Remember how spiders have always scared me into a dither of high-pitched girly screams? Remember how I now can practically pick up these venomous creatures by a leg and easily escort them outside without so much as a wince? Spiders are nothin' anymore. Things have gotten even more Twilight-Zone-ish since yesterday. (For you young ones, Twilight Zone has nothing to do with vampires in love with humans. Google it.)
So, cue the do-do-do-dooo-do-do-do-dooo music as I begin this story: I completely stepped outside of myself yesterday for a brief moment. I don't know who that person was who filled in while I was away, but she was one efficient and focused mama. She didn't feel any emotions, just felt attuned to the task at hand. Where was the bleeding hearted and sensitive Amanda? I don't know, but I am so thankful this Amanda has been hiding out within some crazy disguised and cobwebbed corners of my persona.
I had to give Gideon his shot of chemo yesterday, and the hardest part was putting on those rubber gloves. You nurses make it look so easy. I am shocked by how this went down. This is not what I was expecting. I envisioned tears blinding my eyes and a shaking hand and a dry heave of sickness as I inserted the needle into my baby and injected poison, yes, POISON into my little boy's veins. Gideon was crying, and I reminded him that we HAVE to get those sharks. Then, it was done.
I did not cry. Is there something wrong with me?
I think it's mind over matter and about 65 hours of prayer over this situation. Plus, it wasn't even me. It was someone else. We need to name this person I became in that instant. Edna? Maybe. Needles always topped the chart as the freakiest things ever. I made the mistake of watching one go into Brody when he was a baby and I instantly felt queasy. I never looked again. Now I am giving them. Who knew? Maybe it was watching so many spinal taps that calloused me, I don't know.
Gideon is over all that chemo offers him -- the attention, the prizes, all of it. He just wants to never get a shot again or swallow burning liquid. We go in again today so that the nurses can watch me give him another ARA-C injection, and then I will be released with pre-filled syringes to give the shots at home tomorrow.
I was so thankful that Gideon got up before dawn this morning since he woke up peacefully and not ready to hurl. He sat on my lap and we just talked. I reminded him about the painful sharks in his legs before we started chemo. We talked about how that pain lasted a long time and a shot only lasts a second. That tiny second is better than a long time. We talked about how the shot put DOLPHINS into his blood to fight the sharks: the most fierce of all shark-fighters. It makes sense it would hurt more to get dolphins in there. He promised he would try to be brave today and won't try to wiggle away. I asked him if I made the shot feel more gentle since I gave it to him yesterday instead of a nurse. He said, "No, but that's because you forgot to put kisses inside of the needle first. Don't forget today. That's what mommies do: put kisses inside of the owies." Mmmmm...more opportunities for magic. Another thing in which to be thankful.
I'm trying to be creative in making this experience easier on Gideon. Unless someone is with him every single time he goes to chemo or takes his oral chemo, I don't think it is comprehensible the amount of stress this places on his little body, mind, and spirit. I will let him pick out a treat before every single one of these injections. I will unspoil him later. For now, I just want him to feel more peace and less angst over this entire situation. I will speak his peace language: fun and toys. Emphasis on the fun.
Speaking of fun, it is exciting to see that I'm not the only one with a dual personality. Even the rockers of Led Zeppelin needed to tap into their more sensitive side as The Honeydippers. Let's celebrate the many facets of humanity! Sail with me as the dolphins take to the seas within Gideon...