Real and Imaginary

Last night when EJ came home from work, he asked if I knew where the binoculars were because Jupiter was very bright in the sky. We’ve always enjoyed looking at the stars, and EJ had permanent orders to wake us up if he notices anything celestial happening on his way home from work –like the Northern Lights, meteorite showers, or bright planets. But I was so very deep down tired last night, that I said that I didn’t have any idea where the binoculars were, and I kind of didn’t care, I was too tired to look. We had taken them out of the RV before we sold it, but they could be anywhere. EJ search for a bit–and he also asked if I knew where his hunting bag was. I repeated, “I need to sleep. Tonight I don’t care about stars in the sky or hunting bags. I’m going to bed.” But as I soon as I lay down in bed, without trying to think of where the items could be. I suddenly knew where they were. With a sigh, I got up and went downstairs. EJ and JJ had gone out to look at Jupiter. They came inside as I opened the coat closet, pulled EJ’s hunting bag off one hook and the binoculars off another hook and handed them to him. “How do you DO that?” EJ asked in amazement. “Finding lost things is my superpower,” I reminded him. “It’s amazing,” he said. It IS an amazing superpower. However, I cannot find myself. I get lost super easily. EJ suggested that all my “finding” power is focused on finding lost items so there’s not enough left to find myself.

We took the binoculars and all went outside to look at bright Jupiter. Without the binoculars Jupiter was a very bright light in the sky. With the binoculars it was an even bigger light in the sky. I do not really understand how astronomers can figure out what a far away planet looks like or is made of. Planets and stars all look like beautiful lights.

Throughout the evening, before EJ got home from work, JJ was on his computer telling his Imaginary Friends the latest updates of his cancer.

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I sometimes jokingly call Internet friends “Imaginary Friends” because there are people who think that friends you meet through the Internet aren’t “real.” I think these people are those who prefer to interact with people face-to-face and/or who don’t like technology. I think everyone is different and interacts differently. I have come to appreciate (mostly) people’s differences. It’s what makes them unique and interesting. However, I believe it doesn’t matter where you meet a friend, a friend is a friend. Both “real life” friends and Imaginary Friends that I have met on the Internet are awesome.

 

 

Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man
Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man

Anyway, JJ told his Imaginary Friends about the port that will be put in his body. One of them asked if a port was like the Ark Reactor that Tony Stark wears on his chest. When I heard this, I exclaimed “That’s it!” I have been wanting to buy JJ a superhero mask to wear when he goes for chemo because everyone knows that many superheroes gain their powers when they encounter toxic substances. Iron Man with the Ark Reactor thing is the perfect superhero for JJ to become. The doctors are not installing a port in his chest, they are installing an Ark Reactor.

Iron Man mask
Iron Man mask

I quickly searched Amazon.com. Then I turned the computer towards JJ. “Look, JJ! I am going to buy this Iron Man mask for you to wear when you have Chemo!”

“No.” He said. “I’m not six years old. I’m not going to wear a superhero mask. Nope.”

“Awww, bummer.” I’m not six years old either, but I would so wear this mask if I was having Chemo. Superheroes are so awesome. Well, some people have trouble accepting their new identities when they first become superheroes. JJ is probably no different. But in my opinion, he’s Iron Man.

 

 

Craft Fur
Craft Fur

It is likely the Chemo will make JJ bald. On the way home from the Cancer Center, I told JJ, “I hope you aren’t expecting me to shave my head. Because I’m not going to do it. Nope.” I have enough trouble with the image in the mirror without looking at a bald Me. I think some people feel comforted by such noble sacrifices, but I don’t think the gesture would mean much to JJ. Besides, I think it would be more comforting to have a Mom look normal than to have her (Me) looking like a bald alien. “If it will make you feel better,” I said to JJ, “I’m willing to sacrificially buy some fake fur and glue it to your head.”  For some reason, JJ doesn’t always appreciate my noble offers.

Sigh. I suppose it’s no use suggesting he let me buy him an animal hat like these:

Each night we have all been taking Melatonin to help us sleep at night. Melatonin is a supplement, not a drug, and doesn’t cause the “hang over” or addictions that sleeping pills do. A friend warned me that it could cause nightmares. However, we think getting a good night’s sleep is worth a few nightmares. We all need sleep if we are to keep our strength and energy up. JJ has mentioned only one bad-ish dream, and EJ says he’s actually having vivid GOOD dreams. Usually he isn’t aware of having dreams. I’ve been having sort of scary dreams, but not super scary. I just think of them as exciting, suspenseful movies.

Nightmares
Nightmares

Besides, the real nightmares aren’t occurring at night while I dream. The real nightmares begin when I first wake up and realize that JJ’s cancer isn’t a dream that will fade away in the morning light.

I fight fierce battles in the morning as I wake up. “JJ’s cancer is not a dream. It’s a real nightmare. It’s happening. How can I endure this? What if it gets worse? How can I bear the hours of Chemo and the vomiting afterwards and his losing his hair? I’m not prepared for this. My heart is breaking. And what if he doesn’t make it? God, that’s a horror I will not be able to endure. Wait, God is here. He will help us through. Breathe. Breathe.”

Even if I pass through death-dark ravines,
I will fear no disaster; for you are with me;
your rod and staff reassure me. (Ps. 23:4, Complete Jewish Bible)

Besides first thing in the morning, I think the hardest times are the days after bad news. Leading up to a medical appointment or procedure, the stress builds and builds. Then there’s the day of the appointment or procedure. We get through it, do what we have to do, face what we have to face. We are protected by numbness. The next day, some of the numbness wears off, the adrenaline surge dissipates, and I feel incredibly weak. The day after is when I am most tired and struggle with tears. Breathe, breathe.

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