Pablo's blood test on Monday afternoon showed the expected drop in his numbers. The platelets and blood cell counts will continue to drop, bottoming out this weekend. This is the normal post-chemo cycle, and it's why our Thanksgiving day will be spent at home, with no visitors. Normally, we have 40 to 60 people through our house on T-Day. I believe this would have been the eighteenth year Jo Ann hosted Thanksgiving, and my seventh. It originally started as an afternoon dinner and Celebrity game for LA transplants to either didn't want to go home or couldn't afford to. Jo Ann's parents fly out every year to celebrate and to deliver the New Orleans punch—her dad deep fries turkeys in the back yard, and in the kitchen, Jo Ann and her mom cook all kinds of amazing NOLA dishes and the biggest Turducken that'll fit in our oven.
Thanksgiving 2008, like many other annual traditions this year, will carry an asterisk in the record book. This is shaping up to the year we learned to love the love bomb, and T-Day will be another in a long series of D-Days in this campaign of service from our friends. It sounds like we have a small army of friends delivering a complete Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. And, for the first time in nearly two decades, our gas meter won't get a workout. We will post pics and a full report on Thursday. Wouldn't want the asterisk to go without narration.
Grady came home yesterday after spending over a week at his other house, Casa de Jimmy. Pablo was elated. The simple, pure happiness that those two generate in one another just by hanging out in the house—it's the real deal. One of the unsung difficulties of this cancer treatment scenario is how much G and P are separated for unusually long periods of time. When P is in CHLA for one of his multi-day chemo treatments, Jimmy has offered to have G stay with him for the entire time. This means that G gets out of our orbit for a long time, which always strains our hearts. But this is life during wartime. Along with all the other sacrifices and adjustments we are making as a family, it's par for the course. I want to put my hand up and say that Jimmy has made all of this a helluva lot easier. In the instruction manual for divorced / post-nuclear / post-punk / new wave families, we are writing a new and improved chapter on how to maintain operation of regular life when the offspring of the New Jack dad and the O.G. mommy has a life-threatening disease and the O.G. baby still has to eat, sleep, shelter and get to school on time. Jimmy, as the O.G. baby daddy in my strange white guy play on street terminology, has offered to keep Grady at his crib for long stretches—a huge thing in the 'my weekend, your weekend' life of a divorced family. What's more: every single day when we are in CHLA, Jimmy calls and offers to deliver Pablo's fave Fred 62 brekkie, Billion Dollar Pancakes.
Big news this morning: Pablo is watching 'Little Bear.' We are getting a welcome break from the other animal in his life, Scooby Doo, whose show has burned a hole in our TV over the past few weeks. I could not believe my ears this morning when P asked to watch 'Little Bear,' his first TV love. It's been one Scooby show after another for many, many days. Jo Ann and I both love Scooby from our younger days, and still enjoy singing the theme song with Pablo. The aspect of the show I do not remember from my childhood is the laugh track. Kids probably don't notice the canned laughs punctuating—jabbing out—at the director's desired moment of every funny (and some not funny) scene. To my adult ears, it's a brittle, often annoying device of '70s television that, on our over-the-top surround sound system, chases me down in any corner of our house. I don't like to be told when to laugh, especially when the visual is animated, narrated by Casey Kasem, and doesn't involve either Larry David, Benny Hill or Sarah Palin.
Other than chemo, blood counts and an unheard-of T-Day dinner delivery, life is pretty much biz as usual here in LA: the wildfires are out, and it's threatening rain. Lots of rain. Which only happens 7.28 days a year here.
Only thing is, as is typical for this city in the desert that has no business being a city, the rain predicted by our oh-my-gawd-is-that-really-his-name freakazoid TV meteorologists is still not here. As a midwest transplant, I'm only happy when it rains.