ever seen her, and as the doctor mentioned she would be, she's lethargic. She was her happy self when she saw me, and was crying to go home. When we walked in the door, the kid welcome home committee was excited and she wagged and licked and loved them back. I was warned to give her high carb, no fat, bland foods; plain pasta, rice, or potatoes, two tablespoons every hour. Only ice cubes for her to lick on, no water. She seemed fine for most of the night. She ate a little pasta, and slept the rest of the evening. Charlie and I brought her to our room and put her at the foot of our bed for the night. At 2:45, it started. The racking vomit. It went on for an hour. Just clear water. At one point, she fell over and passed out and I panicked. I picked her up and held her and she came back to and finally just fell asleep in my arms from exhaustion. I brought her to bed with me and held her and she seemed to sleep peacefully. I called the doctor, who told me to just let her rest if she's resting peacefully and to try to get an antacid into her. The "passing out" he said, is because she's so weak, which is why the high carbs are so important. It's so hard to say at this point what the right thing to do is. But Charlie and I have agreed that there will be no more lengthy hospital stays hooked up to an IV. There will be no intestinal feeding tubes at another $2,000 with no guarantee of benefit. There will be no surgery when the chances of recovery are less than 15%. If this continues through next week, we will be brave and for her sake, loving, and see her to her peace. A peace that all of us deserve. Just not a peace in the way that any of us want it.

I'll Call Him "Distraction Patrick" From Now On

So my darling Patrick sent me the music meme. I won't call him a fucker like Tuna Girl called Scott. She's the sassy sister. I'm the sweet one. You believe me dontcha? Anyway, it actually came as exactly what Patrick hoped it would be; a distraction. A welcome distraction. I think you'll agree because I'm a little sick of myself lately too. So here goes me. Oh, and don't make fun of me, cuz I'll send Auburn Pisces over to kick your ass. And she will. Cuz she loves me.

1. Total amount of music files on your computer:
Music files? i-Pod? Wha?

2. The last CD you bought was:
The Best of Counting Crows - "Films About Ghosts"

3. What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?
Los Lonely Boys' "Heaven". It was on while I was typing.

4. Write down 5 songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:
"If We Hold on Together" from Keali'i Reichel's Kawaipunahele CD. It's especially fitting right now, and I keep clinging to the first verse; "Don't lose your way, with each passing day. You've come so far, don't throw it away. Live believing dreams are for weaving. Wonders are waiting to start. Live your story; faith, hope, and glory. Hold to the truth in your heart."

Yeah, it's from that dinosaur cartoon movie...so what. It's beautiful and brother Keali'i does it justice. If you aren't familiar with traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music, please do yourself a favor and go check it out here. The category was new to the Grammy Awards this year, and long overdue. Keali'i is one of the jewels of the polynesian culture. Not to mention he's woofy. Yes boys, I said woofy!

"Slow Like Honey" from Fiona Apple's "Tidal" CD. It says "Come do me". I'm sorry. It just does. "I'll let you see me, covet your regard. I'll invade your demeanor. And you'll yield to me, like a scent in the breeze. And you'll wonder what it is about me..."

"The Lady Wants to Know" from Michael Frank's "Sleeping Gypsy". Sultry, sexy, mysterious...and he mentions Coltrane. Sizzling. I love "Popsicle Toes" too, but I'm not counting it on my list.

"Long December" from Counting Crows "Recovering the Satellites" CD. I am in love with Adam Duritz. I think he's a musical genius much too underrated. He's his own person and has that "love me or don't..I don't give a rat's ass" attitude. He makes no apologies for critics who are harsh or fail to recognize his talent. I've often told my friend Steve that I'd like to crawl into his head, settle in with a warm blanket and watch the fabulous fireworks because he's an amazing person and brilliant with words and music. Not to mention he introduced me to the Crows that Count YEARS ago. I feel the same way about Adam Duritz. Long December is the "I'm gonna make it through this" song in my world. There's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last. I always keep hoping.

"Tapesty" from Carole King's classic "Tapestry" album. Nothing more needs to be said. It speaks for itself.

5. Who are you going to pass this stick to? (3 persons) and why?

Matt~Because I always knew what a wonderful kid he was, but I'm just discovering what an amazing man he's grown into from that shy, gangly teenager that hung out at my house with my daughter every once in awhile.

Auburn Pisces~Because she already started the ball rolling with her "Rascal Flats" song that Hot Toddy "stole". So she should get the chance, and then some.

Averie~Because she needs a distraction as much as I do. Thank you Patrick.

Again, I thank you, love you, and thank you for loving me. Us. Loving us.


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