Cancer and … Our Step By Step Guide to Summer 2016

School’s Out for Summer… Our Step by Step Guide to Summer 2016

It’s been a few weeks since I last updated with news in the Taylor household and I am actually happy to report that nothing much has happened.  School is finally out for ALL of us, I had to go a few more days than Bainbridge (always hard).  Medically speaking, HAL 3.0 did his job and was much nicer than his predecessor, the angry, evil, beast-like drain, HAL 2.0.  This is not to say that HAL 3.0 wasn’t painful, it is just varying degrees of discomfort for Kaycee at this point.  HAL 3.0 is now gone and Kaycee, is again, beginning to walk a little more upright with every step.  One piece of advice that all docs say is that he should try to keep walking every day.  And so, steps are what we are going to try to increase over the next few months, whether they be wee-baby steps, casual every day steps or monumental life-changing steps.

Step one: Summer is not normally a time that we get to relax much, really teachers do work year round just not in the classroom.  Kaycee typically can be seen at Wing Point Pool each day managing staff and ensuring a safe and pleasant poolside experience for 50+ plus hours per week, while also bouncing back up to BHS to work on his AD duties and bar-tending the once in a while gig.  I usually get busy in the yard, the one that is overgrown and lacking months of attention, as well as pick up multiple catering/bar-tending gigs from my sister, become the local taxi service for the family and start the planning and prepping for next year’s group of 3rd & 4th grade students. There are sometimes a few short road trips that usually occur, however, we are mostly tied to home over the summers. This summer is going to be a bit different.  It is going to be the first summer since we have been married (19 years now) that neither Kaycee nor I have work beyond our “regular” jobs.  He will not be ever present at Wing Point, a decision that is a hard one but the right one, for this 2016 summer season.  I will not be slinging booze and food at parties and weddings or taking any additional professional development classes. I am sure there will be the occasional trips to school(s) to take care or regular business but for the most part this will be our first summer “off”.  Ever.

Step 2:  Our job this summer is to get Kaycee healthy and cancer-free, no small fete.  Our road trips will be to Swedish for chemo and doc appointments.  We may road trip, if Kaycee feels up to it, to some local cabins generously offered by supportive friends, but for the most part we will be here.  It seems almost daunting…not the cancer part but the free-time part.  The ability to just be, hang, relax, heal.  There is no tight schedule, no shift start/end times, no late night events that leave you physically drained and prune-y from dish washing, no cleaning of deck-side messes.  There is a sense of slowing down that I have yet to grasp.  The break-neck pace of normal existence is about to come to a tortoise-like crawl, or so I imagine, maybe even hope.

There are still many obligations to see to but mostly for our children.  Addison is learning to drive through NK high school so she has to be there for 3 weeks 3-5days a week.  She is working three different jobs: life-guarding at Wing Pint, coxswaining for the Master’s team three mornings a week (4am 2x per week and 6amon Saturdays, crazy and impressive) and dishwashing for my sister, plus the odd babysitting job here and there.  She is definitely learning the importance of hard work and the value of a dollar.  Delaney will be busy in the theater for 5 weeks as the theater school gets underway.  For BPA summer school program, the show this year James and the Giant Peach, Jr.  Delaney will also have voice lessons each week and work at odd jobs taking care of animals/homes for traveling neighbors and babysitting (she is available ever day after 3J).  They are keeping busy…and that is good.  This busyness, for them, is comforting and seems to keep the reality of “cancer-life” manageable.  They have good and bad days, of course, but I have been amazed at the strength and grace with which they have waded through this slog.

Step 3:  What we do have scheduled for this summer are some events that I am thoroughly looking forward too with excitement and gratitude.  The first is a show July 1st, a fundraiser LAUGH! FOR LIFE being held for Kaycee, at BPA showcasing the musical stylings of the talented Zack Fleury, followed by our good friend Mike Derzon and his bandmate Johnny Bregar.  Headlining the night will be our long-time friend and comically gifted, beautiful Bridget Young.  She will share her laugh-out-loud show for all to enjoy.   All this is made possible by the father daughter tech-team dynamo of Mark and Jordan Sell.  Again, the generosity of individuals and creative community support continues to astound me, every day, in small and much bigger ways.  I can hardly wait.  Continued laughter is much needed on our docket and really is great medicine!

Step 4: Lastly, there are the regular summer events: Rotary Auction, walks on beach, BPA Theater School show (July 28-30), birthday celebrations, visits from friends, and much more.  I am looking forward to it all.  School is out for summer and though there is still hard work to be done we are up to the challenge.  Cheers to a happy, healthy, healing, love and laughter filled summer with friends and family.



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