Saturday, August 2, 2008

When is a fight not really a fight?

Yes, I'm again procrastinating from doing reading that I'm supposed to be doing. But, I already spent an hour and a half tonight lesson planning for 3rd grade general music, and I need an emotional break to get closer to adulthood.

This has not been a good weekend so far. The chemo, being a progressive thing, is starting to take root in a negative way. The Boy has added a new "word" to his vocabulary: a mewling, pathetic, angry-sounding cry. This isn't new to this weekend, particularly, but it was his primary mode of communication today. It honestly breaks my heart to hear it - even when he's gathered up into my, or my wife's, arms and given the love and attention that he needs and deserves, there's not a damn thing that we can do to help.

His hair is still there, and that's making me question, internally, his sickness. From a sick, weird place in my subconscious, I wish that his hair would start fall out soon. It's difficult to reconcile a grave illness like cancer with the vision of a happy, smiling child whose hair is beginning to grow. Don't get me wrong: I'm not wishing baldness upon my son. (That's been decided by genetics.) I don't want him to suffer. I'm REALLY not looking for that. But, it's easier to nurse a child back to health who looks sick.

My wife and I had a blow up tonight. The exact circumstances aren't important (I flipped out because of the placement of the bookshelf upstairs, and she told me to calm the heck down), because that's not what the fight was about. We weren't fighting with each other, although L-rd knows that we've done that enough in our time. (Who hasn't?) We're both feeling VERY stressed about the fact that our kid has cancer and he's starting to accumulate the negative effects of chemotherapy. And, again, there's not a damn thing we can do about it.

My wife brought up the question that's been haunting us: "What kind of a cruel joke is this: we're given the most beautiful, most perfect, more precious little boy in the whole world - and then he develops cancer? Who did we piss off, what did we do, to deserve this?" I know that nothing we've done over the past 11 months would have changed this; it was a roll of the genetic dice that came up snake eyes. Sometimes, it's hard to remember that chance plays a huge factor in things.

Then again, I'm a firm believer in G-d's plan. I've had an... interesting... life, in the Chinese sense of interesting. ("May you live an interesting life," is an old Chinese curse.) I'm not going to get into it now, because I do want to get the reading done. But, my life has been interesting. The biggest thing that's kept me going is this: "G-d puts us where we need to be - which is rarely where we think we should be." I know that I'm not intelligent enough to understand G-d's plan. (I'm darn close, but just not quite there. Yet.) I'm not capable of seeing everything, hence the whole "omnipotent" and "omniscient" labels that G-d carries around. I know that there's a reason that I've gone through the things that I've gone through in my time, and why my wife has gone through the things that she's gone through. I know that, at the other end, we're going to have different ideas about life.

I just wish it was a little more apparent. I can't imagine any good coming out of a beautiful boy having such a dread disease. It's frustrating, and it's getting to us big time. At times like this, I'm REALLY not looking forward to going back to work. I can't imagine The Boy being cared for by a stranger when he's going through such a horrible time and a horrible disease. I know that I've been lucky to be hired by such a wonderful place as I've been hired, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to contribute. But, he's my baby, and I love him.


honeybee said...

I have been reading your blog for approx. one month now. I am on webmd with your wife and have a 10 month old.

I felt compelled to comment to your recent post. Although neither of you know what the plan is take comfort in knowing that there is a plan.

Additionally, we tend to have a pre-conceived notion about what a cancer patient should look like and feel like. Perhaps your son is breaking that mold and making a determination on his own to present his positive and cheerful disposition as much as possible. I can only imagine that the alternative would be heart wrentching and much harder for the two of you to witness. Each week that passes gets the three of you closer to the ultimate goal of remission.

You are all in our prayers. May peace be with you.

Jennifer said...

An "old" friend of mine (HS and College) has a son that is about to start Chemo for a bone marrow transplant (he has Hurler's Syndrome) and I thought you might be interested and her site.

Liam's parents are both teachers. She teaches HS English and he teaches Social Studies? at the Middle school where many of my students go when they move up. She was a band nerd with me. :) Plays/played French Horn.