I had a nickname in college, handed down lovingly despite its ominous undertones: Wimmel, or WML, short for Walking Murphy's Law. Make no mistake: I don't believe that I have a dark cloud following me, or even that if something bad is going to happen, it will necessarily happen to me. And I don't think my dear friend who coined this nickname believes that, either. It's just that, if there's a particularly challenging way for something to get done, that route tends to be the one I stumble across.
As an undergraduate, for example, I might have been the only History major also attempting (miserably) to be pre-med. There is a reason normal people don't try to do 6-hour organic chem labs and write 30-page papers in the same weekend. Since I'm a lawyer now, I'll let you conclude which one matched my skill-set better. Actually, let me illustrate a bit more: we were supposed to be distilling oil out of cloves (my T.A. might have been a bit of a hippy, and I can't for the life of me remember what chemical reaction I was supposed to be learning, let alone how it was going to make me a stellar pediatrician). I forgot one little alligator clamp, and my whole distillery came crashing down as soon as things started to boil. A few hundred dollars worth of lab equipment later, and my T.A. told me to just PLEASE go home and use someone else's results. Chemistry, you made me cry so often, yet I kept returning for your wily ways.
Glutton for punishment that I am, when I was in law school I decided to continue to work full-time and go to school at night, to "try to save money." I can hear Chris laughing now at how well that worked out, considering my loans are our second mortgage. After the first year of working 8-5, then hoofing it up to the law school for class from 6-10 four nights a week, spending all (well, most) of my time on the weekends studying, I decided I couldn't do that for four years. Instead, I decided I'd only work part-time, but I figured that would give me time to join law review. Have I mentioned I like a challenge?
The summer I graduated from law school was the same summer I moved across the country, studied for the bar exam, tried to find a job (in 2008, when the economy was tanking, and tanking especially hard in Arizona), and planned our wedding. And you know what? I passed the bar, got a job (although that one didn't last), and the wedding was exactly as I'd imagined, right down to those prickly pear margaritas. Despite my two left feet, we even executed our first dance pretty close to perfectly, thanks to my husband counting out the steps to me. Oh? You thought those were sweet nothings he was whispering? Have you met my husband?
All of this to say that it should come as no surprise to any of you that our little Bug came down with a bug of his own this weekend, my first weekend post-chemo, when my immune system is at its lowest and I'm supposed to avoid infection...well, like the plague. I'm doing what I can to help - making the middle-of-the-night bottles, staying awake while Chris feeds and rocks our crying babe back to sleep, but I feel useless.
The nurses at the infusion center have reassured me that, so long as he isn't running a fever and I continue to feel okay, I don't have anything to worry about. (Just in case, Chris bought me a couple of SARS masks to wear around the house. Bug thinks they're for playing peak-a-boo.)
I know we'll get through this - chemo, cancer AND Bug's cold, but then I might need a break from challenges for a minute. And I'm going to need some cuddles from a certain 6-month-old in the meantime.