Continued Reflections on Cancer

As I had said in my post, earlier today, (reading this post first is a great way to see the rantings and ramblings that have brought my mind to this point today 😉   Reflections on Cancer )  I am blessed not that so many people that I now know have Cancer. I am blessed that I can look to them as inspiration in our situation. I hope that makes sense to you. Obviously, I wish I had met them under different circumstances.

But I have learned so much! I can have actual conversations about medical stuff with a nurse friend of mine…and understand what she is saying. (That is a nice feeling, I have to say) I have learned that there are more cells than just red and white cells in the blood and that they all have really long, interesting names and jobs. (And that is what I get for not taking anatomy in High School…) I learned which ones are critical in that if they drop to a certain point, that means Spencer needs a transfusion. I have learned that Lumbar Punctures are not LONG surgeries, nor are Bone Marrow Aspirations. And that they don’t leave disfiguring marks. Just tiny little needle scars. I have learned that not all nurses are good at what they do. (Most are, but we have encountered a few that…oy) We have learned about the Children’s Cancer Program. I have learned that “Chemo” is not one type of chemical. There are many, many kinds of chemo. I did not know that. I have learned that not all chemo patients end up bald. Most do, (And not even completely) but Spencer still has 3/4 to 1/2 his hair evenly spread over  his head. I have learned about the different options for accessing the body for Intravenous Meds (there are more ways than an IV in the hand…again. I did not know that) I have learned recently (he would not let me anywhere near it for a LONG time) that Spencer’s port kind of feels like the top part of a wine cork in diameter. It is odd, to say the least. I have learned that you can access it as needed and he doesn’t have to have tubies all over him all the time. (I had thought that there was a cap over it…I have no idea why I thought that) I have learned that we are not alone. I have learned that there are resources. I have learned the powers of prayers (not that I didn’t already know that, but that there are medical studies supporting it) And I learn more every day.

Life has an interesting way of changing your perspective in the ways you least expect it through a change that you could have never predicted. Someone asked me a while ago if this experience has made me stronger. Having had lots of time to think about it, now, I would say that no, this experience has not made me stronger. What I think it has done is changed my perspective. Had anyone asked me a year ago what I would do if my child was diagnosed with Cancer, I would have probably said “I don’t know” while thinking to myself  “I would lose my fricking mind…that’s what I would do…” And I was partially right. I had a slight mental breakdown when they told me. But I recovered quickly and I have been Okay ever since. None of it is fun, but it is all bearable.

Really, dealing with ALL is like any major task. Broken down into steps, with a plan, it is easy enough to handle. Give me a task…meds to give, appointments to attend… and I am good to go. But when I stop to think, I mean really stop to think, I am like,” Holy crap. My kid has Cancer. ” So I don’t stop to think. I take the small steps, the daily challenges (today’s is going to be giving Spider Thug two doses of medicine twice…that is enough for one day, lol) Tomorrow, I will take the small steps too. But by looking down at my feet at the small steps I am taking and looking to the sky to be thankful for what we have, I was able to look back in the month of December and realize how far we have really gone. Four and a half months (ish) are behind us. Those baby steps have brought us miles and though we have miles still to go, there is movement. There is progress. And in between all the baby steps- the chemo, the meds, the appointments, there is life. Life dances through us every day and around us. So sometimes our baby steps are waltz steps.

 

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