3:45 in the morning and I am pacing. Pacing and praying. Well, now I'm praying and typing. Just when hints of what seem to be normal come along, albeit with minor idiosyncrasies, strange and new situations ensue. Predictability is guaranteed to never be a side effect of cancer.
Gideon was awake and talking to me about his Band-Aids around 2a.m. He believes there should be more colors and styles available to him in our medicine cabinet. I agreed and murmured something back about going to the store in the morning. He then asked for milk...five minutes later, juice. When I tucked him in after the juice, he felt hot. I sat him on my lap and took his temperature axillary-style. The thermometer said 101.2 degrees. I am supposed to call the doctor at 101.5 degrees. So, I tried the other armpit: 101.1 degrees. So, I tried a different thermometer: 100.9 degrees. UGH! Those fear pangs started jolting me wide awake. The entire time I checked him, Gideon was making his fingers talk to one another.
"Hello, Tall Man! Your nail is longer than mine."
"Well, baby Pinky, you are just sooOOoooo little! Someday your nail will grow!"
Believe it or not, this finger conversation is lucid behavior for our little man. While my mind was hemming and hawing over whether I should wake some poor sleeping Oncologist, Ring Finger discovered he was without a ring! Panic and worry was seeping through my thoughts and my heart, but was softened by this hot and entertaining bundle on my lap. He was just happy for a diversion from sleep. He just lifted his arm temperature after temperature check. He never let it interrupt the finger production he was focused on... If there was such a thing as a Finger Grammy, I'd say Pointer Finger won it. He was bossy! He owned his wagging reputation, and made me smile with his exasperated voice as he made his orders known to the other fingers.
Meanwhile, in reality (I wish I could have stayed in Finger World), the thermometer went down to 100.2 degrees. I started to think that yes, he is fighting something, but also that he may have been hot under all of those covers as well. I decided to watch him and wait. And type this all in my blog to use as a play-by-play for the doctor in the morning. Nothing is worse than that blank, "Ummmmm...." when the doctor asks what his temperature was, especially when it was JUST in the forefront of the cranium, but took a nosedive into the ocean of forgotten facts. I need some brain exercises -- another lesson I am learning through this experience.
4:30 -- pee break and Gideon requested the puke bucket. As I held his head and he made horrible gagging noises, I pictured virus/bacteria fighting agents coursing out of my hands and through the skin of his little forehead. I do this a lot. I think maybe all moms do, but never talk about it. It almost feels like the section of my skin that is touching his is somehow lit up and glowing with antibacterial and antiviral fighting powers gently pulsating from my heartbeat and into his body. Maybe this is something I do to help me concentrate on staying strong when he's weak. I just know it's prayer that is spoken through heartbeats instead of words. The most holy of prayers that only One can answer. And I believe them. I believe this ET-like connection happens between moms and babies through these silent pleadings that are louder than any screams since the source is much deeper than the lungs.
Nothing came in the way of vomit (at all), but Gideon's chatter subsided and he fell into his pillow exhausted. His cheeks are almost completely back to the normal Gideon size, but now his eyelids are puffy. It seems that is one of the few things this new daily chemo is doing: eyelid puffs, nausea, and NO appetite! It is strange to go from a ravenous eating monster to someone who finds food repulsive in such a short time. When will I realize that strange is now normal? I don't think I'll ever get used to this, nor do I want to!
Now it is 5a.m. and my mommy hand has detected that Gideon is still very warm, but seems to be sleeping peacefully. I will call right away in the morning, and have him looked over. Or, maybe I'll be told just to watch him. He still has that cough that is rattly...
Why do I always envision some sinister bug clinging to me from the outside world, waiting for his moment to pounce on my defenseless boy? The bug always comes from me in my mind, and from no other source. Nothing is scarier to me than bringing home something that could seriously harm Gideon.
Have I mentioned that I hate cancer? I think I have. I constantly wonder if someday human beings will look back on cancer the way we now do about The Black Plague. It was a flea, people! A FLEA! Theories are another new unwanted obsession of mine as of late. Like, instead of saying, "A FLEA!" I'm thinking we will one day say, "A MICROWAVE! It was all the microwave's fault!" or "Nuclear testing!" Or sometimes it is a simple solution to cancer that involves dryer sheets that I become fixated thinking about... I don't even want to go into the deeper folds of my mind right now, some of my theories are baffling and I get shocked by my own ideas. Anyway, I pray there will be some easy way to deal with this atrocity that has inflicted too many people. Even if this easy solution makes us all smack the sides of our heads and say, "Why didn't I think of that?!" the way we do now when we see some simple discovery that is getting crazy notoriety on Infomercials, I'll take it!
Now it is 5:30 in the morning. Based on my babbling and total diarrhea of the keyboard you have just witnessed, I'm guessing I should try to sleep a few hours. Goodnight and Good Morning (to you early risers)!