Half an hour after we left UPMC this morning, just as we were approaching the entrance ramp for I-76 West, Rebecca threw up with no warning. She threw up a lot. We pulled over and scrambled to get her out of the car so we could clean her off and check for any other symptoms. She stood with her arms held away from her body in the classic “ick” pose, until I peeled her shirt off to get most of the vomit away from her. “It’s all over my arms and legs! Why do I have to be like this?” she wailed miserably.
I pulled her to me, wrapped her in my arms, and said over and over, “I know, honey. I know.” Keeping my voice as level and calm as I could. I don’t think I did a very good job of it.
By the time we’d gotten her and her car seat mostly clean, she felt fine, except for the taste in her mouth, which she pronounced “disgusting”. We found the nearest drug store, bought some wipes and paper towels, completed the cleanup, and got back on the road, a newly fresh set of fears riding with us.
It could be the experimental treatment she’s taking, which is known to induce nausea in some kids, though she’s never been sick from it before. It could be an aftershock from the GI ailment that went through the house the past few days, which had every single one of us dealing with unpleasant symptoms at one point or another. It could be that she choked on her juice and triggered the gag reflex. Or it could be the tumor, finally grown large enough to kill her.
I don’t know. But the last time Kat and I were cleaning her off by the side of a Pennsylvania highway, she had four days to live.