Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catching Up

Update: "EIT" stands for "Engineer in Training." It's the first step in becoming a licensed engineer, not the exam for grad school. If DS#1 passes his EIT, the next step would be working for three or four years, then taking the exam for his Professional Engineering exam.

Another step taken towards full-fledged adulthood! :)

Good News: I’ve finished the worst of the chemo. I am now receiving Herceptin only, which takes 90 minutes, does not require a slew of additional medications to prevent side effects, targets a specific protein on the cancer cells so it does not randomly attack all fast-growing cells in my body, and whose only side-effect is congestive heart failure, for which I am tested every three months. Radiation treatment starts in November—25 treatments, which means every weekday for five weeks. But then treatment will be mostly done.

More Good News: my hair is growing back. I have enough hair on my head to brush, I have eyelashes (albeit short and still a bit thin), and I can feel my eyebrows. I am getting much better at drawing in my brows, so them I don’t miss so much.

Great News: DD#1 is safely ensconced at UC San Diego. She gets along with her roommate, who is another redhead. (Really—six girls in the suite and the two redheads are sharing a bedroom.) Her suitemates are pretty quiet. The color scheme happens to be orange & green, which are DD#1’s favorite colors. The other color scheme is bright yellow and turquoise. UCSD was founded in 1960 and, even though this dorm is brand new—these are the first students to live there—Housing went with a retro theme.

More Great News: DS#1 has his Senior Project. Now all he has to do is complete it successfully and write it up. It has to do with moving million dollar satellites across a warehouse without damage. While I have every confidence in my son, the idea that someone would entrust an expensive piece of equipment to him is rather mind-boggling. Proof, I guess, that he is now a grown-up. And he’s studying for his graduate school exam. (He’s studying! For his grad school exam! In Engineering! Music to my ears as there once was a time I wasn’t sure he’d make it through high school.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch: So now we are four. Three-and-a-half, really, as DS#2 is a freshman in college. Although he’s living at home, he has his own wheels, which means I’m never quite sure where he is. Or will be. As long as his cell phone is charged—and as long as he depends on Hubs and I for gas money—we know we can find him.

DD#2 is now in the unique (for her) position of not being defined as someone’s younger sister. Big Brother has graduated along with his friends, so she is really on her own as far as clubs and activities. However, she doesn’t drive, so I get 20 minutes or so with her each morning and Hubs gets the same in the afternoon. I enjoy my time with her: We talk about her classes, about current events, I share family stories, and, occasionally, what she wants to do after High School. I try not to push and not to nag, but I am her mother, after all, so I receive my share of exasperated looks.

And there are evenings and afternoons where it’s just Hubs and I. We look at each other with amazement. Just the two of us. We can watch what we want on TV. We can go to the movies without worrying about babysitters. We can be spontaneous—if we’re not too tired. But he needs a hobby, something other than me because that will drive me crazy. (I kind of miss those weekends when he was off playing with the Scouts.)