As I sit and listen to my "5 Years Ago" playlist (the stuff I haven't listened to in more than 5 years), I got the whim to look at my myspace account, which I haven't accessed in... I don't know when. I'm not entirely sure I keep it, except for the fact that I kept a blog on it for a good, long time.
(Side note: anyone know how to collect blogspot / blogger blogposts quickly and easily? I think I'd like to compile / back-up my blog, so that my kids could read it later in life.)
When I looked back at the last couple of entries before I transitioned to posting full-time here (and not cross-posting to both), I came across this, dated September 28, 2008: This is four months after diagnosis, before the relapse was diagnosed.
"The Boy's doing much, much better than last week. We were absolutely terrified last weekend because of his temperature; after spending all day in the hospital with Molly on Monday, The Boy really turned the corner the next day. Basically, he had no working white blood cells in his body on Monday morning (much less Saturday and Sunday, when he was struggling). They pumped him full of fluids and antibiotics at the hospital, and that did the trick. When Mommy took him back for chemo on Thursday, they - predictably - didn't give him the meds, because his counts weren't high enough. I'm taking him on Tuesday, during the first day of the Jewish holiday, when things are - hopefully - back to the numbers they should be. We'll see. Basically, he'll get chemo on Tuesday and have his CT Scan late this week or early next week - this will likely get the surgery sometime in October.
Not ideal - it's hard missing work when you're a teacher. You only see kids a certain number of times per year, and no substitute can possibly do the work correctly. I'm not valuing my job over my child - not even close - but I don't want to put my kids in a bad position. Then again, considering how I usually teach, they'll be okay."
Whew. I wish I could go back and talk to myself, because there's a WHOLE lot in there that just blows me away. Neutrapenic fevers as simple as that one - one day in the hospital - were the exception and not the rule. Soon after would start The Boy's new treatment, and a few months after that, a long string of hospitalizations that would take the majority of 5 months away from us.
Also, I was dead on accurate about missing work. In education, administrators will say all the right things about having to miss time due to family illnesses and your own illnesses - until you actually have to miss time because of family illnesses and your own illnesses. I was run out of town on a rail for daring to use my sick days on my son. I didn't run out of sick days - far from it - but was scolded for using them.
Any wonder why I'm not in a rush for a full time job? I'm still feeling scarred from my last one.
Lotta water under the bridge since that point, 18 months ago. Lotta bridges I burned, lotta bridges that were blown up by others. Lots of people who gave their hearts and souls to help us; a few others that I truly hope will burn in Hades for eternity for - as my therapist put it on Wednesday - raping my career.
The fallout since then? Two surgeries, one port replacement, radiation that didn't give super powers, one baby brother, a major family argument, loss of several friends, two jobs, one house, relocating 360 miles away, and a change in barbershop status. Life is so much better.
I don't know what I'd say to myself back then, I guess. Probably just to stick it out, because things do get better. Treatment ends, boys grow, babies stop crying, and jobs can be rediscovered. Snuggles are eternal. Yankees win World Series.
Hey, The Boy even pooped in the potty for me today. Despite the fact that I still feel like crap, life is good. Back to the grind tomorrow.