Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 8: Happy anni-bir-sary

The second week of October is always traditionally a big one in our household, since it contains both my birthday (the 8th) and our wedding anniversary (the 10th).  But, this year, I basically forgot about both events until just a few days beforehand. Somehow, they just don't seem quite as important anymore.  I used to find it funny that my mother could never remember her own birthday or how old she was.  Suddenly, it's no longer funny--it's my reality now, too.  And what did I do on my birthday? I don't really remember, other than that Lemon looked particularly cute first thing in the morning, and that I went to CVS and picked up his new prescription for three months worth of enzymes at the new, higher dose.

Luckily for me, Papa Bear didn't forget the events of the week and made time in his busy schedule to get me some beautiful flowers, fancy pears from Harry and David, and bath salts (the kind you actually put in the bath tub, not to be confused with the kind that I learned about last time I looked up bath salts on Google).  In keeping with household tradition, he also got me one gift that benefits him directly, in this case a series of magazines with recipes from the wonderful Scratch Bakery in South Portland, ME.  I'm particularly eager to try the recipe for their incredible cinnamon rolls.  And, now I have a whole new excuse to make them--practice for Lemon's future high-calorie diet.

This week also marked my last week of maternity leave, and I have spent a lot of time wrestling with the idea of returning to work.  On the one hand, I feel like I always intended to go back to work full time, and I've invested so much of my life in getting the training and experience to advance an ambitious career in a field that I love.  On the other hand, I have a fragile baby who needs my love and attention--and currently needs to be fed every two hours.  Regardless of the CF diagnosis, eight weeks just seems too young for a baby to be left with someone else.  Luckily for me, I have a very sympathetic boss (whose own son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes within weeks of his birth) who is letting me work from home for the next two weeks while we give our child care arrangements a dry run.  Doubly luckily for me, Nona is going to step in and watch Lemon several mornings a week, so even when he isn't with me, he will be with someone who really loves him.  That, and the fact that Papa Bear, Lemon, and I are all on my health insurance, is basically the only thing getting me back into gainful employment just now.

In addition to all the observances of "anni-bir-sary" week, this weekend we were finally able to introduce Lemon to some more very important relatives.  My father (Opa) is the eldest of four brothers. Throughout my childhood, the four brothers have been cornerstones of the family and wonderful fathers to a total of 13 children.  Every occasion on that side of the family is full of memories if these four guys setting an example for me and all my cousins about the importance of tight  family bonds and a working knowledge of the rules of contract bridge.  So, it was wonderful to at last introduce Lemon to two of my three paternal uncles (and two fantastic aunts, too!).  I hope that even as the family spreads out geographically, Lemon will come to know and love all the aunts, uncles, and cousins who have been so dear to me my entire life.  Maybe he'll even give his Opa a thrill by taking a seat at the bridge table some day.

In fitness news, this week saw my first 5 mile run since Lemon was born.  I'm still slower than I was pre-pregnancy, but can slowly feel my old powers returning.  During the run, Lemon got a taste of the occupational hazards that face him as my training partner.  Our jogging stroller occasionally picks up a leaf in the front wheel and flings it straight back at Lemon's head!  

I'm glad that my fitness is slowly getting back on track, since the CF climb (46 flights up in one of Boston's tallest buildings) is just a week away.  I cannot thank all of you enough for your amazingly generous contributions in Lemon's honor.  I am so moved by your support, and by the knowledge that at only 8 weeks old, Lemon has already made a big difference in the world.  Last week, I set what I thought was an ambitious goal of raising $1500.  In just one week, I surpassed that goal three times over, raising $4665 so far.  If you haven't contributed yet, there is still time, and your donation will help fund research that can improve the quality and length of Lemon's life.  Please click here to access my fundraising page and make your donation by this coming Saturday, October 19--no donation is too small!  I've set a new goal of $5000 and with your help I think this is within reach.

Biomedical research has been at the center of my life for a decade and a half, but has never been closer to my heart than it is now.  The more I learn about what's going on in the CF field, the more confident I am that amazing new treatments are just around the corner.  The fact of the matter is that the research to develop these treatments costs money--a lot of money--and in this day and age, with fractious environment in Washington, we cannot rely on public money alone to support it.  So, please join Jen H., Chris, Sheldon, Ruth, Jared, Lauren, Jon, Jen M., Shuyu, Erik, Naomi, Linn, Dave W., Jason, Jeff, Carol M., Becca, Rene, Lenny, Kathy, Eric, Joe, Dave H., Dale, Mike, Doug, Gail, Rich, Susan, Sarah, Angela, Dudley, Carol L., David G., David S., Betty, Steve, Shoshana, Dov, Edith, and Richard by donating today.  Your donation will help ensure that some day, "CF" just stands for "cure found."

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