Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Good Mother's Day and a walk down memory lane

Family selfie with Ben, Katie and Joe
On Sunday, Katie and I took out our bikes for my first ride of the season, going for just about an hour on the bike trail from Hadley to Amherst.

We wanted to get back on time for Ben and Joe to come for a Mother's Day cookout.

As is the case when discussing running distances, "just" can be a relative word.

As in, one person saying she had just run eight miles, meaning not a lot for that person, when you had run five and it was enough.

Brigham and Women's Hospital, 2003
I was thinking about how "just" an hour is relatively a lot considering what I could do on a Mother's Day fifteen years ago. That's when I had gotten out of the hospital for Mother's Day after my induction chemotherapy. I would have thought that even a few minutes on a beautiful bike path would have been a big accomplishment. Those days are coming vividly into focus as I revisit them and dig out photos to go with my posts on Health-Union.com.

My post about how I developed skin cancer is on the skin cancer site, but my leukemia posts are still in the queue; blood.cancer.com  is a new addition to the platforms of content on various illnesses and conditions.

The photos are in a mess of papers, pictures and newspaper clips in a box next to my bed. Some of it is in chapter form from my so-called memoir, which I shelved, or rather boxed, after getting polite rejections from editors. They liked my writing but said I would have had to be famous for them to want another cancer book.

Without getting out of bed, yesterday I rolled over, leaned down, and started digging around.

It was kind of strange but not too bad to pull out a photo of me riding a bike in my hospital room after my first round of chemo in April, 2003. It's going to illustrate a post about hospital exercising. My mother took the photo. She got a kick out of seeing me up on the bike with my IV pole. Much better to be untethered.

The tennis bear will illustrate a post about hospital room decorating, about how important it was to make my room a homey place. It revolved around Diane's brilliant idea of getting a lamp. It ended up going everywhere with me, including trips to the emergency room when I suspected I would be hospitalized.

My guy friends from our mixed doubles team sent me the Ronni bear that occupies a place of honor in my bedroom. In the photo in my hospital room, she sits on a handmade quilt  with blank squares where co-workers wrote me notes. I remember how touched I was when I pulled that bear out of the box. I particularly liked the little tennis racquet. It made me smile.

But back to the present, it was a great Mother's Day. Having all three together was a special gift. Ben brought the food. Katie set the table. Joe cooked.

When they were getting ready to leave and we took a few photos in the driveway, I said, "I can't believe you all use to live in this house."

Now that Katie is closer, it should be easier to get everyone together.


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