The Longest Journey

Guest Blogger: Momma

​Jon hasn’t contributed to the blog in days because we’ve come through those initial moment-by-moment swings of panic, denial, and reactions to the different daily chemo cocktails and their cruel/miraculous side effects that make for fascinating reading material. Dylan has come out the other end of the first round of the chemo meat grinder, and now we just wait. Hospital waiting isn’t the best material for writing. Yet here I am. There was a lot of pressure after Emma created her article on The Growl Online and Grandma Eekhoff crafted her contribution to the blog – I think at least 3 people wondered aloud on Facebook, “When are we going to hear from you, Che?” So here I sit with a pen desperately low on ink and a scrap of hospital paper – a la Emily Dickinson – ready to share my peculiar take on this crazy ride.

When you live a life blessed with love (like Beyonce and JayZ), luck (as Oprah says, “Preparation meets opportunity”) and fortune (although, teachers have NOT received a voter-approved Cost of Living raise in 8 years), devoid of Tragedy with a capital “T,” you have to wonder if it will change you when the 2-by-4 finally does crack you upside the head. Will you maintain the inappropriate sense of humor you’ve nurtured over a lifetime in the emergency room minutes after the word “cancer” is dropped? Unfortunately for the staff at Olympic Medical Center and Swedish Hospital, yes.

It’s come to my attention over and over again that, as a family, we share an uncommon sense of humor. As toddlers, my kids recognized my shouting, “NO PICKLE FOR YOU!” as an awesome Seinfeld reference, but it frightened their friends. Go figure. One time, having lunch with pre-teen Emma and her friend Allie, Jon started the meal conversation with, “So, Allie, Emma tells me your dad is a pirate.” We don’t see Allie much anymore. And within minutes of being told by the multi-tasking ER doctor without a personality, “We’re going to have to take another CT scan. Their concern is it might be cancer,” I was sarcastically choking through tears, “This is so f***ing stupid. I thought we were here for an enema.”
​I can see the faces I’ve shocked over the past three weeks at Swedish: Dr. Pagel (varsity cancer rock star and chemo cocktail mixologist) stopped in his tracks when I told him my mother-in-law had been checking up on him online, and she approves. RNs Beth and Stephen had to pause when Beth saw my knitting project – the 2nd in a pair of socks – and mentioned she could just never finish a 2nd sock. I replied, “I know, right? Thank God my son’s in the hospital so I can finally knock this one out.” The people who don’t think this material is funny also wouldn’t find humor in my husband asking Dylan if he’s taken his meds/shower/ laps around the ward and Dylan answering back with a weak middle finger. They might even cringe at a mother who tells her son to stop being a baby as he cries for morphine to dull the pain of the violent battle going on inside his body. He’s 20 years old; you can’t call CPS. Some folks do get it. Dylan’s favorite nurses (actually, they’re all his favorites) are the ones who pitch him crap, poke fun at him when he’s weak, laugh with him over the tragically mis-ordered lettuce and jelly sandwich that appeared to our horror one day. I can’t imagine a day, even on the 12th floor at Swedish, without several-many guffaws. Life is full of so much irony, silliness, fun, and joy – every freaking day!
​A couple days ago, my brother (who I adore!) caught me as we were both headed up to Dylan’s room. He asked me something like, “Well, are we putting on a mask?” He caught me off guard and I didn’t answer him directly, which probably told him, “Yes, let’s put on those masks and please don’t refer to said masks in the future.” What I should have said was no. No. This is no mask. This is how we do life. This is me trusting completely in Dr. Rockstar and his team. Calling more frequently on the God I had been a little neglectful of in recent years. Accepting love and encouragement from family and friends. We do cry – even weep. But I can’t dwell there. My family can’t dwell there. This is how we deal with this little detour. So, no, I’m not wearing a mask. Mask-es?! We don’t need no stinking mask- es!

22 replies »

  1. Woooo whoooooo! Thanks for your humor insight! You are nuts and perfectly matched together! No wonder your marriage has lasted so freakin long! Xoxo jen

  2. This blog has been my lifeline for news on Dylan, I appreciate it so much! I consistently forget in text to ask about Emma and how this affects her life. I’m sure Emma knows that she’s in everyone’s thoughts and prayers. A family of writers! Much like everyone, I want to fast forward to the future, but have to wait for the next episode…
    I can’t imagine what people did 10 or 20 years ago to “get the word out”, but I am grateful to find a new post. Even if it’s just the same old same old. I’m tuned in, even if I refuse to do facebook or twitter.

    Auntie Lorna

  3. Cheryl, hope the 2nd sock got finished so you had something to wear!!!! The momma bear is there with Dylan so keep that rare humor going since it helps keep life in perspective.

  4. Hmmm, lettuce and jelly sandwich? Might be hospital kitchen humor….or maybe they thought it was going to the maternity floor….so, how was it? Yummy? Tell Dill hey from the Hills.

  5. Thanks for the update! I was concerned when we did not hear from you guys for two whole days. Big virtual hugs to Dylan (that way I wont share my cold with his immune deficient system), and Emma, Che and Jon. Keep sharing the biting humor.

  6. Thank you for sharing your difficult journey. I pray for your entire family. Your writings remind me of those of my daughter in 2011. Her 11 year old son, Sam, was suddenly in liver failure. The liver failure destroyed his bone marrow. Kerry and her family, and I, recall many similar emotions and experiences you are all dealing with. Of course, I know everyone’s are individual. Please know many are praying constantly for Dylan’s recovery. Thankfully, after a marrow transplant from his brother, Sam is doing well. Blogging about their journey was very therapeutic for Kerry, I wish the same for you. (They live in Longview, WA)
    Pat Martin
    I am the widow of Dave’s cousin, Jim. We met Jon when he was quite small, and even celebrated Christmas with Dave & Geri and kids one year) Think of you all often. God bless you all.

  7. Hey Seester, i’m so glad I got to have a taste of your writing. You all are so funny. Love love love you all and prayers and hugs for Dylan and his sweet Sister Emma. Thx for the blogs from Jon and all of you’z. Such a loving, talented, funny/humorous fambily.

  8. oh, Cheryl, are you sure you aren’t related to the Glaser clan. People never understood the boys really did respect their Dad even though they called him an old geyser. And if one more time Jay tells someone about me dancing on the tables at Mom’s weekend at WSU. I will have to kill him. Keep up your humor, that how our kids know we love them and that we know we will get through. I remember when Gwyn got hurt we kept telling her she need someone to teach her how to put on makeup because obviously she was really heavy with the purple. Our whole family is thinking of you and of course you are in our prayers. Kathy Glaser, the ever suffering mother of Nick and Jay from so may years ago. Of course my saving grace is the girls.

  9. I really love this<3. It is candid, refreshingly honest and true of what a mother must experience in this stressful time. I too, have driven my childrens friends away with my humor, and yet, when they remark on my 'weirdness' I tell them, "What would you do if you had a normal mom?" They always smile, with an expression that says, " don't ever change!" Your humor and love of life is going to be a therapy all it's own for your son. Prayers to you all! xo

  10. I wondered what had happened to my lettuce and jelly sammich! It makes my day to read what is going on with Dylan, and with all of you guys. Keep reporting on the ironyhumortradjedysillinessandjoy – is there a word for that? Probably in German.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s