Monday, 28 March 2011
Today we had our "big" meeting with the 3F Oncology Clinic.
There is no age minimum or maximum with cancer, little babies - teenagers all together in a room with one thing in common.
We got Nick his ID bracelete and took a number as if we were at the deli.
After quite a wait it was our turn. In a meeting with the Oncologist and Social Worker we were given the news, Nick has stage III Hodgkins Lymphoma. We discussed that this is a type of cancer that responds well to treatment and we were told that "if we had to pick a type of cancer this would be a type to pick".
I suppose that should be a relief but honestly .... it wasnt.
We discussed the treatment protocol and while they didnt tell us the exact medication they did say that it would be a three week cycle, the first week he would have to stay in the hospital and then the second and third he can stay home but will need to check in at the hospital for vitals and levels twice per week.
This rotation will last for 18 weeks and then he will do radiation 5 days per week for two weeks.
We were told not to get too attached to this plan as things can change in a heart beat but at least for now we have a plan.
Nick laid on the bed with his eyes closed during the meeting while Aunt Bonnie and my Mom took notes. Dom and I listened and much to my surprise at one point I started to cry, I did not expect that to happen.
It wasnt because I learned anything new or more scary then it already appeared, it was the mention that in additon to his hair falling out his eye brows and eye lashes also would too. He will be losing the physical feature that has stood out since the moment that he entered the world, eye lashes that most women would kill for.
It was the realization that within 2-3 weeks my son will "look" sick. I quickly pulled myself together because that was not the time or the place.
We now have answers and the time is quickly coming to begin the fight. He can do this, I know he can.
He may have got his father's eyelashes but he got my fighting spirit .... nothing will take him down without a fight and this is a fight that he will win.
Friday, 25 March 2011
Today we got confirmation from the pathology department that it is indeed Lymphoma *sigh*... cancer.
Yesterday they were 99.9% sure but today its no longer a strong suspicion but is instead a fact.
We go back to the hospital on Monday for our "big meeting" to discuss the specific type and the treatment plan. What I know at this point is that his case is "unique" and not "classical in its appearance"
Leave it to my kid to be the one with the strange and not seen very often type of cancer......
As much as I would like it to, the world does not stop because your kid has cancer.
I could curl up into a ball and pray that sleep would encompass me for forever, that I would never have to experience the pain that comes with trying to make your son feel safe while you are terrified yourself.
I could easily turn into a blubbering mess, cry on every shoulder and refuse food because my stomach is in a constant knot.
I could be sad because my teenager decided that instead of new "kicks" for his 15th birthday he should instead get a PSP because it will give him something to do while he spends hours at the hospital and therefore is a more practical gift. Or sad that he feels the need to apologize to me for his cancer and ask me if I'm ok.
I could be angry and bitter, infuriated that its MY child that this happened too, that I have tried my very best to be a good mom and yet this intruder has invaded my home and abducted my child.
That other people are recovering from march break and we are recovering from life altering news. That instead of planning summer vacations I am instead planning to hire someone to help me so that I can take my child to chemo.
There is one comment that I have heard so often this past week and honestly it confuses me
"I dont know how you do it"
Really???? That's a silly thing to say, how do I not do it? What choice do I have?
I'm a mom and I have to do it there is no other option or maybe in a previous life I was a possum, carrying her babies with her wherever she went to protect them and keep them from harms way.
Sure she got tired and maybe at times wished that her babies could walk for themselves and not require so much from her but she loves them and if riding on her back all day and night was what they required then she let a quiet *sigh* escape, stiffened her back and shoulders to prepare for the extra load and gently gave them a boost to her back.
She knows that there is no point in complaining, crying uncontrollably or getting angry about the circumstances, her babies need her and wallowing in her own self pity will only make it worse.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust our sails
~ author unknown
This past week has been one of the hardest weeks of my entire life and believe me when I say that over the course of my twenty nine years there have been many hard weeks to choose from but this one takes the cake.
As I stood in the children's hospital gift shop feeling sorry for myself I looked up in an attempt to keep myself from crying and saw this quote displayed in large font on the wall.
They are just eleven short words but when combined they bring such meaning.
I have four boys named Nick, Kurt, Riddick and Maxwell. While they are all my children they all came to me in their own unique way ... I should have known that our lives wouldnt be a walk in the park, we never seem to take the easy route lol
Nick became my son by surprise, he was the best gift that I never knew I wanted and he is now the age that I was when I had him. Kurt was again a surprise, after a family friend fell on hard times she made the most courageous decision and he became my forever baby. I met Riddick on-line ... honestly, after deciding to adopt my husband Dom and I saw him on the local government adoption website and within three months we brought him home. As for Maxwell, he is my meant to be baby. He and I met in a dream and he lived as a hope in my heart for ten years until he became real with the help of science (and lots of money lol)
Each of my children has their own unique needs, Kurt has autism, Riddick has global developmental delay, Maxwell has a hearing impairment which leaves him 80% deaf and this past week we learned that Nick has cancer.
I dont have your typical family and that is something that I have always loved the most, I have always called the way that we function "controlled chaos" but as of right now our lives are still chaotic but there is nothing controlled about it. Right now I am simply putting one foot in front of the other, having no expectations of myself aside from blinking and breathing and most importantly I am doing my best to "adjust my sails" because God has shown me that while I thought that I was in control, the wind was never really in my grasp. There are times that I will stumble, that I will be week, there will be times where my fears will have me by the heart and I will question my own strength but I know that I can do this. While some friends and family have let me down far more have astonished me with their support, compassion, generosity and love
I will be using this blog to journal what is going to be the most trying and challenging time in our lives.... being Nick's biggest cheerleader while he kicks cancer's ass and continuing to be the best mom I can be for my other boys, ensuring that they continue to feel loved, wanted and safe while their needs are met in all areas of their lives.
My husband and I have a long road ahead with these boys but together we will make it and we will come out on the other end being masters of our ships and knowing just where those sails need to be for smooth sailing.