Monday, November 24, 2008

Barbershop Show This Afternoon

So, my chorus had a show this afternoon. We only sold around 300 to 350 tickets, which was disappointing; but, the show was a success by any other standard. We sang well, look good and had fun. The quartets sounded great uniformly. The afterglow was well-attended and fun.

The only problem? Well, me, in a nutshell.

I'm in kind of a funny position right now. So much of life is spent dealing with The Boy's cancer! We're scheduling tests, scheduling treatments, rescheduling most of our lives to try to fit around all of these things. For instance, the whole Thanksgiving thing. We're hoping that The Boy's treatments will start on Wednesday and that we have Thanksgiving in the hospital. Why? Other than the fact that sooner-start means sooner-finish, we also want the treatments to start on Wednesday because then we won't miss school. I'm having constant and continual conversations with my wife, my father, my mother-in-law, my brothers, my siblings-in-law, the babysitter, various friends and my employers, so that things may be scheduled and dealt with efficiently and thoroughly.

In addition, we've gotten such a huge and overwhelming outpouring of support of the community. From my father's friends, my brother's friends, my mother-in-law's friends, my friends, The Wife's friends and from complete strangers, we've been receiving a constant stream of telephone calls, cards, letters, e-mails, Facebook messages and such. We've been the beneficiaries of such generosity that my heart swells with emotion when I think about it.

So, what's the problem, other than the whole cancer-thing? It's that, every time I see someone, the conversations revolve around giving them the latest news about The Boy. It's about giving them cancer updates and treatment updates and chemo schedules and surgery reports. It's not about baby eating habits, standing on his own (which he did for about 15 seconds today, until he decided that he wanted to tackle me instead of stand - not to lean on me, but a full-body, "knock over Daddy" tackle), disgusting poo that he decided to play with, and the fact that he knows to point the remote controls at the television when he starts pushing buttons AND the fact that he knows how the swipe his finger across the touch screen of my iPod Touch and make stuff happen.

I am so appreciative of the support and caring. Please don't misunderstand me. Without the help of everybody who's helped, we would be freaking out immensely. Having said that, please understand that there are days when I >really< don't want to talk about cancer.

Today was one of them. Today, I didn't care about cancer. I wanted to talk about how proud I am of my chorus. I wanted to talk about how funny my baby is, considering that he spent most of the trip back from the restaurant last night (where he ate in a booster seat and not a high chair, for the first time!!!!) laughing at absolutely nothing. I wanted to talk about the CC Sabathia contract that the Yankees have offered that he hasn't picked up or refused yet, and whether or not the Yanks should sign A.J. Burnett or Derek Lower or neither. (In order: he's waiting until the Winter Meetings to sign; and no, maybe, maybe.) I wanted to talk about the Jets whipping the Titans and the Giants' great start to their season. I wanted to talk about how happy I am in my new teaching job, how - for the first time in my life - I feel like I've found a teaching home where I'm not going to have to fight to justify my job every single year.

I didn't stick around the afterglow of the show tonight. Usually, I'm one of the last two or three guys out of there. I love afterglows. I didn't stick around today, because I didn't want to talk about cancer. Is that selfish? I don't think so, but one is never certain. The Boy had a great time at the pancake breakfast show with his mommy, and he slept through her youth orchestra's concert. He and I went to a special comic book store sale after I got home, and he had a great time. He pulled some comics off of their shelves to look at, and he enjoyed the pictures of some manga. He also ate a munchkin and a half - well, all told, probably about .75 of a munchkin spread out over two munchkins. About 90% of his first munchkin, he crammed into my mouth. The rest of the second munchkin got crumpled in his hand and scattered over the carpet.

But, I digress.

If you ask me about The Boy, and I respond, "Fine, thanks," you and I both know he's not fine. He's got cancer. His health sucks right now, and it's going to suck even worse for a long time, once his treatment starts. The reason I'm saying "fine," is that I'm actually saying, "I really appreciate you taking the time to care about my son, but he's not doing so well right now. However, there's nothing new to report, and I don't want to rehash his last medical report again, so I'll drop this simple answer to you." At that point, please feel free to move the conversation elsewhere: "How's school?" "How 'bout them Giants, going 10-1 to start the season!" "How's your 403B (the teacher's 401K) surviving the stock collapse?" "What are you playing on your Playstation 3?" "How's your barbershop chorus doing?"

It's nothing personal, believe me. It's not that I don't want to talk about cancer with you (most likely). It's just that I don't feel like talking about the SAME THING, giving the SAME REPORT, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

(Yes, those were typed out and not cut-and-pasted.)

(When I said before that my insurance wouldn't cover the costs of some of his surgery, I was mistaken. We got a copy of the letter from the insurance copy to Dr. Comcast, which said that they weren't paying for part of the post-operative hospital stay because Dr. Comcast's office didn't file their paperwork correctly. The letter also said that they weren't allowed to charge me for it, either, until penalty of catapult. Hooray. One less fight.)

(I was kidding about the catapult part. That's a Simpsons joke. It would make a good punishment, though.)


Jennifer said...

I love reading about how David's milestones and not just about cancer. Myabe it's because I have a one year old and each accomplishment is just amazing to me.

Congrats on David standing on his own. It won't be much longer for the first steps and all of a sudden he'll be running. :)

Band Momma said...

Yeah, how 'bout them Giants!