The parents agree that Nat is starting to return to normal. Not only was he slightly fussy, but he didn't want them around at all. Whenever they would walk into the room, he'd shriek. "No Pop-pop!" or "No Softa!" Hurtful as it is, at least it indicates that Nat's returning to his usually cranky self. (He takes awhile to warm up around people.) My parents are very optimistic.
Talking to my brother, however, is a different matter. He believes my parents are too optimistic and he went out of his way to impress the harsh realities upon me. 1 out of 5 children die from this (the aforementioned 80% which my parents reported to me and I to you last week, and didn't take much comfort in.) He also pointed out that Nat could be undergoing chemotherapy for up to 2 years, and he doesn't know anything about chemo; what it will do to Nat, how long it takes, will they have to stay at the hospital overnight...nothing.
Then he asked me to call my aunt who, he says, is taking this very hard and needs someone to talk to. When I admitted that I didn't have her number (it's a long story...don't ask), he called her and told her to call me because I was depressed and needed cheering up.
So, I guess what I'm saying is, stress aside, my family is acting entirely as you would expect. So I guess things are sorta normal.
If you're a knitter, and you're inclined, one of Sissy's friends has designed a hat in honour of Nat and is selling the pattern here: http://www.curlypurly.com/profhat.html and forwarding the proceeds, as well as anything that comes in on the donation bar to Sissy and Brian for, what Brian calls the "homeopathic" supplements to the chemo that he and Sissy intend to use.
They're organizing an auction to raise money to help out with various medical expenses, and I've just sent a letter offering to donate jewelry.
At least it's something I can do, finally.