SURPRISE…& Surprising Side Effects

Surprises at the airport

As I landed in Salt Lake City on Friday I got a text from Jackie that she and Greg were running a little late.  No problem.  Unbeknownst to me, they were waiting downstairs with a big sign and balloons to surprise (and embarrass) me.  Unbeknownst to them, I was bring a little surprise of my own.  Kimberly was my surprise – she was traveling with me to visit the “college kids” but we had not told them.

Kimberly was a surprise guest

Surprise to both of us – we went to the wrong places.  They waited at the wrong terminal, and we waited at passenger pickup, looking for a car that was not coming.  I stood up to wait, while Kimberly sat and read her book – it was rather funny to see them walk right past her to get to me… and even better several minutes later… when Jackie looked over and realization slowly dawned.
That was fun.
Later Jackie was able to surprise Nathan by having Kimberly in the car when she picked him up.
Yesterday Greg managed to slip out of church and back again without me knowing.  He was busy back at Grandma’s house.  Later, he walked slowly home with me while the others walked ahead.

Surprise Birthday!

Fun surprise to open the door and find the room swathed in streamers and balloons, and even better that Nathan and Shanna were there several hours earlier than expected.  Surprise!  I thought it was a surprise for Greg, except they were all looking at me.  Great surprise birthday party 3 weeks early!  They figured that there were more family members in Utah that day (4 kids, 2 parents), than there would be on my birthday (3 kids, husband traveling).  How fun!  Even better – several weeks earlier I had asked Nathan if he needed anything while I was in town and he had requested a chocolate cake – so I had unknowingly maintained tradition and baked my own birthday cake!  (It’s ok, I prefer it this way.)

You can see the port and tubing
under the skin.  Also the old scar.

We have a tendency to like simple surprises, or simply surprising each other.  This contributes to the “laughing through life” part of my blog… or maybe the loving.  Mostly the loving.
It is fun.

As I type I am sitting alongside Greg’s hospital bed – here was a not-so-fun surprise.  Since I was coming, he wanted to drive to Huntsman for the week’s chemotherapy.  This way we could enjoy that amazing view and sit in the comfy chairs.  Instead they brought us back into a private room with a bed.  No window.  No view.  No fun…. No big deal – we are having a nice day together.  The snack lady came by, so we are well stocked. The infusion should end in about 20 minutes – then they will hook him up to his two-day-take-home chemo and we will be on our way.
What surprises are in store?  Hopefully none… he would like to be able to predict how his week will go.  From last time he has learned to take it easy and get lots…LOTS… of rest. No surprise.  Nausea isn’t a surprise and he has learned to keep it under control.
He has not been without some surprise side-effects.  They warned him about cold sensitivity, but who knew what that would mean?  Ummm, it means just what it says (duh).  Very sensitive to cold.  So sensitive that taking room-temperature mayonnaise off the shelf at the grocery store was uncomfortable.  Picking up his phone – brrrr.. way too cold!

Still Smiling!  No Surprise!

Since he is here – I asked him again just how it feels.  I had been imagining this like the pain we all feel when we have to hold ice longer than is comfortable.  Not even close – he describes it to be the sensation of hitting your funnybone.  When he touches something cold it immediately turns numb, like your hand has gone to sleep.  The really awful part is eating and drinking… his mouth and even his throat go numb. He cannot even tell that anything is in his mouth.  There is no taste, no sensation of swallowing… no pleasure of eating.
Just now – he took a drink of the apple juice he has been drinking.  This side effect has kicked in – his mouth was numb.  I guess the rest of us could imagine that the dentist had numbed our entire mouth – instantaneously.
The other day it was cold outside – not only his fingers, but his entire face went numb and tingling.  It was hard to talk and he couldn’t smile…
This lasts about a week.
He says it is pretty cool, knowing that it is temporary.
Who knew?
Surprise Side-Effects… keeping life interesting…


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