Our one bathroom has been ripped down to the studs so when it comes time to leave the hospital, we’re heading to Aaron’s parent’s home in the faraway suburbs of Minneapolis. Before we met, I’d never heard of this place, let alone dreamed that it would serve as a brain tumor refugee camp for us.
We spend our nights like any normal young couple: watching movies in his parents’ bed, falling asleep with our hands clasped together and every two hours to alarms that remind me to lean over and drop a few pills into his mouth: a steroid, an antibiotic, a Tylenol and something that looks like baby aspirin.
Before the sun rises, I’m dressing in the dark and tip-toeing out of the house to join droves of SUVs driving far too quickly on misty, one-lane roads to idle in line at the drive-thru Starbucks.
I’m eagerly anticipating the distractions my day will hold: last-minute brainstorms and unexpected client requests, maybe even a crisis situation if I’m lucky. Those are passports back to real life, where we live in the city and our biggest problem is how horribly drunk I got at the Halloween party.
In the backseat of my car are the stuffed animals and cards from the hospital, serving as pieces of horribly cheerful evidence that the past two weeks were indeed. They have somehow survived my urges to toss them in a dumpster or light them on fire.
Before I step into the office, I shove them all into the trunk. Now I’m ready to play pretend all day.