Friday, May 17, 2013

Day Three

Team Miner,

I'm reporting here from Jeff's hospital room desk overlooking Golden Gate Park.  [I hope he will be so lucky to land this awesome room on subsequent in-patient visits.]  Yesterday was densely foggy, but today we can see the Pacific Ocean and the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Jeff finished grading student papers yesterday and is currently preparing to discuss "The Great Transformation" with Corey for their academic book duo/club this afternoon.  The Grandmas are off entertaining Lydia, Stella is in school, so I am footloose and fancy free to bloggy blog blog.

As far as chemo is concerned, Jeff isn't really feeling too bad yet.  He's tired, but not deeply fatigued.  And he still has an appetite.  So, we can hope that the prayers for these drugs to wreak utterly murderous havoc on the cancer all while allowing Jeff to feel "pretty okay" are working.

I don't really have the energy or inspiration to post anything too thematic or deep today.  Noting my blog stats, however, it would seem that many of you are eagerly awaiting a new post, so I'll try to make this at least somewhat substantive.  [Alternatively, a handful of you may be visiting the page several times a day...  I'll take that, too.]

For substance then, I will tell you about what's been going on with Stella lately.  First, I'll recommend the book Jeff's aunt Sue recently sent to us for Stella:

This book would be a comfort, I think, for any kid going through separation from a person they love.  It is not overtly religious, so I think it would be appropriate for families with different, or no, religious beliefs.  I like that it uses rather generic and kid-appropriate language.  In my opinion, it would even help soothe kids through simple bedtime anxiety when they feel lonely in a dark room on their own. The general concept is that everyone has an "invisible string" that connects them to the people they love.

Sue also made Stella an beautiful braided cord with four colored strings - to symbolize Jeff, me, Stella, and Lydia - for her to remember that our family is always together.  This "visible cord" is helping her as well.

Another helpful thing we've done for Stella involves a new stuffed animal.  Tyler gave Stella and Jeff an awesome bear puppet about a week or so ago.  Stella LOVES bears.  They are probably her second favorite animal after the penguin, in particular, the Emperor Penguin.  [Look, a cute picture of a penguin chick!  I'll have to search for this book at the library...]
Penguin Chick
Anyway, I think her weird affinity for such a fearsome animal as a bear stems from one of the recurring stories Jeff tells to her.  One such story is about "Rob" the bear and his four ghost friends, Bob, Bob, Bob, and Bob.  It is a huge hit with Stella who calls the Bobs "ghost-es."  Since Stella has had some trouble falling back to sleep when she wakes up and realizes Papa is not at home, yesterday Papa put all of his hugs and kisses into Rob the bear and I took him home to Stella.  Stella was delighted to cuddle with Rob and slept with him all night.  She only woke up once and was much more consolable than usual, so... Rob the bear FTW!

I'll try to post again soon.  Please keep sending the cancer cells mean and vicious vibes and pray that Jeff will be healthy enough to come home soon after this first round of chemo is over.

Love to you all,



Carol Coe Pugh said...

Katina - we may have met a couple of times...I'm Robin's sister-in-law....just wanted to tell you that The Invisible String is hands down my kid's favorite book dealing with the death of their dad when they were 3 & 5. We love, love that book!

And I don't know if it helps or not, but bedtime was THE MOST STRESSFUL event of our day as we adapted to Brian not being at home. So you are not alone. And I'm glad to hear that you're finding some things to ease that time for Stella.

Anyway, know that you and your family have my prayers and support. If there's ever anything I can do to help, please don't hesitate to ask.

dirteens said...

Carol, I think we have met once. It is very nice to hear from you. Thanks for reading, and for commenting. I am so glad you and your kids had this book. And although I'm sorry bedtime was stressful for you, I will say that it is good to hear that this is not atypical. I think it has a lot to do with everyone just being at the end of their rope as well.

Prayers for your family as well.

With love,