Wednesday, April 10, 2013

22 Months

I have been cancer-free for 22 months. Yesterday was my quarterly oncology appointment.  All is well. That means I'm closing in on the 2 year mark of my 5 year *wait.*  Although so much life has happened in 22 months, it feels sometimes like a slow drag and sometimes like a blink of an eye. 

It's weird how spring triggers intense chemo memories.  We finally got the chance to open our windows this week.  The sun was pouring in through the windows and the breeze was blowing the curtains in a certain way that nearly made me faint with anxiety.  I guess it must be something similar to what people with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD) experience when they hear a car back fire.  I hate that I have trouble just enjoying the spring.  But it is a mixed season for me.

Back then, I remember being so happy once the weather broke and I could finally do my "laps" (that was what I called my walking in circles around the living room because I was antsy from the steroids/trying to get the bloating down after a treatment) outside.  I would walk down the street and around the block, happy to be outside, seeing the flowers peek their heads through the cold hard ground.  It felt like a glimmer of life at the end of a tragic winter yet because at this point I still had several more treatments to go, instead of life- it felt like I was experiencing a slow death.  Anxiety, fear, grief, and sadness over loss of identity was what I lived and breathed.  I clung to faith by the tips of my slipping fingers.  Somehow, though, I clung.

Spring sprung that year, regardless of my physical, spiritual and emotional state.  It blossomed into summer.  A summer of celebration.  Cancer-free.  Life had resumed.  Hair grew back.  Weight piled back on.  Kids' rebounded. Memories remain.  Fear lurks.  Relief rushes in.  Faith continues to eek along.  God's goodness remains.  His Faithfulness, unrelenting.

In nearly two years, I find I am still unable to say that I am *thankful* for my cancer.  It seems like the right thing to say.  It seems like so many others get there so much more quickly.  I have so much that I AM thankful for.  Just not cancer.  Nor the season of cancer.  I wonder if I will ever embrace Spring like I once did.  Will the sights/sounds/smells always trigger a knee-jerk reaction? 

I guess time will tell. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

The day my son became a thug

Steve and I have recently been reading a book about parenting called Parenting With Love and Logic by Jim Fay.  It's been really good.  The main gist of the book is to allow your children to experience logical consequences for their poor choices in life.  Well, its a good thing I've been reading that book because it helped prepare me for yesterday.

When I went to pick the boys up from school I was greeted by Turner's teacher who was had a sly look on her face when she asked how I was.  "Doing great" was my answer.  I, in turn, asked her how she was doing.  "I was doing great, until recess.  Didn't you get a call?"  I'm sure my eyes bugged out of my head because her answer was "Turner and Parker got into a fight.  Like a REAL FIGHT.  With punching and stuff."  (By the way, she loves Turner and had a twinkle in her eye as she told me.)

With that, Turner made his first appearance in the Principal's office.  He and Parker both *got* to eat lunch with her.  (Which, we later found out, Turner thought was kind of cool because she has a lot of Buckeye stuff.) Side note to principals... don't have cool stuff in your office, it makes you less intimidating.  And I NEED you to be intimidating.

The story goes (according to the teachers) that Turner punched Parker in the nose.  Turner's version is that they were playing tag and he did a two handed push on Parker who then in turn punched Turner.  I'm not a mom who lives with her head in the sand.  I'm very sure that Turner should NOT have put his hands on anyone at recess. He very possibly punched his buddy in the nose.

However, Parker is the same boy who came to play one afternoon and bit Turner so hard he left a welt so perfect on Turner's arm we could have made a retainer out of it.  When I asked why he bit Turner, he flat out denied it.  Finally when I pressed him and showed him the proof, he fessed up.  Let's just say they are evenly matched. 

I am also quite sure it was REALLY good for both boys to spend some time in the Principal's office.  Natural consequences!  You do the crime... you do the time!

It is really hard as a mom to let the chips fall where they may.  I want to make sure that my kids get the message loud and clear, but at the same time I don't want to over punish.  I have a boy who is rough and tumble and this probably isn't going to be his only trip to the Principal's office (which is SO different from the other two who would rather die than get in trouble.)  Learning now to separate myself from my kids' decisions will help me as they grow up.  Man is that hard!
He may be a thug, but he sure is a cute one!!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

You are going to be SO jealous

This is the last day of spring break around here.  I love my kids, we've had some great memories the past few days, but honestly, this has been the spring break that would not die!  It started with an early dismissal on some Friday that seems like a million years ago.
I know it is hard to drum up a lot of sympathy from people since we were living it up in 80 degree Orlando back in February on our trip to Disney, but not going anywhere for spring break has been a bummer.  Especially when on our first Monday we would have had a snow day IF it had not been spring break.  Seriously, winter, I'm so over you.

We did head south for the first night of break.  We made it to Cincinnati and hit Great Wolf Lodge for a night.  We brought our friend, Raine, with us since the brothers have each other and Olivia rarely gets girl time.  It ended up being one of the smartest things we've done.  There were literally several hours I didn't even know where the girls were because they were off sliding to their hearts content.  Have I mentioned how much I enjoy having big kids? 
It was a wonderful 23 hours at the water park.  Until It wasn't.
About an hour before we left I started not feeling quite right.  I figured it was all the lazy river-ing I had done earlier.  Or the greasy onion rings I had for lunch.  Who knows... and who really cares.  All I know is we made it about 20 minutes down the road on our trek home and I frantically made Steve pull the car over.  Where I managed to throw up all over Trader's World.  If you are ever going North on 75  you are familiar with Trader's World.  It was not one of my finer moments.
 Thankfully, it was a short lived 12 hour bug and I was ready to go the next day.  Good thing too, since we needed to pack the car up and head Cleveland Tuesday afternoon.  We spent Tuesday through Sunday up north with Grandma and Papa ('cuz if you can't go somewhere warm for spring break you should definitely go to grandmas!) 
Turner couldn't wait to get there and show off his lost tooth.  Did I mention how much I enjoy having big kids?  Do you notice a theme?  (And YES this picture is for real.  It didn't work.  Turner ended up losing his tooth at the water park.  During lunch.  The tooth was recovered.  The contents of my stomach were not.)
On our way to Grandma's house I started feeling my throat, and my body.  That is never a good thing.  By the time we arrived I was well aware I was coming down with something.  I tried to recover and pump myself full of Tylenol, vitamin C, Claritin.  Shoot, I even tried Benadryl.  Nothing really seemed to help.  On Thursday Steve's brother, his wife and their two kids showed up.  We got a call that night that Steve's sister got engaged and then they both arrived the next day.
Just in time for me to have pink eye. In both eyes.  I have been a picture of health and beauty for the past six days.
Seriously?  I pretty much have spent my whole spring break barfing, snowed in or oozing goop.  Lovely.  Don't you wish you could have been cooped up with me the past 10 days? I truly am sorry for all family who were, in fact, cooped up with me.  I would have TOTALLY talked about me behind my back after the trip was over.
I finally tried out the CVS minute clinic today.  The PA declared me to have *just a cold.*  I nearly punched her in the lip.  So I wait it out. 
The school bell rings tomorrow at 9:25am.  Think I'm ready?