Monday, October 17, 2011

Kelly the Caregiver

L: Shelley , R: Kelly

This weekend, Kelly, my close friend since age six, stayed with us. It was a blessing to have her helping us, given I wasn't exactly in prime shape. Katelyn took an instant liking to her, and declared Kelly "her" friend. By the end of the weekend, Rob was also referring to Kelly as "his" friend, since she was a lot more fun to hang out with than I've been.

Saturday evening, Kelly whipped up a meal from the cookbook, Eating Well Through Cancer. As we were sitting down to dinner, I asked her what section of the book her Mexican chicken casserole had come from. (The recipes are categorized by which side effects they can help alleviate.) In addition to the nutritional advantages, if there was any psychological benefit from eating a meal prescribed by a chemo cookbook, I wanted to realize it.

Kelly picked up the book, flipped through it, and said, "Oh, I didn't notice the recipes were grouped that way." She located the Mexican chicken casserole, and laughed.

"What's it supposed to help with...?" I asked with trepidation.

"It's in the caregiver section," she said.

On cue, Ryan says, "Great, I've been really worn down lately."

Nonetheless, it was delicious. We renamed it "Caregiver Casserole." Ryan told me that the next morning, Kelly pulled him aside and wanted the truth: Had my system handled it okay? He reassured her, and I further reassured her by having another piece for lunch.

Not only was it tremendously helpful having Kelly here, but it was great to be with my friend, who always makes me laugh. Thank you Kelly.