For My Sister: Part 1

Today has kind of been a grab bag of up and down. Good day at work, with the added bonus of a super-fantastic new co-worker who just happens to teach break dancing, and also has won third place in a national cake decorating contest. I'm hoping to learn all sorts of neat stuff from him. Mostly to do with break dancing, after that I'll think about perfecting my buttercream roses. Priorities are in order.

Also good: cleaned the sin out of the apartment while listening to Beck. How good is E-Pro? It makes you feel bad-ass even while scrubbing toilets with bleach. The man is effing brilliant and I like to pretend that I don't know he is in fact a Scientologist because that disappoints me on a few levels. Beck, so long as you keep kicking out the good shit I suppose you can believe in whatever you fancy.

And now I shall elaborate on the blueish side of this Monday.

My little sister Hilary has begun treatments in preparation for her kidney transplant taking place at the end of June. My father will be the donor.
Early this morning, after a sleepless night, she went into Boston all by herself on an early morning train, walked into the hospital and got a dialysis catheter put in. It's basically a series of tubes running from an incision above her collar bone, through her neck, into her heart. Her blood will get pumped out through this into a dialysis machine, and sent back into her better than it was before. This is good. But also pretty fucking terrifying in my opinion.
I hate myself for not knowing she was going to be by herself today. I should have called, rather than assumed someone else would be free. Also angry at the rest of my family for thinking it was just fine to send her off on her own. I blame myself for not calling them, and them for not calling me...I have this giant mass of frustration and I just don't know what to pin it to.

I remember when she was still tiny, at the onset of the disease. I remember nobody being able to figure out why she was crying, I remember regular trips to Floating Hospital, biopsies, how she got chubby when she had to take steroids. How she had to be home schooled for a while, how in retrospect she missed out on quite a lot, and yet was strong as hell, always growing and always brave. She has always been such a hard worker, in school and in every other aspect...her way of trying harder, doing better, expecting more....it has a way of making you forget entirely about the fact that she has a disease.

We've had more than our share of heated arguments over the past few years...more than I like to think about or admit. Mostly due to sharing a car, and other issues that seem entirely petty in retrospect. For the most part, by sibling standards I think we've done well, and have both recently agreed that we share a mutual distaste for fighting with each other. We make much better friends than enemies.
I will say with complete honesty that my sister knows how to raise my temper more quickly than anyone else in this world. Yet she was also the one who wrote a well composed letter laced with fury to the dean of admissions at UMass Amherst, upon receiving notice that I was not accepted into their undergraduate program. They read the letter and reversed their decision. My sister literally got me into college with an argument. She is that good.

Since she's been home, we've tried to go to the beach at every given chance. There haven't been nearly enough good beach days...we only got to go twice. I feel like we've been robbed. But I'm also really glad that she did convince me to go swimming, even though the water was freezing cold. We did it when we were kids, in this same ocean. There's no reason why we can't deal with it now...it's how we grew up, it's in our blood.

Hilary has started a new blog and I highly suggest that you give it a good look. She talks about her disease, her approach to these treatments, life and the summer in general. She writes in a way that makes me profoundly jealous, and amazed at the same time. Give it a gander. It will make you want to try.

1 comment:

  1. Best wishes for success with the medical treatment to your sis, dad, and rest of family too.

    -Ho Ping Furdabest.