October Curse

My phone chimed. It was an email from Jeanette.

“Jordan did great.”

A tiny smile expanded to a broad smile on my face. The girls were back at CHLA this morning to restart Jordan’s chemotherapy after a four-week break. Sometimes Jordan gets anxious about being accessed through her port. We spent a lot of time over the weekend prepping her. Each time she’s accessed she has a chance to win prizes Nettie collects in advance. All she has to do is follow some simple steps: look away, relax, breathe. If she does everything well, she earns the prize.

Jeanette’s email let me know that Jordan passed with flying colors. It was a relief – one less thing to worry about on a busy Monday.

But I exhaled too early. About an hour later Jeanette called to tell me that Jordan’s speech was slurring. She was apparently having mild seizures at the hospital. A cat scan has been ordered and she’s under observation.

I chalk it up to the October curse. It was nearly two years ago that we were dealt the news that Jordan had cancer. Last year at this time, she began having serious side effects from the chemotherapy. Now, despite all her progress, despite weeks of cheeriness and wellness, the curse is back.

There was a time when October was my favorite month on the calendar.