INT. – DINING ROOM – NIGHT
A dining room is set for Thanksgiving. Music playing softly in the background.
BRENDON, BLAYRE, BARBRA & In laws nervously & silently enter room.
BARBRA moans softly & clutches her stomach as BRENDON walks her to her seat. Neither sit.
BLAYRE stands at the head of the table. She smiles widely and EXCLAIMS she is saying the prayer.
Everyone grab hands!
Everyone nervously laughs, as they grasp hands.
Everyone stands in a circle heads bowed.
Lord, make us well and thankful for our food. I am thankful that mommy made it to the table. I am thankful for my family.
(Blayre looks up)
Mommy, your turn!
(slightly raises head and slowly begins to speak)
Umm. Lets see. I am thankful this year for…umm…ZOPHRAN!
BRENDON, BARBRA & BLAYRE start to laugh, as the In Laws look up, confused. This causes BRENDON & BARBRA to LAUGH HARDER
You are so silly, girl!
Hey, it’s true. Thankful, really, thankful!
Realizing that his parents are still looking confused, BRENDON turns to address them. BLAYRE hugs her mom.
(still slightly chuckling)
Zophran is Barb’s nausea medicine. It costs $40 a pill, but is the only thing that can control her nausea. So, yes! Yes, we are all very thankful for Zophran!
The room breaks into laughter.
That was the scene at Thanksgiving dinner! There could have been a long list of thankful things we could have gone on about! Honestly, I didn’t even think I would make it to the dining room table. For a month, all I heard was that the week of Thanksgiving was going to be horrible b/c it was the 4th treatment of the Red Devil. “Be prepared not to be able to move”, said my Cancer Mentor. “You probably won’t be able to stand the sight or smell of anyone, let alone food,” said the NP. Really? Thanks for the heads up. But by Thursday, my nausea was starting to subside. That was due to my…ZOPHRAN! So I had to give proper thanks! Now, turns out, Friday I was sick beyond compare! I thought I could go without by Thursday night. WRONG MOVE! I was quickly back to begging for Zophran by midday Friday. As an example of how “good” this $40 pill is, I asked my sister to peddle Zophran from her Emergency Medicine husband! It was certainly an emergency! But alas, Hippocratic oath not withstanding, he said that if he could hustle Zophran, we would all be rich! Turns out, that Zophran is not a drug pharmaceutical reps “leave behind”! Who knew?
But as I look back at the Holiday a week later, I realize what I am thankful for is a family with a sense of humor.
At Thanksgiving dinner, once we all settled down to eat, we talked about random things, as families do. I was reflecting on how I haven’t been “grounded” (not traveled) for longer than 3 months in over 15 years. Yes, I travel a lot. So as you can imagine I am counting down my days until I can get on a plane, hit the highway, or catch a train…to the INKWELL or some other locale. My daughter even chimed in about how she wished we could do our annual mother/daughter spring break. Given that I will be done chemo, and may not have surgery by then, I threw out there “maybe we will”. My husband almost choked on his food. His turn to say “Really? I mean, really?? You are not going anywhere! You don’t know what will be going on.” Why did I even go down that route? I was like “Are you kidding me? I got this! I deserve a spring break!” laughing. Not to be outdone, he put down his fork, turned to me and said, “You can’t go on spring break! You have breast cancer”, in his most ironic voice. You could hear a pin drop as his parents paused and looked at us. But to their surprise, we burst out laughing! To the 2 of us, it was the 2nd funniest comment of the night. (next to Zophran…of course) It has been the running joke the last few days. Breast Cancer is only going to slow me down, but so much!
Saturday, after I recovered…and was firmly back on Zophran, Blayre asked if we could play with Sheniqua. Sheniqua is my wig head. Blayre wanted to “play with my hair”. When I had longer hair, and sometimes even when it was short, Blayre would spend time playing with my hair. She loved it, and it relaxed me. Knowing she missed that, I said “sure”. For the next hour, I wore Sheniqua while Blayre did “my hair” in various styles. Oddly, it was still relaxing. Blayre had a ball, and we cracked each other up with each new hairstyle. Soon we were texting pictures to my 2 tight girls in Chicago. By all accounts, the “best hairstyle” was “the Snooki”. And yes. I do recognize that it is very scary that all the kids knew “the Snooki”, while NONE of them have ever seen an episode of Jersey Shore. But it was an important bonding time b/t me and my daughter, and also my girls in Chicago.
Finally, Sunday, I got a call from a member of one of my many “groups”. She was calling to chastise me for not buying a vendor’s table at an upcoming event. I let her go say her peace. She was clearly on a mission. Then I said, “Sally Sue, (name changed to protect the nutty) I don’t know if you have heard, though it was announced at Chapter. But I was diagnosed with breast cancer this month, so I am sorry, but it wasn’t a priority.” Silence. More Silence. Stutter. “Oh, I didn’t know…” I don’t really know what else she said b/c in the other room my family burst into hysterics at how I dropped the bomb. Now I am sure she was mortified and appropriately horrified at her earlier tone. Once I got off the phone, we all cracked up. Sometimes, others have to get over themselves. But more important, I have to laugh at these moments. It may not be your type of humor, but it helps me deal with Life in the Cancer Lane.
So I am thankful, a week later, for smiles, laughter, jokes…and ZOPHRAN!