Monday, March 9, 2009


I just read my wife's blog, and there was a little conflict with another set of parents during a religious ceremony. Basically, their kid was fascinated by the costume that The Boy was wearing, and - long story short - was trying to touch him. She wouldn't let the new boy touch The Boy, for obvious reasons; you know, that whole chemotherapy - radiation therapy thing. The parents just kind of moved away from The Boy when The Wife told them that he was a cancer patient. They couldn't, apparently, get over the fact that she was so strict about not letting the boys touch each other.

It just got me thinking about the lifestyle change that we've undergone. We strongly resisted changing very much when The Boy was first diagnosed. We played things very cavalierly, and we paid the price for it: The Boy was frequently sick in the fall, culminating in that horrendous 10-day hospital stay over Thanksgiving that put me in the emergency room. Now, we are fully involved in The Cancer Lifestyle.

The house is sterilized regularly. The toys get cleaned once a week (or so) with a germicide. All dishes and cups are run on the "steri-dry" setting of the dishwasher; many clothes are washed on hot instead of warm. We don't wear shoes in the house, we use Purell often enough to dry the crap out of our hands. Juice and water are prepared differently - no reusing cups, no drinking anything that's been left out, leftovers are gotten rid of quicker. More soap is used all over the house. When we go out, everything that The Boy touches gets cleaned, first - we bring our own wipes for the tables and chairs with which he'll be in contact.

People don't touch him. I don't shake hands with people if I can avoid it. I don't let poeple touch me, even if it offends them. Whatever - I'll live. If they want to shake hands, I'll hold my hands up and tell them that I've been sick and coughing into my hands, and that's usually enough for them.

Life is different, for sure. We're a LOT more careful about everything. It's paying off - I know that everyone in the house has been a whole lot healthier this season than usual. It's a lot harder, also.

All right. I'm exhausted and need to sleep. I just got my butt kicked by the bass clarinet part of the musical, and it's going to take me some time to get over that.


the mol said...

To add to the story about The Boy and me, the parents were at first telling their kid that babies are always putting their hands in things and have more germs, prompting me to tell them that The Boy was a cancer patient. The point was that their kid was probably not going to catch anything from ours, but the reverse may not be true.

Sarah R said...

I think people just need to have a little respect and understanding. Some people are just stupid, and I can't believe they wouldn't realize the seriousness of the matter--you are just watching out for The Boy's health and well being.