Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 51

Thursday October 7, 2010

I find myself being way more thankful for the small things....things that otherwise I wouldn't been particularly excited about or grateful for. I feel like everything in my life has been divided into two separate dimensions: Before Cancer.....and.....After Cancer.

Before Cancer I wouldn't have really been thankful for Teddy getting ready for school without complaining, or the dog not piddling in the house because I forgot to take her out for a walk for hours, or for Todd cleaning the kitchen. I would have just expected these things and if they actually happened I would have nodded my head in recognition that things were as they should be. However, I would not have been necessarily thankful. If these things did not happen, I would have been extremely irritated and annoyed. Strange how I'd be irritated and annoyed but not really thankful? Seems backwards now!

After Cancer I find that it is much easier for my heart to be thankful. I am extremely thankful (and relieved) for Teddy getting ready in the morning without complaining, for Mel keeping it together, for Todd being helpful, for Nina sleeping well, for movie night with fresh popcorn and melted butter, for surprise deliveries of cotton candy ice cream, neighbors sharing warm right-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies, text messages saying hello, for giggles in the middle of the night, and most of all unexpected hugs!! I always knew that having a thankful heart was important but I did not realize how VITAL it actually is for every aspect of life. Now I do and I try to remind myself of that on an hourly basis, especially when I am extremely tired.

This morning was uneventful (finally!). I took Eileen to the airport at 7am. Our excitement (and my anxiety) for the wedding in Boston had grown over the course of the week. Tomorrow Teddy and I would be leaving and we'd get to spend a wonderful weekend with our dearest friends. Teddy woke up in an a great mood, super excited about our upcoming trip. For being anxious, Teddy loved to travel. Teddy has a great sense of adventure, he has since he was a tiny guy. For this trip, he was particularly excited about taking his very own carry-on suitcase on board the plane :) Sometimes his sweetness and innocence just leaves me breathless!

Right before we left for treatment, Eileen called to say that her flight had been delayed. I was super excited because that meant she would get to spend one more day with us in treatment. I packed up all of our gear (which today included oatmeal, fruit salad, and yogurt all ready for when the Queen awoke!) and we picked up Eileen at the airport before arriving at the Cancer Center. As I finished parking I looked at the dreaded special "T" parking sign which reserved parking for cancer patients. All of the sudden I felt a growing amount of trepidation. Tomorrow would be our last radiation treatment but for as much as the fasting was a nightmare and I was ready for Nina to have a break, the last day of radiation  treatment also signified that we were entering a new chapter of this journey, one that I really preferred to avoid altogether!

For the most part, Nina complied beautifully. The only thing she complained about was being weighed. She had grown to really dislike this activity. I assumed it was because the scale felt a bit unstable and she now avoided anything motorically that seemed insecure. Irrespective, we got everything done that we needed to and both Cindy and I reminded Nina of how proud we were of her. She didn't say a word...not even a stink eye...the girl has the best poker face in town :)

Once the anesthesiologist arrived and we made our way to the treatment hall, I decided to video tape this portion of the treatment procedures. During the past 5 1/2 weeks I had videotaped practically everything but when she got sedated. I decided that now was the time and that I would video this little piece of the journey. My favorite thing about Nina's ability to cope with treatment is how she uses her words to describe what she is feeling, fearing, wanting, and needing. Nothing illustrates this gifted spirit better than her saying that things are "Wiggly" after she is given Propofol. My stunningly smart girl has a way with words! In fact, both my children have this gift and I pray that they never lose it!

Eileen ended up leaving at 11am. Nina and I went to the La Cumbre mall and had a lovely picnic of Panda Express before picking up Teddy from school. Teddy could not stop talking about Boston....I mean Lexington. Actually we were calling it our Lexington trip (that is where Eileen and Dave live) as to avoid upsetting Nina since she had been begging to go to Boston lately :(

After school, we went to our friend's the Katzs for a play-date. Teddy and Trevor are the same age and attended kindergarten and 1st grade together. Nina and Justine attended preschool together for two years. Nina was ecstatic about going on a play-date. All the way to the Katz's house she kept saying, "I'm so excited to play with my friend!" Before leaving to pick up Teddy she had even reminded me to pack up some extra Halloween cookies I had bought so she could share them with Justine. We had a wonderful time at our play-date. The only problem, according to Nina, was that I always make play-dates too short :) That's my girl!!

 When we got home, Teddy continued his enthusiasm for our upcoming trip :) All he could talk about was packing and what we were going to do. He packed his suitcase with his Nintendo DS, games, activities, and snacks. I love how he is a's just that he planned to take everything he needed except for clothes :) My sweet little man!

Dinner was quiet but the four of us needed some quiet family time. Once again, our incredible friends prepared an amazing meal and we delighted in it! I can't explain what a relief it is to not have to deal with organizing and preparing meals during the week. It just allows us to concentrate more on Nina and Teddy! Right before bed Nina reminded Todd that tomorrow was her last treatment with Cindy. Todd kissed her on the forehead and told her he was excited for her and how proud he was of her. We were both unbelievably proud and excited for her but we were also left with turmoil about what would happen next. We continue to pray for our miracle!!

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