I think our lives can be chronicled and mapped out based on two things: food and music. I find myself thinking to myself, "Ah-yes, those were the Mountain Dew drinking years..." or "Spaghetti O's is the food version of 'The Muppet Show' in my world!" or "All this pasta I've had lately reminds me of my brush with becoming a vegetarian, which turned out to be more of a pasta-tarian." Then there's music. I was tuning through the radio stations and Steve Winwood's "Higher Love" came on. I was instantly teleported back to 1986 in my family's red Bronco belting out my own version of the song, "Bring me a PIE of LOVE!" with the windows down. It made more sense to my seven-year-old brain with those lyrics, I think. Is there a higher love than pie? I think not. It still makes more sense, come to think of it.
Anyway, my point is this: Chicken Drumsticks (capitalized because they are now members of our family -- they are that important) are now synonymous with Gideon's chemo treatment. He is addicted. It is only the first day of the steroids, and I don't care what the doctors say: the boy is already feeling the effects. I will see a drumstick fifteen years from now and remember Gideon's growls for more, more, MORE! Before he went to bed tonight, he polished off five grilled drumsticks, a fruit smoothie, a yogurt, and apple juice. I'm hoping that means he'll be too full to wake me up tonight for more. I am also crossing my fingers that his Kytril doesn't wear off in the middle of the night and he ends up puking up all of this food. I will be stationed at his bedside tonight -- with the puke bowl. Watching Gideon get sick is sad all on its own. You all know how much it breaks me, or corrodes me as I said before, but I don't want him to puke even more due to selfish reasons, or reason (singular). I loathe laundry. I despise puke-laden laundry even more. No throwing up for YOU, Gids Monster! Sleep, sleep, sleep, you will! (Brody has been talking to me in Yoda lately. I'm transferring it here.)
Today was the first day of Gideon's Delayed Intensification. When I woke him up to get ready for the hospital he leapt out of bed singing, "YAAAAY! We are going to go to the HOSPITAL today! I GET SLEEPY MEDICINE!!!" He loves sleepy medicine, and yes -- that kind of worries me. But, I'm thankful for all of the positive energy. I had no energy this morning regardless of the emotion behind it. I'll admit to tossing and turning these last few nights worrying about what is to come and is now here; however, Gideon did great for his spinal and allllll of the other injected chemo. Thank you for all of the calls and emails asking how it went.
The newest chemo in his IV is BRIGHT red-orange. The nurses called it Kool-aid chemo. I told Gideon that, and he looked at me like you-poor-clueless-thing. He then said, "No, mama. That is NEMO chemo. See the color? The Nemos are swimming in to fight the sharks." Oh. Is it possible for me to fall deeper in love with my son? Because I did. Right then. It did look like Nemo's coloring and....the rhyme! Nemo Chemo! Swooooon. So, to YOU, microscopic Nemo Chemo: please be nice inside of my boy. Gideon thinks he gets sick after chemo because that's when the chemo is battling the sharks. Obviously when there is a war waging from within, we'll see some effects, huh? He makes me so very proud to be his mommy. And, I find myself picturing everything from his own perspective instead of my grown-up-what-if worried view of it all, and THAT comforts me. I see the Nemos with angry eyebrows and set pout-lips that are more intimidating than sad, circling around, around, around the cancer sharks until they implode. They wear their stripes like battle paint. Or, I see those Nemos with mini-spears shouting out battle cries and charging forward. Millions of spears can take on shark teeth, I'm sure. So, yes. It is now "Nemo Chemo."
The Kytril Gideon was given has done its job in warding off the sickies so far. I gave him even more anti-nausea before bed tonight. We shall see how it all pans out. I'm not going to guess or speculate or have any expectations. I can tell Gideon is a little more sleepy and groggy today, and I'm hoping that's more from the spinal "sleepy medicine" than from the chemo. Again, I will wait to worry. Steroids may be back in our lives, but my freezer is armed with frozen pizzas and my fridge has left-over drumsticks awaiting the reheat event. One advantage is we know what this looked like before, and we got through it! We'll get through this, too.
In the meantime, here's the SONG that will take me back to these chemo days, as well. There are many on Gideon's soundtrack or playlist, and I have already shared this song with many friends. Whenever Gideon gets chemo I say, "Look, Gideon! You're GLOWING!" and Gideon tries to cup his little hands around a piece of his skin for a glimmer of the magic. Then this new HAPPY glowing song made its way into our lives. We play it on the way to chemo now. It is so fitting, and so Gideon. He bobs his head to the beat and belts it out...much like his mama did in the Bronco. We will make happy memories within a sad time. That's the goal, and we are achieving it.