>POW-POW (Gotta get that.)

28 Feb

>The vast majority of my friends here in Colorado are obsessed this time of year. And I can only nod with a small twinge of envy. We live in one of the top skiing destinations in the world — great skiing in fact only 30 or so minutes away — and then there is us. I want to be one of the cool ones who talk about this elusive pow-pow. Epic days. All those exciting, hip words that are commonly associated with the kind of powder power that only the Rockies can deliver. And once upon a time, we were there too. Season passes purchased that took us up on many an early weekend morning to hit the slopes and squeeze in a quick apres ski before bellying up to the beast that is a return on I-70 on any big powder day (or even not).

But not now. We’re a rare breed. Just because we haven’t truly skied in over 4 years. So the question is: Where do we find our own very special brand of POW-POW if it’s not careening down a thickly powdered hill at 20 mph?

Here’s what happened. This year was finally going to be THE YEAR. The bean finally old enough to really shred it up. Miss-miss already riding a lift alone and knocking it out (and only a year away from the free ride pass that all 5th graders get. Yahoo!) But we got stuck on the lift. So next year we may be cool again. This year, we’re just going to stick with uncool and cancer-free.

The hubby’s last chemo was on February 15th. He almost didn’t make the cut due to low platelet and white blood cell counts, but…he did well, collected his congrats coffee mug and we bade farewell to our wonderful nurses (for at least until Thursday when we were due back for pump removal and IV). It was a milestone day. Without a doubt. But it’s hard to skip-to-my-lou when you are feeling like a dookie sandwich.

Then he got the added insult to injury of having to head home and conduct two enemas in a row, then try to hold his butt cheeks together and let me drive him back to the hospital so Dr. Matt could stick a tube six inches up his arse with no anesthesia. Who said we weren’t cool?

The verdict — which was delivered in that damnable room again — wasn’t terrible. They took two biopsies and would call us in the morning. (Or more like a few days.) Ulceration around the incision site and more swelling the rectum. Oh ass fire? Can you hear me? “Probably nothing to worry about, but we want to check it out.” Okay. But, uh, doc? Did you have to put us back in this room again? “This time the door was open. Did you notice?” Ha.

In preparation for our expected ‘down for three+ days’ post-chemo (which had become de rigor), I’d made reservations at the new and awesome Pizzeria Locale for miss-miss’ big 10th b-day. No pressure on the hubby. He could just stay home if needed. But miss-miss would get her day. I went big on the presents also in anticipation. The girl truly did expect to wake up with fireworks shooting out of her butt. And I’m so not kidding. “It’s a DOUBLE-DIGIT BIRTHDAY MOOOOMMMM! .

But this particular week, the hubby didn’t go completely pancake-flat. He was up and around, though still with a vague sense of malaise, discomfort and lack of poop control. So let’s just suffice it say, we’ve had worse. Usually it’s all of that PLUS an inability to raise his head and utter a sentence. So I’ll take it.

He was able to function (and control function) well enough to cook birthday breakfast and attend the dinner. He left a little early, but he was THERE. Again. I’ll take it.

We had a long weekend and miss-miss had a friend over for the night on Sunday. We took them brunching at Union Brasserie (our dear friends’, the Profts, new restaurant in Lakewood), pedicuring and we ended the night with a movie and personal pizzas cheffed up by the hubby.

He continued on a slow improvement bent (though walking into the 4th Grade Mini-Society event that celebrates colonial economic ventures, I noticed him walking a bit funny). We were able to laugh about it all later. Because who on Earth would ever think you’d poop yourself walking into your kid’s elementary school event? No one. And he just continued on — unphased — after a quick stop at the restroom. The irony of it was just too much. Still is.

I think the thing that struck me the most is how normal that is for us now. It used to break us both. The mere thought. Like you’ve retreated back to infanthood and have to wear a freaking die-dee again. But now it’s just another thing. Shrug it off. Ass cancer. Meh.

Friday came and Dr. Matt called with the pooptube scoop. The ulcerated cells looked off. So they are sending it off to Mayo for further analysis. The hubby was all zen. “Yea? Just crapped my pants. So?” I was all, “WHAT THE FUCK?!? WHENISTHISGOINGTOBEOVERFORFUCKSAKES?!?” Huh.

And this was only after a night of downing an entire bottle of Free Range Red at Purse Girl’s. So it could only go downhill from there apparently. (I scared JMac off. And that’s really hard to do.)

So what is becoming crystal clear in all of this is: We may never be done. Post-surgical damage. Post-radiation damage. Mental derangement. A new, skewed sense of normal. Another surgery to remove the port (IF his blood counts are back to normal by tomorrow. Fingers and toes all crossed.) Another set of biopsy results due back from Mayo in a week. Ad nauseam.

The consensus is that it’s time to just get on with it anyway. So we went out for a date night on Saturday. Catching up with our friends at The Kitchen. Putting ourselves on the wait list for their April Wine and Beer class. Eating and drinking at the bar. Laughing and feeling truly normal. No poop stops. Just a night out. Like the normal people.

So with the exception of a few things still waiting to be checked off of the medical to-do (which is now much shorter, thankyouverymuch), here we go. Time to get that boom-boom-pow(-pow). And maybe even hit the slopes. You never know.

TODAY’S THEME SONG: That Moon Song. Gregory Alan Isakov. …and ahh that full bellied moon she’s a shinin on me. yeah she pulls on this heart like she pulls on the sea. Even more beautiful to hear when sung in a barn on a cold, clear night…

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