Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Night Update

All is well in Silverlake this evening. Pablo has had a great day of chilling, playing with .027% of his toy collection, getting a foot massage from Nana, and eating. The new chemo has taken the pep out of his step in terms of appetite. He is ambivalent about many of his favorite foods, and he often asks for a particular food, only to sit and stare at it blankly, without taking a bite, when it's put in front of him. I remember this from when Scott was doing chemo. I'm glad I have that experience. It'd be confusing otherwise.

I saw Dr Mascarenhas at the triathlon this morning. The first thing he asked me (after inquiring how I rode) was how Pablo was getting along at home. I told him that P had trouble getting up from sitting on the ground Saturday, and fell down the bottom step on Friday night. In general, his legs are shaky and feeble. Dr M suggested it might be from laying in hospital bed for a month. The inactivity factor is huge, and is a sound hypothesis. Soon, the Vincristine could start to affect his walking and his grip. Dr M has assured us that this is a known side effect, and goes away when the Vincristine ends.

After dinner, Pablo and I embarked on a walk. We went down our hill, and up Castle Street, the looped over to upper Redesdale, which is a giant hill, about twice as high as ours. We call it 'Pablo Hill,' because it's where Jo Ann walked during her late pregnancy with Pablo. After four-and-a-half years of smiling at the mention of Pablo Hill, Pablo has renamed it 'Beans Hill,' after the puppy Santa brought him and Grady.

Tonight's walk was Pablo's first outdoor excursion. I was determined to get him out on his feet, and get some exercise into his legs and respiratory system. He was excited about it, until we got his shoes on. At that point, he stared at the ground, and went inward. He turned his back to me, and put his head on the couch. He said he didn't want to go. I figured he just wanted to stay home and play with his toys. Jo Ann came over, and got his attention. She asked him if he didn't want to go because he had to wear a mask. 'Uh huh,' he replied.

We reminded him that Papa was wearing a mask too, and that he could decorate his with a drawing. In an instant, he was focused on taking a marker to his mask. Ultimately, he instructed me to draw a mustache on his. He was happy. And, after grabbing a skeleton and a couple knight action figures, we were on our way.

Jo Ann took our picture at the start of the walk:

Below: We stopped to play with Pablo's knights and pirate skeleton heads on this wall.

I am so tired right now, but I want to come back to the feelings and experience we had today around the walk, and some of the interesting (read: fun, funny, hilarious, sad, heartbreaking, real) experiences we have had since coming home on Friday.

PS: in the triathlon this morning, our team did very well. The official results will be posted online Monday or Tuesday, so we don't know our exact team time. I know that I came in roughly the same as last year. I also know that I passed Matthew McConaughey on the road, and that he crossed the finish line on Adam's heels. The dude is an incredible swimmer and runner, that's for sure. The event raised $950,000 for the pediatric cancer operation at CHLA. Can I get a HELL YEAH? Jennifer Lopez raised $127k of that herself—incredible.

All I can say is, I cursed cancer for 18 miles. I figure I had 4,000 more miles in me this time last year. And a LOT more races and centuries leading up this event. Although I felt great on the road, and felt in good form, I definitely could not access that 'turbo' button. Every time I went for it, a cellular ache pushed back, reminding me that my ride for cancer started on May 17 and hasn't stopped. That said, my overall average speed was exactly the same as last year. The only way I can explain how I matched last year's time is to attribute it to Pablo—his energy, his fight, his love.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad Pablo had some outdoor time! The sun must feel so good! Tell him we are diggin the mustache. Oh and Congrats on your "outdoor time" as well at the triathalon!