Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mal's Palindromes

21:12. Simple enough. Twenty-one radiation treatments now complete by Malorie, and twelve left to go. Mal is holding up extremely well, showing only small signs of anything being wrong with her. Mostly she is fatigued, and we see that in a number of ways. She sleeps more now than we have ever seen her sleep before, and even when she is awake, she becomes tired faster than Micah does. She has developed a tendency to melt down and have more fits than she used to; although that could likely be attributed equally to fatigue and the terrible twos. Malorie’s blood counts this week were lower again, and starting to teeter just above the “critical” level, although to us she seems to be much better than her blood counts indicate. The nurses continue to reassure us that she is “relatively” high in her important numbers. And for what it’s worth, when she is awake and well rested, no one without knowledge of the situation would have any idea she was in less than optimal health. Even the hair falling out has slowed down, and the hair she has remaining on top does a pretty good job of concealing the fact that she is bald around the circumference of her head below the ears. Also, last week she showed her first signs of the radiation affecting her mouth and throat, complaining that a strawberry was “too hot.” The doctor attributed it to the acid in the strawberry bothering her tender throat, and told us to give her some Tylenol if it happened again, which it has not. We try to make it easy on her. No melon, no lemon. Nonetheless, her appetite has degraded, and she has lost one pound since radiation began. Mal’s voice also gets strained and a bit horse when she first wakes up, and it happens more often and for longer durations towards the end of the five-day long stretch of radiation on the weekdays. But, all things considered, we are terrifically grateful with her progress thus far.

Micah, for his part, is doing very well. He is starting to come down with a cold, which worries us because he might pass it along to Malorie. Otherwise, he is developing into the most charming chatterbox of a boy I have ever met. Holding a conversation with him is like trying to chase down a racecar. He makes me laugh on a daily basis, including this nugget from last week:

I had just pushed the twins around in a laundry basket for about 20 minutes and then announced that it was bath-time. Micah was up second for the bath, and so while Mal was being bathed, I was undressing Micah, helping him use the potty, and generally discussing life with him. As I was doing this, I was sweating because pushing 65 pounds worth of kids in a laundry basket on carpet is hard work, so I took off my shirt.

Micah (pushing my nipples): Are these your belly buttons Dad?
Me: Nope.
Micah (pushing my nipples again): What are these Daddy?
Me: (silence)
Rachel (from the side of the bathtub where she was bathing Mal): Those are your daddy’s nipples buddy.
Micah: Are these your nippos daddy?
Me: Yeah bud, those are my nipples.
Micah (still fiddling with my chest): Your nippos are kinda squishy, daddy.
Me: Thanks a lot man.
Micah (now focusing his attention on the rest of my torso): You are kinda squishy, daddy.
Me: OK, that’s it. I’m putting my shirt back on.

And so that’s how it’s been going here lately: equal parts heart-wrench and hilarity. All the ups and downs leave us just exhausted enough to be slap happy… and forgetful. Was it a car or a cat I saw? Anyway, if there’s one thing I learned this week, it’s that once I’m done trying to sneak palindromes into a blog and Mal’s done with radiation, I’m going to have to start working out again.


  1. Ok, first of all, you gave me the best belly laugh I've had in days. 2nd, love Mal's T-shirt, esp after yesterday's game, 3rd of all - wha??? no pic of squishy you? (weird coming from your aunt but I'm just saying first what every other woman reading it's going to be thinking, and 4th - what the heck is a palidrome? I even looked it up, found a convoluted definition, re-read your blog again and again TILL I FOUND IT!!! But I'm not giving away any hints! Thanks again so much for sharing, for GREAT pics, and a much needed nugget!!! GO MAL GO! 12 LEFT TO GO!!

  2. And if there's more than 1, I can't find it. Who can write that well - you blow me away!

  3. Aunt Carol - There are four palindromes in the blog. Happy hunting, and best of luck tomorrow.

  4. it's so good to hear about your moments of smiles. continued love and support from jax.

  5. Now that my plans have changed, I will have the time to look tomorrow. 3 more? Man oh man!
    I'm so excited, praying for success always for Mal, and for this unexpected blessing from your Mom to be successful also. I am ever so grateful for her thoughtfulness in getting me the info!

  6. Ugh, I've only found 3! And I'm nerd enough to keep looking for the last one. Still praying for you all; thanks for the updates!

  7. Actually, I have been informed by my sister that there are six palindromes in the blog. Yikes!

  8. ok, found 3 more and my eyes are blurry - kudos to your sister!!!!!! :-)

  9. I can't take all the credit it was a team effort Mom helped too she has the eyes of on eagle lol

  10. Found all 6! I feel a ridiculous sense of accomplishment.

  11. I found four, and my mom (Michelle) told me the other two! Very cool soooo cute! We are praying!