Cari Blog Number 19

Hey Everyone,

I have to share all about our day today.  Today started off somewhat rocky.  5:30ish am Eric was woken up by people who wanted to poke him with needles for blood draws.  I was half asleep in the cot next to him, and the next thing I know, he’s in the cot with me.  We both were just in tears.  Everything is so up and down right now.  It does help to know we have soooo many people out there supporting us.  Eric’s a fighter, he’s literally the strongest willed person I’ve ever met.  We fell asleep for awhile yet, and I went home to Port Washington to take a shower, and Eric went down for round three of radiation.  While I was gone Eric received a piece of paper that said we had to meet a girl named Kelly, who is a physical therapist at the hospital, and has worked with Eric and I before. (You will all love Kelly by the end of this, I promise!) I knew what was going on.  Eric had no clue.

Kelly’s husband Tony works with Eric at Harley.  He’s also friends with two guys who are always making me smile and keep my chin up, Eric D. and Manoj. Eric D. and Manoj like to pull pranks on people, so since this involved someone from Harley, Eric thought maybe some practical joke was going on. He asked me how long it was going to take.  I didn’t really have an honest answer to that.  So I just told him, “Somewhere between half an hour, and two hours.”  That confused Eric even more.  All day he just had to think, “What’s going on.”  That’s kind of what Kelly wanted.   In her instructions she said she wanted Eric to have something to look forward to.

My parents, sisters, and our nephew came down, and so did Eric’s dad Brian.  I left with my family after a short visit and went to lunch and left Eric with his dad, and our friends Jason and Jeremiah.   I came back and they were just hanging out watching T.V.   Eric still had no idea what was going on, but really didn’t have time to bother me with it.  (Which is good, because I may have very well broke and told him, I AM HORRIBLE at not telling him something cool) Eric D. showed up around 5:00ish which added to Eric’s suspicion that he MAY have something to do with this, and this may be some sort of practical joke just to get a smile.  Everyone was out of the room by around 5:45.

5 minutes to 6 I said to Eric we had to go.  Kelly said 6pm sharp!  He tried once again to get me to tell him what was happening and I wouldn’t.  I used the excuse that we were crossing something off MY bucket list today, and the only thing on my bucket list is to keep something a surprise or a secret from Eric. I was successful!  He told me something about “As long as it’s not something stupid like clowns then OK.”  We went down the “D” elevators, and there was Kelly…waiting with a smile on her face.

Kelly had turned the physical therapy gym into a romantic date night.  She had taken Christmas lights and wrapped them nicely on the windows, got some fake candles (can’t have real flame in a hospital) set up the table all formal, put fake roses in the middle of the table (You can’t have live plants sometimes when you’re going through cancer treatment) and she went all out.  She had put a sign on the door that said, “Private event 6:00pm tonight, DO NOT DISTURB!”  She acted like the hostess and “checked our reservations” she even had menus made, and place cards.  She made sure to point out the piece of paper that said “Your server tonight is Kelly, she has never been a waitress before.”  She wanted to emphasize never doing it before, but honestly Kelly, you were the best waitress we’ve ever had. The beverage menu of course gave us a nice selection, but unfortunately, no alcoholic beverages, as these were, “Unavailable due to lack of liquor license” and did not have a wine and beer list.  She even had music going. (Except the cd player for some reason would only play one song….we decided the restaurant was also losing its music license.)

Kelly went all out and then some.  I wish I could get the pictures to show up right, because honestly, it doesn’t look like we’re even in a hospital room of any sorts.  It looks like we’re at a restaurant and she’s really the waitress.  She even had an apron on, and served our food with a towel on her arm, telling us “I don’t know why I have a towel on my arm, but that’s what waitresses do sometimes.” 

Since I knew about this all day I had to try to dodge some things.  I had brought him food back a little late for lunch from when I went out to eat with my parents.  I probably should have “forgot” that.  We also took a trip to the cafeteria for something to drink and his dad decided to get food and Eric was going to get something to eat.  I had to think quick and say, “Umm..why don’t we do that after Kelly’s thing together tonight?”

At the end of the night, Kelly gave us the “bill.” It was the sweetest bill in the world.  I’d retype it for you, but Eric and I could barely get through it without crying.  We all sat around talking for awhile, and at one random time in the night another person Kelly works with walked in and said, “Do you have a table for two??”  making us laugh.  We came upstairs, and I gave the boxed up leftovers to the nurse.  They were in tears.  Kelly had to get clearance from them first.  As I was handing them the leftovers to put in the fridge there were just tears in their eyes.  I told everyone we were done crying, I was going to go write a happy blog!

Kelly really made us feel like we were in another place tonight.  For that, we can never thank her enough.  Eric honestly kept saying, “wow this is the cutest, sweetest thing anyone has ever done.”  It’s true.  Kelly, you honestly took us away from all of this crap we’ve been dealing with, and put us in a place we wanted to be.  I can never thank you enough for that. 

I also have to say thank you to all the people who kept it a secret, and let it happen.  All his nurses for getting the clearance to leave the floor, all Kelly’s coworkers, and definitely Kelly’s husband who has been as awesome as Kelly since we met him.  I have to say, there really is some real comfort in knowing that Eric and I, and the rest of the family, have so much support and love around us.  So many people I don’t know are rooting for us, and you guys are all amazing!

Quote

  • The reason that these years have been the best is that I think that I might have had a somewhat positive impact on your lives and perhaps your understanding of what cancer is and what it can do, to both those of us that it has personally attacked and those of us who know someone who is going through it. -Eric McLean
  • I just want children to be left with a better life than what I was left with," he said. "I want them to experience the feeling I had in my life when I realized that I really mattered.
    ~ Larry Hisle
  • Realistically, I have two more Olympic cycles in me. I'm not going to let this beat me.  I've gained a lot of strength from you guys, if Eric can fight 5 times over I can overcome this one year of setbacks.
    ~ Chris Solinsky
  • Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men. ~ Albert Einstein
  • Never, never, never give up.
    ~ Winston Churchill
  • I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me! ~ Dr. Seuss
  • Once you choose hope, anything's possible.
    ~ Christopher Reeve
  • If you're going through hell, keep going.
    ~ Winston Churchill