By the time we reach adulthood, a harsh reality is most people have had cancer come into their lives whether it's within their own bodies or afflicting someone they know and love. The battle that ensues is filled with real physical pain and emotional ups and downs. As the the first week of chemotherapy comes to a close for Paul and the medicine kicks in full strength, he is feeling drained. Despite his continued positive and upbeat outlook, the physical effects of the medicine are wearing on his emotions as well. Whether you have been through this before personally or witnessed it in a friend or loved one, I found information on line that touches upon some of what you might have seen in the past and what Paul may be feeling now and in the months ahead (https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/dealing-with-the-emotional-roller-coaster-of-cancer). Because he is not feeling as well, Lisa mentioned that they have had to turn away a few visitors and it's been difficult at times for Paul to respond to texts and phone calls. That doesn't mean to stop with either but we should understand the possibility of not getting to see him on a given day or not getting an immediate response to a text or speak to him on the phone. Please continue with the encouragement in texts and calls and visits even though the response may be delayed.
In a moment of partial sleep and partial consciousness, one thing Paul was discussing with Lisa was his favorite burrito from a "hole in the wall" burrito stand named Cucas in Redlands, CA. It goes something like this:
"Double wrapped….., two tortillas, beans, ….some green chile.., a little bitta cheese (fingers mimic sprinkling), sour cream…., oh, and then dip it in the salsa they give ya. It's like……heaven."
We'll have to get some of those soon!
Paul and Lisa's out of town family members have started to arrive in Philadelphia and Josh (Paul's "youngest" son - see comment on Corey in the first journal entry for reference) has been a tremendous help in getting them from the airport to the hospital and getting them settled in. He's been a great help for Lisa and Paul in so many ways.
There are a couple of documents posted on the window of Paul's room facing the hallway. One of the signs you have to see for yourself as I do not want to post some of the "adult" content in this journal but suffice it to say, Todd Brace has a future in "research data" forgery of on-line documents. It will give you a good laugh for sure. Laughing is a good segue into describing the other document that Lisa put up. It states:
HEALTHY visitors bring Paul joy and I can use the hugs so we are glad you're here. In case we forget to mention:
1. No hugs or handshakes (editor's note: with Paul)
2. LVQ Laugh Very Quietly
3. Sign the visitor log
As we all know, Paul doesn't do anything quietly, especially laughing - that is to say, once the initial laugh that starts with shrugging shoulders, squinting eyes, teeth grinning and a hissing "hee-hee" is over, it's followed by the full throated outburst. Clearly, the LVQ in the sign above is a reminder for Paul. As Lisa describes, last week, he was chatting with someone with the door closed to his room and Lisa was down the hallway in the family room with the door closed there too and she could hear Paul laughing from there with two closed doors between them.
Let's keep Paul laughing and see if we can get him some burritos soon!