I’ve been gazing longingly at a running path outside our hospital window. The only problem I could foresee was getting to it. It just so happens to be across 6 lanes of highway and although I’m a bit cagey in this hospital room, I didn’t think the odds were in my favor to try. Then I thought, why not?

So, I hopped the railing and went for it.

Not really. I went around to where the running path begins. I had my mace, as I was told what a terribly frightening neighborhood this is. All I can say about that is I invite all Daytonites to my old neighborhood in Chicago at Western and Madison on a Sunday afternoon. I never ran with mace in Chicago. I was used to it.

Today I saw exactly one person on the path and yeah, he looked sketchy, and I’m not saying I didn’t turn around to make sure he kept going the other way. I am saying I found a very nice way to leave the hospital and still see Ashton’s window the entire time I am running.

It isn’t unusual for running to get me in times of crisis. When Scott died, I always started crying around mile 5. It was the only time I could have a proper cry with snot and hyperventilating and the works. Otherwise, I could only cry for about 45 seconds at a time. It felt like cries trapped inside my chest cavity.

Well, my old friend got me good today. After only about 30 minutes I returned to the hospital and sat on a bench outside. Thus began the ugly cry. People all around me and I could not stop. I let myself think of all the horrible outcomes. I let myself think of all the times I have not been a good mother and all the people who have told me so.

I had my headphones on and a woman stopped. She was moving her mouth at me and I waved her away. More than once. Finally, some polite person inside me said talk to this woman. Guess what? No matter how bad you’ve got it, there is a cliché for your situation. Her child was coming in for outpatient Chemotherapy. Her child is three and has survived with a rare brain tumor since she was three months old. The woman said she just “knew” and she had to stop and talk to me. She gave me her number and I may have my first friend in Dayton.

And Ashton was put on Morphine five minutes ago for pain. His blasts are down from 98% upon our admittance to Oncology and are today at 9%. This is great news that the cancer is being killed off, but…it hurts to see him hurt. Just like everyone else who knows someone with Cancer, or someone who has died from it, it makes me feel like I need to change the world.