There is of course the shadow of doom ever tailing us it seems, but kids just don’t let you get too sad – they just want to spaz out all the time. Allistaire’s energy and joy are sumptuous expressions of manna for every day. Put Solveig in the mix and you get an amped up Allistaire. It was so wonderful having Sten and Solveig here for the week with us. It is the first time the four of us have been living together under the same roof since February. Really it is amazing how deep and wide the joy available from the most simple of things – being together making pancakes, taking a walk, spending hours at REI, playing tickle fight, hanging out with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and all the cousins together…One of my favorite parts of our week was just yesterday. We hit up a new restaurant to us, The Swinery, which I highly recommend if you love pork and don’t mind grease. Then we went to Lincoln Park. It was really a trip to hunt bears and to, “tie them up and take out their teeth,” according to Allistaire. Earlier in the day we went to pick up Sten’s work bag that had been repaired. Allistaire asked what happened to it. Sten told her a bear tried to eat it. Of course Solveig didn’t believe it and insisted on the real story which was that some of the stitching broke. Allistaire refused to believe the story about broken string and insisted, “can you tell me bout the bear? all bout the bear?” So, we found ourselves needing to walk back to the car from the park and Allistaire started to melt down, saying she really wanted to go find the bears, “pretty please, pretty please can we go hunt the bears?” Just joy and delight all over the place!
It has been a good week to acclimate to the possibility of more cancer. Oh how I so hope for miraculous results on Wednesday that say there is simply nothing there, but it feels we are three-fourths of the way to relapse. After the initial shock of the first bone marrow test results, it sunk into Sten and I that for us we are still going to walk forward as long as there are open doors and Allistaire is up for it. I can’t look too far ahead, however, because it just feel like too much. Some of the leaves on the trees have already begun to turn yellow and today was the first sunny day that the air felt a bit brisk. Everywhere there is the energy of summer dying and the busying to prepare for the coming school year. It is these changes of the seasons I find the hardest – these in your face reminders that time is just going forward and you are still here, battling this thing that won’t leave you alone. When winter turned to spring here, there was the sense of hope that while we had to fight, we might win. This impending fall is a bit harder. Winter in Washington is not lovely. It holds none of the invigorating glory of a Montana winter. A Washington winter is pure dreariness. It is flat grey skies and cold damp air and relentless rain. There are major holidays ahead that are all about family and rejoicing and bounty, and it already feels hard to muster the enthusiasm. Such days just seem to serve to remind in greater clarity how strange and wrong life feels. But I must stop. Today is today. Today is August 19th and I am alive today. Allistaire is alive today and we are going to swell and fill and swallow up all the wonder and joy and delight there is in this day!
Okay – so I haven’t brought you any videos lately so here: a few glimpses of the real Allistaire and Solveig followed by some science videos you don’t want to miss out on – really 🙂 The first of the two was recommended to me by our Physician’s Assistant, Darren, during a conversation with Dr. Bleakley about how steroids cause T-cells to blow themselves up – known as Apoptosis. Please note that Darren wears Converse with his dress clothes to work everyday. Makes me smile and probably has something to do with his video recommendation. It appears there is an entire underworld of rockin’ and rappin’ science videos.