Sunday, September 25, 2005

in case anyone was worried

Despite his slow weight gain, Iz is fantastic -- has excellent nutritional levels and no growth hormone issues. He may have earned the diagnosis of "contitutional delay of growth and puberty" (instead of "failure to thrive"), which basically means he is little and will be littl for longer. (Who needs to worry about when a 17-month-old will hit puberty?). I don't think insurance covers this "condition," but, as luck would have it, there is no treatment but time -- I have no doubt that he will keep growing. His father was a little child. His paternal grandfather (Pop pop) was a little child. Now they are both six-plus feet tall. Now, it is my family that is short -- across the board -- but we were all medium to large sized babies. So Iz will be a giant. (Right?)

The worries about my mother continue. She starts chemotherapy now (she may even be receiving treatment as I write, since she is 14 hours ahead, in Monday morning). No more prognosis until they see how she responds to the treatments -- she could live for only months, for years, or for years and years. Iz and I fly out to see her on October 4. I feel as if I am in a holding pattern until I see her -- a bit helpless and sad.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Maybe my dad has never gotten over his therapy experiences in the 70s and 80s (let alone in the 90s and 2000s). He puts too much store in it. Now, I have no issue with therapy (and I have been in therapy in the past – it can help – but I also find it easy to avoid what I really don’t want to talk about but should talk about). But the pop-psychology jargon drives me crazy. That is what my dad has never gotten over. And he wonders why I don’t “open up” to him easily. I just don’t want to hear it.

I was talking to him on the phone about my mother’s ovarian cancer, Iz’s possible growth hormone issues, and taking Iz to Sydney to see and help my mother. He said (and this is close to verbatim, though I am stringing together separate statements), “You should consider leaving Iz with Abraham. I may be speaking from my own baggage. But they are obviously well bonded. You do not want to go to Sydney with too many agendas. I’m just mirroring what you are saying to me.” Thanks, Dad.

If and when I go to Sydney, Iz is coming with me (unfortunately, Abraham cannot).Though Iz requires a lot of work, I would be very upset if I had neither husband, son, nor dog with me – I want at least a portion of my cozy family. Never mind the baggage, bonding, agendas and mirroring.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

lost week

This has been a lost week. My now-standard weekly schedule and to-do list that I write on a white, lined, letter-size pad has been blank all week. I just realized this, and what day of the week it actually is, when I went to add to it and found it completely blank.

I have done things – mainly editing work and doctor appointments and playgroup for Iz – and I have even managed to maintain my training for the half-marathon I am running next weekend. But I didn't keep the list – which usually helps maintain my sanity and my ability to juggle being a full-time mother and full-time editor and writer.

Okay, here is the heavy concern that is weighing on my mind: My mother has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and is having surgery on the 15th of September in Sydney. She is awaiting the results of a PET scan to see if it is a new, or primary, cancer or a secondary cancer, a recurrence from her breast cancer 13 years ago, and to determine her treatment. Even with the best prognosis, she will have an awful few months.

Now, you see, she already had her cancer. This seems so unfair. I have cried here and there – usually whenever I talk about it (though I am strangely dry-eyed as I write). I have not totally lost it yet – though I almost do at moments. I probably should just let myself fall apart to feel cleansed, or something. But then I feel like I wouldn’t be able to work (and a freelancer doesn’t get paid family leave), keep household running and care for my sweet little babe.

I want to fly out there – the whole 24-hour trip thing – and be there before she comes home, probably on the 25th of September. I want to buy some nice teas and some other goodies and get things comfy and set up for her. (She does have a boyfriend, a partner, who lives with her. I suppose he can also do many of these things, and he is very involved.)

But there is another weighty concern: I took Iz to his appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist. Iz is dramatically lightweight at almost 17-months old: 19 pounds, 13 ounces. And even though he is doing great otherwise – has energy to spare and is developmentally on track, happy, focused on his activities and interested in other people – his pediatrician referred him for GI functioning tests to make sure he is okay. She give "failure to thrive" as a possible diagnosis. (I have since read up on this diagnosis, and only his slow weight gain fits the diagnosis. "Failure to thrive" usually also invloves listlessness, delayed development, and lack of involvement with others.) But we were pretty sure he (1) is just a little guy for now and (2) doesn’t love wasting his time eating. (Feeding him is often a huge pain in the ass.)

But it looks like Iz might have a growth hormone issue (his "random growth hormone" test showed very low levels – but the GI said this is a poor indicator, though it raises a red flag for further investigation). We are waiting for the more specific blood tests to come back in the next week or two. (He still might be just fine.) The GI wants me to wait until the results come back to make any travel plans. Iz would come with me, of course (though 24-hours of travel with a toddler sounds more icky than the usual ick of that trip). So we might have to wait until early October to see Grandma. I did take Iz to get his passport (what a funny passport photo – his little chin is pulled back, his eyes are wide, his fine blonde hair is standing on end at the crown), which should also be here within two weeks.

So my week has been a tad overwhelming (though I am not the one with ovarian cancer or possible growth hormone issues).

I have started next week’s schedule and to-do list. I wonder when am I going to lose my cool (actually, I am rarely that calm, cool, and collected these days) more dramatically that simply not keeping my legal pad schedule? Maybe I won’t. Yeah, right.