November 29, 2015
As a parent, you never want to hear that your kid is trending downward. Academics, sports, therapy, and especially during a battle against cancer, it’s just not a phrase you want to hear. That’s how our November is coming to a close, but I’ll back up a little.
A Night Away
We started November with a chemo day and it went well. The following day Scott and I left for an overnight trip to Cape May, alone, together. This might seem normal to you, but it was anything but normal for us. We have been married for 16 years and our tradition is to go away for one night a year. This is probably a result of our simple family budget, but also a very genuine sense of contentment. We don’t really long to be away from our kids that often. I guess year #16 will go in the history books as a year of luxury, because this would be our second night away this year. We had a blast.
For about a week this month we were contemplating the sale of our house. Forget cancer and pregnancy and working three jobs and homeschooling, I was sure we could pack up our house and move in the midst of it all. We love our current house and really believe it was custom built for us. The only detail we can’t seem to settle on is bedrooms. Right now we have 4 girls sharing one bedroom and it’s getting crowded. We tried moving the older two girls down to the basement last year but it wasn’t the right solution.
Last weekend my dad found an old farmhouse right down the road from us with many bedrooms and many bathrooms. Our kindhearted and trusted real estate agent (message me for his info) humored us with a walk thru on Thanksgiving Eve. We knew right away it was too much for us to handle. And our kids were not impressed. We came home and each one said, “Mom we love our house, that other house was awful.”
I think as a parent you always want to give your kids the best. Sometimes we doubt ourselves and wonder if we’re doing them wrong. It was really the best Thanksgiving present to me to hear our kids say they were content where we are.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in our perfect-for-us home with both sets of grandparents. Our Black Friday was then another chemo day. The timing was great because Scott was off from school and he always loves the chance to take Theo to CHOP. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me to stay home on CHOP days. I know it’s good for Scott and good for Theo, but I feel like I’m literally handing Scott my heart at the front door.
Since the kids and I didn’t have any plans, we drove up to KOP and surprised Theo at the end of his appointment. He didn’t look happy to see us, check out the pic, but instead climbed into my lap and hid his face. He’s pretty self-conscious of his CHOP life, and I think he missed me just as much as I missed him.
That’s where the ‘downward trending’ talk began. Scott was texting me updates earlier so by the time I had filled up my gas tank at WaWa I knew Theo’s hemoglobin was low. I could feel my eyes stinging with tears as I raced up the turnpike. November had felt so normal I had almost forgotten what it was like to ride the cancer roller coaster. Once the ten of us settled in around Theo’s la-z-boy chair, our lead doctor came to say hi. All of his numbers were low, she said, and they didn’t see many baby blood cells indicating a low fresh production supply. I would have liked to blame it on the lambasted chemo, but she suspects it is something else.
They are preparing to give Theo a blood transfusion as early as Tuesday of this week. They will also begin blood work tests to determine if there’s an underlying problem that’s hindering his blood cell production. Our friends and family are braced to help back home on Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully by the end of the week we’ll know more. Will you please pray for Theo? Please also pray that we will clearly see the warning signs if he needs a transfusion sooner than Tuesday.
Can I share one more thing? Theo’s next appointment is a spinal tap on Christmas Eve. I’m sad about that. My intellect tells me there are many families who spent Thanksgiving in the hospital, and many families who will spend Christmas week in the hospital, and relatively speaking our circumstances are much easier. But there’s a spoiled brat inside of me who didn’t want to spend Black Friday at CHOP, and who especially doesn’t want to spend Christmas Eve at CHOP, watching her son under sedation and separated from the rest of the family. I’m stuck in spoiled brat mode and I’m feeling sorry for all of us.
Will you please pray for me, for Theo, for our family? I hope that somehow we can be a blessing to someone at CHOP on Christmas Eve. What a great time to be around other people who are hurting. I don’t want to miss out on that opportunity because of a self-centered heart.
Thank you kindly
Matthew 16:24 – 27
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[f] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.