Saturday, July 27, 2013

Seventh Inning

Team Miner: 

Back in the day, I was a big baseball fan. Like every other red-blooded Minnesotan kid I worshipped Kirby Puckett. I loved the Twins. All the Twins. Especially Greg Gagne - since shortstop was my favorite position to play in coach pitch, the dreaded pitching machine, and later softball - and Tom Brunansky - who happens to share my birthday. I was fortunate to grow up at a great time to love the Twins. I still remember singing the Homer Hanky song at school every morning during the '87 (or was it the '91?) World Series as led by whichever Fulton Elementary administrator was leading the morning announcements over the loudspeaker. I can still taste the synthetic but utterly delicious flavor of a chocolate malt cup on a flat wooden "spoon" at the Metrodome. I had a relatively sweet baseball card collection, which I intend to find and pore over next time I actually get to travel and be back in Minnesota. I even knew how to correctly (?) use baseball phrases like "seventh inning slump."  There's a stretch, I know.  I know.  We all know about the stretch. I'll get to that.  For now, let me believe there's also a slump.

Well, years and years have passed and I no longer have much time to watch or follow baseball. I know the Giants' schedule inside and out, but only because I despise how it messes with my commute and traffic in our neighborhood.  All of this reminiscing about the Twins was just a ploy to lead up to writing about how I'm in a bit of a... you predicted it... slump.

At this point, this is just dragging - chemo, I mean.  I cannot believe it, and I hate to say it since my body is not the one under assault from drugs upon drugs upon drugs, but it is beginning to feel almost normal. Our little family lives our life in increments of what is starting to feel like a never-ending three week treatment schedule. Lydia has essentially never known anything else - not that she knows much more than how to nurse, giggle and smile, and grab small things to nom upon with some degree of success. Stella's emotions and behavior crest and fall with this rhythm of when Papa is in and out of the hospital. Jeff is beginning to be able to anticipate when he will be feeling specific side effects. That's kind of helpful, but it's also depressing to be that familiar with how chemo makes him feel.  My mood also rises and falls from day to day, but more often than not, I know I'm just going to be in it for another day of the same. Either Jeff's in the hospital or he's not.  I'm just plugging along, keeping it (sort of) together.  It's getting old. 

[Of course this isn't entirely accurate. Fun things happen and some days are delightful. Stella went swimming with Grandma Robin this past week. I got to dance with Stella at her final dance class of the summer session this morning. My mom is here and we had a lovely Ferry Building excursion today.  And we are so lucky and thankful to have people continuing to feed and nurture us - literally and figuratively.]

My point is just that I feel like I'm in a downswing. We are inching ever closer to Jeff's PET scan but the days leading up to it are dragging. After the scan we will know more about what's to come. That's good, of course, but I am also anxious about it. No surprise there.

Anyway, I'm hoping the scan will be akin to a seventh inning stretch when we take a deep breath, sing it out, drink a cold one from Wally the Beer Man, and then find out very good news and rally for a huge (and quick) victory.

On that note, instead of wallowing, I will focus on channeling this glee.  Especially Kent Hrbek's elation and double fist pump of celebration.

Go Twins!  Go Team!


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