I'd planned my summer very carefully: from the day of my surgery on there was a big black line drawn through every day for a full six weeks. That's what I was told to expect. But when that didn't work out, no one was really sure what to tell me in terms of recovery, especially since it was my spirit that hurt worse than my body.
And I suppose I might still be in bed today if it weren't for that family reunion. I hadn't planned on going, since it was near the beginning of my black-line phase. I was really bummed about that too, especially since family members who NEVER come to Utah were going to be there. So when the surgery failed, and I was feeling kind of human a week later, I sort-of happily dragged myself there, happy meaning happy to go, but not exactly happy or ready to get dressed and leave the house. But I went, and was glad I did. This is the crew, at least the stragglers that were still there when someone thought to take a group picture. I'm the one sitting down (looking like an invalid) in black. My daughter has the picture of just me and my siblings, but if you see faces that look an awful lot like mine, they're either my kids or my sibs. And the sweet older lady who looks like she's doting over me? Well I guess she is. She's the reason for all the fuss - my mom - who's turning (yikes!) 90 in a few months.
After that day we had family visitors, racquetball tournaments, swim lessons, band concerts, acting gigs, birthdays, outings with the grandbaby, school starting, kids moving out, and before I knew it I was back in the world of the living, ready or not. There wasn't ever a point where I decided I was ready to spend more time in bed than out of it. Certainly never a time I decided I was healed. I'm still not sure how to answer when people ask how I'm doing. I think I tell them I'm plugging along. As if that doesn't make me sound like an old geezer.
But stuff just kept happening that I didn't want to miss, even if I didn't feel up to it. Cancer will do that to you, you know. Make you want to live. Big time. The other things--cooking, cleaning...and blogging...kind of got second billing to the fun stuff. (Gotta reserve that strength you know.)
So here in a nutshell are some of the highlights of the summer that I didn't think I'd get to have:
Me and the girls celebrating Whit's birthday at 'Erin's Slumber Party'. They'd just gotten their nails done. Mine are still too weak from the Herceptin to be painted. Frowny face. (Which I know will make the birthday girl laugh.) I did get a massage, which I swear was twice as long as it should have been. One perk of being a cancer patient.
Here's my adorable little Ethan touching a donkey for the first time at the petting zoo.
And here he is AFTER touching a donkey for the first time. He really didn't mind the donkey so much, it was those goats that kept trying to eat him that really got to him. Not that I can blame him.
Private swim lessons sound really impressive until I admit that I've been too distracted to give Brandon a chance to keep his skills up and there weren't any classes at his level for boys his age. But his teacher did wonders with those numchuck...I mean swimming skills.
And here's the little Stud Muffin doing his modeling gig. (I didn't get pictures of the commercial or movie he was in, but he's been a busy little actor.)
This is Natalie on her first day in the dorms at BYU. I also missed pics of Whitney who moved out the day before. Losing two girls in two days is a little too much of a shock to the system. And below is Brandon, excited for his first day of middle school. More system shock! And finally, below that is a horrible video of an adorable performance Brandon did a few days ago with his band, Prodigy. Yep, I'm the totally lame and unprepared parent who only has her phone to record her son's solo performance. He also had a couple duets with a cutie girl that didn't even get recorded. And I don't even know if this one will work because I've just been getting errors for the last hour. But it was really cute. I'll do better next time - but at least I have all these bonus memories!