Monday, March 30, 2009

Back in NYC Again

We’re back in New York City again. We checked into Ronald McDonald House (room 1102) during a spectacular lightening storm last night. Killian seemed pleased with the room, as the beds are more comfortable than those we had last time, and the views more to his liking. He was focused on the positive and all was well, pretty much right up to this morning when we stepped into the radiation waiting room. We got to talking and he said he didn’t want to do the radiation. I told him that he didn’t have to do the radiation. Then, he said he felt he had to do the radiation, or he would lose his eye. I confirmed that that would be the likely scenario, but that we could try a chemo agent like an inhibitor. He said, “chemo never works on this cancer.” Then we talked about how all his choices were crappy ones. I told him that he did need to make a decision about today, and he said he wanted to go ahead with the radiation. Dr. H. was careful to give him time to decide about the treatment too. Funny though: here’s how the conversation went:
Dr. H. - So, do you want to forego radiation?
Killian - Yes.
Mom – (thinking “who says ‘forego’?”) Do you want the radiation treatment?
Killian – Yes, I want the radiation.”
Mom/Dr. H. – Are you sure?
Killian – Yeah. I want to do it.
They let me stay until he was locked to the table in his radiation mask and they were just about to turn on the beam. That contraption looks like water-boarding’s evil stepsister. I don’t know how he does it without hyperventilating every time. Afterward, he came out and said he needed new shoes. Fortunately, he’d made some money this week (he gives ukulele lessons on Saturday mornings now.) to support his therapy.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Plan Nine From Outerspace

Our bliss hit a blip. I wasn’t expecting Tuesday’s visit to Dr. H. to be so hard. Several issues—concerns I hadn’t even thought of—had been weighing on Killian for some time. I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate this, but just before the radiation mask was made he asked Dr. H., “so, what about my eyebrow? Am I going to lose it?” Without hesitation, Dr. H. said that he would. Killian immediately stood up, angry, pumped, ready to bolt. Dr. H. stood too, and warmly but firmly said, “take a seat.” He then said, “my greater concern is your eye—I’m going to try my best not to lose your eye, but I can’t guarantee it.” Then there was a question—a question that wasn’t a question before this piece of information hit our ears. I asked, “you still want to do this radiation?” Killian said he did. We sat with it for a little while, and then I signed the papers. I used to read these papers so carefully. Now, I just sign them.

The plan is this: Killian starts a five-week course of radiation on March 30. We’ll stay in the NYC at McDonald House for entire treatment course (coming home a couple of weekends—like for Cally’s birthday on April 11). Killian’s done processing the scary possibilities. He doesn’t want to discuss the dangers of this course of radiation. He’s ready to move ahead. As we got ready to leave the City, I asked, “would new pants help?” He said he was pretty sure that new pants would definitely help. On the way home, we bought 2 pair at H&M. Killian feels like he’s weaning himself from his shoe obsession. As far as I’m concerned, shifting obsessions is an effective coping mechanism. He’ll need a new theme song though (check out this link for the shoe theme song). New Shoes by Paolo Nutini