Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 135

Thursday December 30, 2010

Mixed emotions. My life is marked by mixed emotions: happy-sad, secure-anxious, strong-wounded, delighted-lonely, calm-frustrated, elated-heartbroken! Sometimes the range is covered at lightening speed, leaving me dizzy. Today was one of those days.

Elated was shopping with Adelae and Nina, seeing them try on items to find the "perfect" pair of glasses and outfit, hearing them laugh like the very "bestest" of friends!

Happiness was exploring the zoo with the kids and seeing their curiosity and sense of exploration explode with each turn.

Delight was unexpectedly running into Hanna and Doug Dreier. I had never met Hanna. As we entered the zoo she recognized me from the blog and introduced herself and her gorgeous family. The Dreiers had made Nina's Zoo Party a reality! They literally paid the site fee and made sure that Nina's complete happiness was secured at every turn! The kindness of strangers leaves me breathless!! Needless to say, the Dreiers are no longer strangers but cherished friends!!!

Anxiety was revisited by Nina's returning symptoms. Since our return to Santa Barbara, Nina's symptoms had been reemerging. Symptoms started rearing their ugly head starting on Christmas night, with a tiny bit of drooling right at bedtime. However, since returning to Santa Barbara, I had begun to notice a profound change. First, her sleep was further disturbed. Then, the drooling intensified. Finally, the ataxia (difficulty walking, keeping balance) returned with avengence!

On our way to the zoo, I called our oncology office to speak with one of the doctors and update them on the symptoms and to confirm our MRI and Avastin treatment for Monday. Unfortunately, the MRI somehow didn't get scheduled and the next one available was January 17th. This was not going to do. I needed to know why the symptoms were reemerging. I needed to know what was going on in her brain stem. I needed to know what was happening with the tumor!! Was it growing? Was there increased edema?  Sooo... I immediately called my guardian angels...Linda and Eduardo Marban. For the next several hours, I texted with several doctors and the Marbans, trying to make an appointment at Cedars for an immediate MRI. Linda and Eduardo are my fairy godparents! They are my guardian angels! Within hours....everything was rolling in the right direction. I breathed a sigh of relief.

At 4:30pm, Adelae said goodbye to Nina and Teddy. Nina was so brave as she hugged Addie goodbye, but I could tell she was heartbroken. Adelae hugged her tightly, as if trying to memorize the way Nina felt. I know I do that all the time. After one more set of hugs, Adelae and I climbed into our car and drove off to meet Joe half way! Adelae had to return home to spend New Year's Eve with her friends. Each visit with Adelae is a precious gift! We are forever thankful!!

The drive back after dropping off Adelae was long! There was a ton of traffic. Initially, I questioned why there were so many cars on the road but then I remembered it was almost New Year's Eve. The night seemed to engulf me, pounding me with a dark loom. August 19th seemed like a lifetime ago but then again it seemed just like yesterday. I had prayed so earnestly for the holidays with Nina and my prayer had been heard. Now....the year was coming to an end. What a cruel year! A myriad of thoughts raced through my mind. I tried to shut most of those thoughts out of my mind but they careened back in as fast as I threw them out! Before I knew it, holy terror had seized me! All I wanted was comfort!!

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