Backwards glance

christiania, glass house, august 2007, by seier+seier on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

I’m lying in bed with the weight of the past week on top of me. (No wait, that’s the winter duvet which we still need even though tomorrow is May. DAMNIT.)

In the first hours of April 24, Kate Boone passed away.

I’m so sad. I’m frustrated that recent advances in melanoma treatment didn’t go far enough to save her. But I’m so glad to have known about her. Social media made it possible for me to know her, and to convey my condolences to her family, but it is hard to know just what to say to people who now contend with a giant hole in their lives. There was a memorial service for her yesterday in Houston which I wish I could have attended. Her husband is still coping with medical bills and illness of his own. If you can, please consider helping out.

It has been a week since Passover began. It is ending, and not a moment too soon. We’ve spent the week afflicting ourselves by avoiding bread and other related products, to remember our ancestors’ wandering in the desert for forty years. At the end of those forty years, on a diet of matzah and manna, they were probably pretty constipated. Today, they’d probably be working on creating a bread starter using airborne yeasts. The seders this year were a lot of fun for us, because the kids, particularly Young A, were so engaged. That’s what happens when they spend a good month of school preparing for the holiday. They enriched the experience, and made it new for us. That’s really all you can ask for, I think. (Young A seems poised to inherit the mantle of seder leader from his father, who leads the seder for his family.)

We spent a few days in DC, visiting with family and also visiting the National Building Museum, which never disappoints. Since J had to be back at work on Monday, I did the drive home on Tuesday solo. I hadn’t done a long drive like that in ages, and certainly not since the brain mets (and being on anti-seizure meds and being forbidden to drive for a while). Other than a tense few minutes on the New Jersey Turnpike, where the driver of an 18-wheeler got sick and needed to be helped off the road by some very on the ball state troopers, it was a good drive. I played some episodes of a kids’ science podcast, Brains On!, which delighted the kids (and me). It was a good break for them from readingreadingreading. (I can’t complain, though – they’ve always been very good car travelers.)

Tuesday evening, I attended the book launch of another melanoma compatriot I met through a friend, whose memoir, A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles, just came out. I am so happy for her, and have been tearing through the book the past few days. Some parts I feel I could have written myself. Sometimes I cringe with the recognition of the exact sensations being described. Sometimes I burst into tears when she expresses the exact same thoughts I have had regarding my kids, and how difficult it is to watch them deal with a parent’s serious illness at such a young age. I hope the book is read widely, because it provides such a good window into what it is to be a cancer patient in the age of immunotherapy (among a dozen other things). Pick up a copy today! Or borrow one your friend bought! Or get it from the library! But do read it.

Wednesday afternoon, I managed to accomplish three loops of Prospect Park on my bike (that’s a little over nine miles). I hadn’t managed that since September 2014, the day before having my lung biopsy (which I consider the true start of my trip down the rabbit hole). I’ll need to be able to manage more miles than that by June’s ride, of course, but I am feeling less daunted by that. This coming week, with the kids back in school, I’m aiming to kick my training up a notch (BAM!) and ride in Central Park, where there are more challenging hills (but a million more slow-moving obstacles… I mean, tourists). Your sponsorship means the world to us – if you have already donated, thank you so much for your support! (If you have not gotten around to it yet, here you go.)

So, there, by way of explaining my silence this week, you have it. Sadness and gladness and busy-ness. Full spectrum living, is all.

2 thoughts on “Backwards glance

  1. I’m so glad that social media allowed us to know you, Deborah. We will continue to follow your progress. The advances in melanoma are coming daily, and we hope to someday turn the beast into at least manageable, if not curable. Kate was an amazing person, and we have been so touched by the outpouring of support. As a parent, it’s wonderful to know that your child has touched so many other lives. No, it’s not fair that someone so amazing was taken so soon, and we will never understand that. But I find strength in attempting to live my life to the fullest, as she did hers. Thanks as always for your kind words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so moved to hear from you, Beth, and humbled that you read my posts. I am so sorry I never had a chance to meet Kate. Everything I have learned about her is truly an inspiration. I wish you an abundance of love. I’m so glad you know that in her time here she made a positive impact on so many people. She will never be forgotten.


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