I had lunch with Normal Neighbor today. Several of you blog friends have asked me how she is doing since her colon cancer diagnosis. Thank you for thinking of her. She's had two cycles of chemotherapy now, and this week she's well enough to play tennis. She was at practice this morning and is playing a match tomorrow, despite being so ill last week that she had to go get IV fluids two days in a row. And her doctor had told her that "this wouldn't be the kind of chemo that makes you really sick." It just goes to show, there is no telling how a person will react to treatment. I am worried about her, because she has to have ten more cycles of this stuff. I'm hoping they will get better at managing her side effects.
I was hoping to play doubles with her this week, but the captain didn't put me in the lineup. I think because I am the worst tennis player in the world, and nobody wants to be my partner. Pouty lip. Or sure, maybe it's because not everybody can play every week, whatever.
Also, today I hit my practice partner in the back of the head with my serve. Thwack. Smacked her square on the head. She was fine and of course I apologized profusely, but in my defense, she is tall! And she needs to scooch over! That ball was going in until it ran into her head.
So it was an awesome tennis morning.
But then it got better 'cause I got to catch up with Normal Neighbor. We talk regularly, of course, but she hasn't really been up to doing too much. And it was nice to have a chat with no child hangers-on. It is truly amazing the way our neighborhood has turned out in support of her family. I mean, when I had my surgery and treatment last year, we were well taken care of, but nothing like this. There are probably fifty people on the meal roster; their family has had meals since January. At first every weeknight, now a few times a week. The K(C)athies and I got her a massage. And there's a fund everyone is pitching into to pay for her house to be cleaned twice a month. NN has lived here a long time and everybody loves her. It is really something. This coming Monday is my day to bring her lunch during her chemo infusion, sit with her, and drive her home. I had to throw some elbows in the neighborhood to get that gig. I might have pissed off the tennis captain, and I don't think Laura will ever be welcome in Girl Scouts, but I'm in.
It's funny though, Normal Neighbor was telling me about how a woman she has known a long time--not a close friend but a neighborhood acquaintance--won't see her since her diagnosis. She's cooked two meals for NN's family, but delivers them to the house of a mutual friend, and NN has to go get them. NN thinks she is simply uncomfortable and doesn't know what to say. She said, "I think she expects me to be on my deathbed."
I agreed that it's surprising how some people just get weird in the face of illness. I told her how, last year, there were a couple of people who avoided me all summer. People I'd been friendly with, whose children Laura had played with, just suddenly had this strange blindness to my existence.
This one chick would see me across the pool, studiously avoid me (and I was fine with that because she's the world's most tedious bore), and then later would tell Pretty Neighbor, "I saw Becky today but I didn't get to talk to her." Oh, because there was that river of radioactive slime between us, of course you couldn't come over to say hi. And I was at the freaking pool. So it wasn't going to be some awkward hospital bedside conversation. It's me, reading Us Weekly. I'm fine, really.
Not to make this all about me.
So we had a nice lunch and a chat and then we went to TJ Maxx, where I bought a workout top and Normal Neighbor bought her dog a new set of food and water bowls, fretting that they weren't exactly the right shade of pink. Not the right shade of pink. For a dog to eat out of. Because getting the pink just right is who she is. I tried to reassure her that any dog would be lucky to put its snout in those peachy/coral pink bowls, and we called it a successful outing.
I hope y'all are well. Weather is gorgeous here. So gorgeous. It's hard not to feel like everything is going to be a-okay.