During cancer treatment, you’re on the lookout for side effects that can be managed so that they don’t snowball into big problems. I’m practicing speaking up when I identify some ailment.
Over the weekend we ate popcorn as a family. Good popcorn that Nick makes on the stove in a pot with butter and oil and salt. We have a perfect little butter melter vessel that gets well loved and it adds to the satisfaction of good popcorn. When we sit down on the floor to eat our popcorn it’s almost a race to get your fill of the treat before it’s all gone. George, being a toddler with permissive parents, has not learned the concept of shame. So he eats the stuff with two fists simultaneously cramming popcorn into his little mouth. I’ve warned him to not to chomp on his fingers, but that day I was just trying to keep up! As a result I got a big old kernel stuck behind my last molar and the gums in the very back of my mouth.
It wasn’t a pain until days later when now I want sure if it was a popcorn kernel or chemo finally opening up sores in my mouth. The gum was red and swollen, it made me nervous.
I finally mentioned it to Nick this evening and he offered to try getting it out. It hurt a lot. I said yes. He got out this monster kernel in less than a minute. I wish it came with instant relief, but the gum had gotten so irritated I still put the numbing gel on it to get a good night’s rest.
Nick was so proud of himself because now we’ve stumbled onto something new in our marriage here. Helping each other out with flossing when you get a stubborn bit of food stuck in your teeth. Highly recommended in our relationship! Mildly gross, but very rewarding and it makes us happy.
We snuggled and exchanged videos of cats from the internet in bed together. It feels so nice to share his space. And that’s a good thing to be grateful for.
This nice evening is only possible because we shared our frustrated feelings for being grateful for stupid shit. Today was a long day in the office for Nick. It’s a job that allows us to pay the bills and take care of George and get parental leave for our daughter, and that’s it. He is sick of being grateful for this stupid minimal shit. It’s frustrating to be grateful for things that make you miserable.
I also feel that. I’m sick of being grateful for chemotherapy. This shit really sucks. I hate it. It drains me. But what’s my alternative? That’s much worse.
So here we sit in our discontent, grateful. It’s exhausting. At least I’ve got his love. And George’s love. Those things make it worth while.
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