My weekend went by way too quickly. (This happens most especially when I have to work on Saturday.) Saturday was a busy, busy day from the moment I woke up. (Can I add here that I wake up to my ipod-- I have one of those nifty ipod radio thingys that you can use as an alarm and I wake up to my favorite song "Bloody Nose" by Earlimart. It makes getting up more fun when your favorite tune is playing.)
For those of you who read my Facebook page, I DID get up at 4:30am (well, it was probably more like 4:45am by the time I stopped hitting snooze...) I ran on the treadmill. It was awesome. I have to say that it really changes why I do things when I put them in the right terms. Running at 4:45am for example. Anyone else would say this is insane (and it very well might be). And when the alarm goes off playing my favorite song, sometimes I just want to shut it off and sleep for another hour. But then I think to my Self, "I am running for Christi." And suddenly, it's nothing at all to get up at 4:45am. Because Christi is there with me and that makes all the difference.
After my run, I got ready for another day at work. (For those of you who may not know, I work for a small academic and social service nonprofit in NYC called the GO Project. During the school year, we run programming on Saturdays-- thus the going to work part. I put together a small bagel and coffee breakfast to thank our volunteer tutors for all of their hard work this year. And, despite the early hour it was a lot of fun getting to talk to them about fun things like Celia Rivenbark (if you have not read her work, you MUST. Her weekly humor column is the best start to my Monday), magazines, living in NYC (Shayla and Angela, we did not talk about the financial part of it, just who lives where.) Jennifer, we also talked about North Carolina because it turns out one of our volunteers is originally from there. And, OF COURSE, I had to be a complete dork and mention OTH. Duh.
After work, I went to donate platelets at MSKCC. I love donating platelets there. When they let me. See, I have this thing with my iron being horrible. (Your iron level needs to be 12.5 in order to be eligible for donation. I can't tell you how many times they've had to tell me I can't donate. If there were an award for most deferred donor, I would totally win. Every year. I am anything if not persistent.) Being a vegetarian-- or quasi as I say, since I do on very rare occasions eat meat and I still eat fish, it's been a little tricky keeping my iron and especially my B12 levels up. But, I am trying. It's a good thing I like broccoli and broccoli rabe and spinach so much! (Popeye would be proud.) Anyway, back to my platelet story. As Angela, can attest, my last donation did not go well. At. All. Basically, I moved my arm and the needle in my arm did something funky and the blood was no longer going where it needed to but pooling in my arm. Gross. Needless to say, I passed out. Embarrassing. So, given my last visit to the MSKCC donor room, I was a little (or a lot) nervous. Fortunately, my iron level just made it coming in at 12.5 and it all went rather well from there.
From the MSKCC donor room, I went up to the pediatric inpatient unit to visit Ylaria. It made my day to see her. She was up and walking with her walker for the first time in nearly a month. She was happy and chatty. She even read one of her school books to me (She is four and reading, how amazing is that?!?!). We watched some Disney movies (Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast is my favorite solely for the library. I adore that library.) I chatted with Belen, Ylaria's mom. I spent a great 5 hours with them. It was the best way to end my Saturday.
People have asked me why I do "this" (whatever "this" is). Why I visit Ylaria now that the prognosis is so bleak. And my answer is this: They are my family. I've known them since 2007 when they first arrived in NYC shortly after Ylaria was diagnosed. I can't leave now. I won't leave now. You don't get to pick and choose the people you fall in love with. The people that come into your lives. It just happens. They just do. God works magic and your paths cross. Our paths crossed and I've embraced the magic.
If you're reading this, I hope you had an amazing weekend. I hope you filled it with verbs and love and magic. Those are the best days. I know because I've lived them.
(Ylaria with her book. No wonder we're such great friends!)