If you’ve ever been through a completely insane experience, an event that turned your life completely upside down, you can probably appreciate the value of a morbid sense of humor in getting through the experience. I know we have.
Halloween last year was only a couple of weeks after Jenna’s month-long hospital stay. As my husband prepared to take the kids trick-or-treating I said, “It looks like Jenna’s dressed up as a cancer kid this year and her costume only cost us $60,000.” We both broke into peels of laughter, laughing so hard tears ran down our cheeks. We hadn’t laughed so hard in months. (Little did we know it had actually cost twice that.) As I write this, I question my sharing it because when we told others about this in later weeks, we received many unexpected reactions ranging from contempt to pity. I’m still not sure it’s a good idea. But even as I read this to my husband we are both laughing about it again.
During Jenna’s long hospital stay my husband one day mistakenly told me he’d join me “at the hotel by 8.” Hotel?! Are you kidding me?… But, then it was funny and we went with it. When Jenna was admitted for hospital stays we’d ask for a room with an ocean view. We joked about the “hotel” amenities – clean linens every day (or more), room service, housekeeping, restaurant in the lobby with some of the best salmon we’ve ever had (for only $5!), etc. It made me laugh every time.
Recently we were joking about the family member decals that people put on their rear car windows, so popular here in Utah. We were talking about how Jenna’s feeding tube and pole it’s attached to at home are like an extension of her and had an idea for our own family member decal. Here was his idea…
And so it is this morbid sense of humor that was the inspiration for my next pillow in the 52 Pillows Project.
While Jenna’s treatment has involved a lot of blood, as in blood draws for labs and cultures, we haven’t had to deal with a lot of bleeding, aside from applying a band-aid after said blood draws. I can’t tell you how I relieved I am about this. But for this next pillow for some reason I couldn’t help thinking about blood and bleeding as the theme. We are inundated by medical supplies now, a whole closet is filled with everything from medical food (formula) to alcohol prep swabs to gauze sponges (which we use for diaper wipes) to barrier paste to feeding bags and more. An eighth of my kitchen counter space is devoted to medications and syringes. Very little of her supplies though have to do with bleeding.
While morbid, this week’s pillow is actually an expression of humor. I have thought about it for weeks and trying to shun the idea because of its morbidity. How is this creative? I asked myself. It’s icky and who would want to rest their head on a “bloody” pillow? Aah, but practicality is not the point of this project. Creativity is. And taking a bunch of medical supplies and making them into a pillow is pretty creative (and kind of funny), or so my husband tells me. With that said, here’s this week’s pillow….
I really hope the home care supplier doesn’t see this so I don’t get lectured again on doing my part to keep healthcare costs down. Most of the supplies I used were leftovers we don’t need anymore or things we would throw in the garbage anyway.
(Oh, one last thing. We do not mean ANY disrespect to other families and children going through a cancer/chemotherapy experience. We’ve been there and done that and are still doing that with our daughter and are so aware of how difficult and heartbreaking and sickening it all is.)