Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tomorrow's Appointment

Tomorrow is Mom's big appointment with the team at MGH (I suppose that's Massachusetts General Hospital) -- a urologist, an oncologist, and a radiation oncologist.

My brother is going, and my mom just asked my cousin Bonnie, former RN, to go as well. And I will be there via speaker phone.

My mom is very anxious, not surprisingly, but I'm not. I suppose because I feel like we aren't getting news, just having the plan revealed to us. I'm not exactly clear what the difference is, but to my pea sized brain, there is one.

Of course, it's my mom's life that's about to change, not mine, so that's a big difference, also!

My brother and I had a good, constructive conversation tonight. He asked that we communicate more frequently, and try to be supportive of each other. He was really calm and thoughtful on the phone, which is not always the case, but it reminded me that I really ought to give him the benefit of the doubt more often. He was such a jerk for so many years that I automatically assume, now, that he will be a jerk now, and he is occasionally, but often he's a lot nicer than I give him credit for. So I'm going to work on that.

Calliope was up at 5:15 am, perhaps because she was in bed at 5:30 pm last night, sans dinner. (Of course, she was up at 10 pm and 4:30 am to nurse, and then nursed again at 5:15 when she decided that sleep was for the birds.) I was convinced that she was hungry, but she refused to eat anything. Well, she took one bite of banana, but promptly spit it out. She even refused -- gasp! -- Cheerios and crackers.

She did eat some toast with cheese with the nanny today -- and had diarrhea afterwords (sorry for TMI). And a couple of ounces of plain yogurt in the morning and at afternoon snack time. Otherwise, no food. But the nanny said she had a good day, including a long and joyous and splashful bath with Eleanor, plus a more than three hour nap!

So I was shocked when I walked in tonight. She looked, well, awful. I mean, she was walking and "talking" fine, babbling away, but her face looked haggard and her eyes looked drawn. Apparently she had been having a stomach ache and crying in pain a few minutes earlier, sitting on the potty. Poor peanut.

She skipped dinner tonight (but, sorry TMI again, had another bout of diarrhea) and with all the nursing yesterday, I had ample milk again, which she didn't even finish. So I'm prepared for midnight snacks! And am swilling herbal tea like crazy, just for extra fortification. I'm glad for only one more work day before the weekend. I do feel like breastmilk and yogurt, with all those live active cultures, are the best things for her right now, so I'm glad that she will take them.

I tried to call to make an appointment to see the doctor about the feeding issues (not the ones of the last few days, but before that), but the receptionist offered to have the doctor call me to discuss them. I'm still awaiting a call back -- she texted me that she would call me this evening. I'm eager to hear what she has to say. Who knows, maybe she will say it's all due to teething, and let's just do a weight check and hold off for now. That would be fine. I just want someone else to shoulder a little responsibility.

I'm feeling a little guilty, in advance, because my brother said he really wishes that we would come to MA for the Christmas break. And I really don't want to. And I know that's selfish.

It's a huge amount of work to travel with Calliope. Not just picking up the rental car (or cabbing to the airport), but the packing, the schlepping, the organizing... and there's the getting there. Which is worse: screaming on an airplane, or crying through the long car ride? (And if I've just potty trained, how does that work in concert with being stuck in a car?) And then, I arrive. To a house that's not baby proofed -- not terribly dangerous, since there's at least a baby gate at the bottom of the stairs -- but isn't ideally set up, either. Very few toys. So lots and lots of Mommy trailing Calliope around the house. That's pretty tiring, too.

See, I know this sounds selfish. And to some extent, time "off" with a toddler won't be relaxing no matter where I am. But being in my own space, I pretty much know the extent of the mischief she can get into. It usually consists of her emptying the drawers of my nightstand plus the toiletries drawer in my dresser. Which means I find a bar of soap under my desk, say, and cotton balls scattered around the entryway.

It also means that we can walk to the playground every day, or to hang out with whichever friends end up staying in the city during the holidays (it seems most folks flock to the suburbs where relatives can more easily accommodate visitors than we urbanites). It means Calliope can sleep in her own comfortable crib, and I can sleep in my comfortable bed... in separate rooms. Without climbing stairs. Without riding in cars. Without being in someone else's space.

I guess here's the thing: if I wanted to go, the work wouldn't be a big deal. But I don't want to. I want to stay home and potty train and enjoy life at Calliope's pace, or at least, do things with and for her, like trips to the zoo and the children's museum. I want to slow the pace down for a few days, instead of trying to accomplish something like a trip to MA, never mind dealing with the whole situation once we get there.

I so wish the distance wasn't so great. I wish we could go for a night or two, and without such a long drive.

But the thing is, I just don't want to come back to work tired from my "vacation." Life is challenging enough right now.

I guess we will have more information tomorrow about what to expect for my mom. It may turn out that she won't want a busy (and germ laden) toddler in the house while she's enduring chemo. Which makes me feel awful, to think about how sick she may be, and how all I want is to avoid seeing that.


  1. I hope you get some answers and a solid plan tomorrow for your moms treatment.

  2. Hope everything goes well today. Thinking good thoughts for you & your family.

  3. I'm hoping for a good plan today - and by good plan, I mean a concrete plan that can get things going, that your mom is comfortable with.

    I completely and totally understand not wanting to travel, and I think it's the right decision. Completely and totally.

    I hope Calliope's tummy is better!