A year ago today…part 2

A year ago today I walked out the door with my infant son headed to the doctors office. You know the trip, things aren’t getting worse but aren’t getting better…the ‘just to be safe’ trip. I was so sure, I left without kissing my boys, my babies, good bye. (I was gone for 11 days initially.)

As I shut the door, I unwittingly shut the door on my former life; the world I knew, in all its comfy imperfectness, was gone.

I’ve spent all day trying to come to terms with it again but I think it will always be something which cannot be fully grasped. It’s so mind bending. Tumors, emergency surgery and a baby in the same sentence, terrible. Horrific when its your child. I still don’t know how to describe it, maybe like walking off a cliff. Or better yet, like Wylie Coyote of Saturday morning cartoon fame when the cliff bottom falls out beneath him but he hasn’t fallen yet. He knows its coming, the weightlessness and fear of the impending doom. I think that is probably very accurate for us cancer parents. We’re the Wylie Coyote’s of the hospital world. We get hit with the anvil daily (some days more times than you count) but we keep getting up and trying again, fighting for our kids.

Some days you just can’t imagine being hit again and then again but you take the hit and you steel your resolve to handle the next blow…whether it is the first time you see the images of your Child’s tumor(s); or waiting on the biopsy that confirms the worst; or feeling the hot sting of tears rolling down your cheeks as you comfort your child, silently praying this time the nurse can find the vein; or the first time you sign away your child’s life as you send him off to surgery (and the second…and the third…and the forth…and so on); upon seeing the first clumps of hair fall to the pillow; as you watch the IV bag drip with the first dose of chemotherapy running towards your Child’s body; as you worry about your other children and the toll this is taking on them; receiving the thoughtful gift from the surgical nurse of a lock of hair for your Child’s first hair cut…which was done prior to his first brain surgery…no lollipops, no cameras. I literally could go on for pages with the “anvils” we’ve taken or seen other families take. Stuff that you probably don’t want to know but that we live, daily.

And yet, like Wylie Coyote, we get up. Again and again. Never leaving our kids sides, smiling when we want to cry, crying tears of joy, sleeping on our feet so our face is there ‘in case’ they wake up, loving the gift of our child (and children) and the God who gave them to us. Knowing there is a message, somewhere in the insanity’ waiting to be uncovered. Hoping it’s the miracle and praying for strength when it is not. Knowing your life is forever changed.

I guess that’s all I really know. Life is forever changed. There are many blessings we have received in this change but its hard to marry those two together and probably a topic for another day.

A year ago today…part 1

A year ago today, I was just like many of you reading this now. In fact, I was you.  Living my life, our life, dealing with the day to day struggles.  The struggles we all face…balancing work (whether you work outside or inside the home) with family and, well, life.  Making lunches, ensuring homework is done and practices aren’t missed.  Paying bills and figuring out when to fit in a work out (ha!).  Normal.  Regular.

I remember the weekend and Monday that followed well; not because of what was going to happen but because of what already had happened. Let me see if I can explain.

We had twins in August, the August of the H1N1 scare. They were preemies, 33 weekers. By the time they were both home in mid-September, the H1N1 epidemic/scare was in full swing; and with the possibilities of lung issues due to their early birth, we weren’t going to take any chances. Plus, we were feeding two babies every 2ish hours or so…as you can imagine, we pretty much stayed home. :)

Then the ‘snowmaggedeon’ of 2009/2010 decended upon us. I mean I have lived here my whole life (born at Fairfax Hospital :) ) have you ever seen so much snow? I love snow. LOVE IT. I remember playing with Brady in the snow one night and having to play in the street because the snow in our yard was too deep for him to take a step.  We had a ball anyway but geez, wasn’t it insane?!

Then came March. Ahhhh March…you and your ‘teaser days’ of Spring. Those days not unlike a week ago when we were out in our yard pruning, getting the ground ready for our bulbs to come up and watching the boys play. Ahhhh March. We enjoyed that weekend last year. It was a great weekend. We had family come in from out of town and spent a wonderful day at my Mom’s catching up and showing off all the boys but especially our newest little ones.  A wonderful afternoon all around.  Declan was feeling a little off his game a little sleepier than normal but nothing out of the ordinary.

It was even nice enough for a stroller ride when we got home.  I laugh when I see that picture now because while it felt warm from what we had experienced, it wasn’t exactly toasty and I bundled the boys up so only their little faces were showing.  I just knew the fresh air was going to do us all good and surely it seemed to lift all our moods.

I remember Stan and I saying… ‘Aren’t you just so excited? Can’t you just feel how great this year is going to be?’   We felt like the hibernation of twin preemies, snowmaggedeon and even a little of the stunted economy was lifting…(deep breath)…(big smile)….(knowing nods to each other)…yup, this is going to be a great year.

Monday brought back to the old work week but the sense of hope seemed to fill the air, just as it does every year when we feel the first few days of warmer weather.  How can you not feel rejuvenated and full of life when the sun shines so brightly?

My day at work ended early though as I received a call from home to let me know Declan was still not acting himself.  I decided these are the days a Mommy’s arms are what is needed most and headed home to comfort my boy.  All seemed ok as long as he was being held or sleeping and the remainder of the day ended as any other…juggling the kids, baths and bedtimes.  Just another day in our life.