Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pumpkins + Spice + $7,000 White Blood Cell Boosters

Our house smells like freshly baked pumpkin bread. Jo Ann just baked two loaves—one for Pablo, and one for Penelope, our friend who is a CHLA nurse. She comes over every few weeks to give Pablo Neulasta (the $7,000-per-shot white blood cell booster) shots in the top of his thigh. There are stuffed animals and toys all over the place. The Scoob is on the tube. The dogs are bustling with energy, happy to have their family back. And we are happy to be home.

¶The tiniest little dark hairs are sprouting up randomly on Pablo's bald dome. In other areas, vast fields of peach fuzz are forming. A few minutes ago, I guided P's hands over his head to feel the new topography of his scalp. He giggled under the influence of the tickly sensation caused by his chemo-darkened hands lightly bristling over his new fuzzy stuffs. We snuggled in our bed, putting our heads at the foot of the bed, so we could see out the big rectangular window above the headboard. We did a visual check on all the cool stuff we could see from that view (beautiful tall trees in our neighbor's yard, the neighbor's porch, and lots of blue sky). Then I told P stories—embellishing tales on each of the animals I saw on my ride this morning. Pablo knows I am making things up, but he doesn't seem to care. He laughs heartily at the adventurous turns of squirrels, coyotes, lizards and birds that are (actually) always nearly flying into me.

¶Last night as we went to bed, our goal was for Jo Ann and P to sleep in, and for me to wake early and ride. Jo Ann had to give P some medication at midnight and 6 a.m.—even when she is planning to sleep in, she has a work agenda. She deserves an award for her fearless and tireless guidance of our family in this bizarre time. She will get many, I am sure. The one she will really care about is Pablo's biological dystopia getting itself in order, and returning him to complete and total biological sanity and a normal, healthy life.

I was a bad boy and stayed up watching the note-perfect Al Pacino tour de force 'And Justice For All' on the new streaming movie feature on Netflix. Because I am getting over being sick, I slept in Grady's bed (he is with his dad Jimmy this weekend). I hadn't even heard of this movie until last night—probably cos it came out in 1979, the year that I was seven, and not in the edgy urban political drama market. The only two movies I recall seeing in the '70s were 'Star Wars' (my dad fell asleep), and 'The Shaggy D.A.' (Scott took me to see it; I think we walked miles each way to see it). Once 'Justice' started, I couldn't believe how amazing it was. If you have a Netflix home delivery account, you can download the Silverlight program onto your computer and watch up to five hours for free, in addition to your regular DVD mailings. It's pretty insane. Plus, instant and free are both a good deals. What wasn't a good deal was going to bed at 1 a.m. and trying to get up at 7 to ride. Most nights, I force myself to stay up and cram in reading or TV—anything to feel like I've given myself time to either tune out or feed my mind. 8 a.m. proved to be the magic get-up time. The upside: it is warmer hitting the road an hour later.

¶Penelope just arrived. Post-shot, Pablo and I are going to climb up into his tree house in the back yard. We have not been up there in months. I went up a few minutes ago and swept out all the funky tree droppings and knocked out the many cobwebs. We are taking Uno, Sorry! and Labyrinth up there, along with a big round tray of snacks: tortilla chips and tuna salad, punkin bread, two lollipops and drinks. We are planning on getting hungry up there!

I came up with the tree house scheme during my ride this morning. I was hoping P would find it as alluring as I did. When I came home, I sat next to him and told him the plan. As as soon as he heard 'I was thinking we could go out' he was like, 'YES!'

Penelope is getting ready for the sure shot. Gotta go hold my boy.

No comments: