Who knew I would be alive to see this Halloween. Yet here I am. You might recall my distress last year at not being able to celebrate Halloween in the style we have grown accustomed to. The family was in distress and no one was in the mood to greet the kids and hand out candy.

This is a very different year in spite of the circumstances. My new drugs kicked in. I was able to carve two pumpkins. Janet bought a lot of candy. We get about 150 kids at our door. We have LOTS of candy.

Paulee, Janet’s sister, has spent the past couple of Halloweens with us. She brings Carys over to trick or treat in our neighbourhood.  Carys has been calling me Uncle Wook for ever. She had trouble with my name and that just blurted out of her and has stuck ever since. We are madly in love with one another.

This year was no different. Carys came over as the wicked witch of the west, green face included. We were also joined by Janet’s brother Phillip and his family. Paige who is 2 weeks older that Carys went as a princess. Cute as a button. Her brothers escorted them through the neighbourhood and demanded a 50% commission of the candy collected.

The night was very busy and active and noisy. Paulee and Phillip did the honours at the door for most of the night. Phillip was shocked by the number of kids who show up here. They live in the suburbs and do not get half that number of children parading through.

It was a cold night and I lay on the couch under a blanket listening to all the commotion. It was utterly fantastic.

Sorry for not taking pictures. I discovered in Atlanta that I am having trouble taking pictures. Takes more concentration that I can muster up. Who knew taking pictures requires concentration.

I paid the price for all that activity the next day when I spent most of the day in bed. Could barely keep my eyes open. Such are the ways of the world.

This is the week in which I am to be strong and free from side effects. The week in which I get to do things. I made myself that promise only yesterday.

I took a heartburn pill today. Something I have not had to do since  coming home from the hospital. I feel like everything I eat is stuck in my throat. My stomach was quiet all night and most of today. I had little appetite and was scared of eating anything of substance.

I am not sure if this is a side effect of chemo or of the H1N1 vaccine. I did not get a temperature from the vaccine. The only thing that happened was a sore arm overnight. The arm is now just tender. This food thing started on Friday. Is it related to the vaccine? There is nothing in their literature that would indicate this.

I ate little. Drank the required amounts of water. Judy came over for dinner because I was not well enough to go out. She made a chicken pie which was delicious. My stomach seems to like it. It is alive finally after a day of silence.

I am disappointed. I stayed in bed all day and refused to do anything except sleep and do word searches. Read an article in Monocle magazine. Spoke with Habib briefly until the computer started acting up.

I have a beef with this computer. You can skip this paragraph if you want. I am going to rant about this thing. It is one of those Netbooks from ASUS. We elected to purchase this thing with the Solid State Drives instead of the regular drives. We bought one with a 12GB drive. It turns it shipped with 2 drives in it, a 4GB and an 8GB. That is not such a bad thing. Not great but can be managed. Except that they (ASUS) elected to put the operating system on the 4GB drive. I am now out of disk space on this thing, even though there is lots of space on the second drive. And yes, I moved anything and everything that could be redirected to the second drive. I spent all day coaxing 200MB of free space which is barely enough to make the unit usable. I will talk with Steve Lennox on Monday.

Back to my conversation with Habib. Our conversation is just warming up when Skype restarts itself stating it ran into problems with the hard drive. My video has stopped working. I reboot, restart the conversation, same thing. This is madness. Just added to the negative day.

Fetneh says I should talk to my liver on days like this to keep it calm. I did. It was not happy listening to me, I don’t think. We will talk again later.

I cleaned my room a bit. Reorganised parts of it. A lot of stuff we are not going to use daily any more can be put away, which creates more room for other stuff. Tried to keep busy and not think too much about things.

Halloween did not help. We turned off the lights, closed the blinds. I looked at the kids running around from the second floor. Sad.

This was not a good day. Judy says it was stolen from me. Tomorrow has go to be better. I am not giving it a choice.

Tomorrow is Halloween.

To celebrate or not?

We celebrate every year. Make a production of it. I usually carve multiple pumpkins, some with two faces. Takes a lot of patience to carve all these faces and make them unique and scary. It is fun and well worth the effort.

The second Halloween in our current house was a big production. I bought Christmas lights, white paper table cloths, borrowed a plastic snowman from Nancy and rented a Santa costume. I laid the white table cloths down covering the front garden making it look like snow. Strung the Christmas lights across the front garden. Borrowed Devin’s ghetto blaster to blast Christmas carols through the night. Janet came home to a house lit like house on fire. I am sure you could see it from space.

As the kids showed up, I would bound out of the house yelling Merry Christmas. Scared the hell out of them until Janet and Leslie stopped me from doing that. SO I sat on the front porch with my Santa bag welcoming the children. Poor kids. They kept telling me how much they loved me, how good they were. We almost felt bad for them. The confusion in their voices was palpable.

We have gone to David Powell’s house after our kids stopped coming. Arlin and I would take Jack out and smoke our cigars. Jack is very popular. Everyone knows him. He was a Halloween machine collecting two pillowcases full of candy. We would go back to David’s for dinner and to pilfer through Jack’s pillow cases. Someone had to save him from all that candy.

Our previous house was a more communal affair. We decorated the front yard and got ready for the Halloweeners. We had drinks with our neighbours while we handed out the treats. It was a big party. Ann and Frank, Valerie and Chad were our neighbours. One big family. It was a lot of fun, no matter how cold it was. We miss that.

We made sure Devin celebrated every year. He was dressed as a giant pumpkin one  year. He wanted to God another year. A sheep. Stingray. Bloody chef. You get the idea. Lots of costumes. I would take him door to door. It was lots of fun.

All this to say that Halloween has always played a big part in our lives. A bit like chehar shambe souri (ask your Persian friends) but a lot more fun.

Halloween this year will not be the same. I do not have the energy to carve all those pumpkins. I cannot be exposed to all those kids, just in case one of them has H1N1 and does not know it yet. I cannot open and close the front door all night either. A whole bunch of no’s that add up to no Halloween this year.

We have been discussing it all week. To do or not to do. It was a go as late as this morning.

Carys, my four year old niece has a temperature. Started last night. A temperature of 39. Leslie took over some Tylenols for her to help control things a bit. Her temperature has been going up and down all day since. She heard on the radio with of our Health Officers that a child with flu symptoms right now has H1N1. Carys has H1N1. She has not been here for a while, so no danger there.

It just emphasizes the dangers of exposes myself to a while bunch of children who may (or not) have H1N1.

No Halloween this year.

I cried.

© 2010 I Have Cancer Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha