Like yesterday and the day before, I woke my guys up at 8 a.m. so we could leave at 9 a.m. to drive to the Cancer Center for JJ’s injection. JJ struggled to wake up and was slow getting ready. I told him he had time to eat breakfast, but he said he wasn’t hungry yet. So I put Cheerios in a bag so he could munch on them if he got hungry on the drive. JJ reminded me to get him some juice in a styrofoam cup for him to take along, and I remembered to grab the bag of extra clothes I had put together for him last night. We will keep them in the car so he has clothes to change into if he has another episode of vomiting. As we headed out the door, I exclaimed, “Oh, wow, this reminds of when JJ was a toddler and we had to bring along a diaper bag, sippy cup, and bag of Cheerios. I think we are reverting back.” We all laughed.
Our trip to the Cancer Center and back was uneventful. JJ was in a happy mood. We discussed cancer and he said that he sees his cancer as a problem to be managed and to get through and not something that is life-destroying.
On the way home we stopped at the grocery store. Whenever JJ has to have the IV needle inserted into his port, he puts on a special cream an hour before to numb the area. I wanted to make sure we didn’t run out so I had phoned the grocery store pharmacy on Monday, intending to pick up the prescription on Tuesday. However, yesterday JJ needed to get home and cleaned up as soon as possible so we didn’t stop. We stopped today instead. Since we have to keep JJ away from public places because his white blood cell count is so low, EJ stayed in the car with JJ and I went into the store. I also bought a few other things, like juice (which was on sale) and Tylenol, which we were almost out of. We can give JJ Tylenol when his body aches from injections. Fortunately the injections he is receiving this week aren’t as bad as the previous one he had a few weeks ago, so his body doesn’t ache quite so bad.
As soon as we got JJ and the groceries in the house, I drove to the post office to pick up our mail. I was glad to see a package in the mail that I have been eagerly waiting for. It was a surprise gift for JJ from my friend CE.
A few weeks ago, when my friend heard that JJ’s bad head was very sensitive to cold and that he was having trouble finding a hat that didn’t feel heavy and scratchy and painful on his head, she spent several days searching the Internet for the perfect soft and light hat to buy him. It’s easy to find hats for women with cancer, but not so easy to find one for men. My friend finally found a hat made of a soft merino/cashmere blend from a business called “A Walk in the Woods Knits” at Etsy.com. My friend emailed the owner to make sure it was the softest hat she sold, explaining that the hat was a gift for an 18-year-old friend who was battling cancer and who had lost his hair as a result of Chemo. The owner responded that she also had an 18-year-old son, and she hated that such a young man should have to suffer from cancer, so she said she was including a second hat at no charge as a gift. These hats are quite expensive, so I consider it a sacrifice for both my friend and the owner to give such a gift to JJ. I can comprehend that a friend would give JJ such a gift, but it amazes me that someone who had never met him would do so.
When JJ opened the package, I told him the story of the hats. He was impressed with the softness of the hats and with the awesome gift from both our friend and the maker of the hats.
There are many sweet and loving and compassionate people–both friends and strangers.