Phoebe is so full of life and energy and joy today. It’s beautiful. I know she doesn’t fully grasp what it means to be done with chemo, and I can’t tell her we won’t go to the hospital again, because we will. But not for a while, barring disaster! She has recovered and continues to recover from her LAST round of chemo. WOW.
What a place to be. I admit, I do feel like I have some “road rash” for lack of a better way to explain the last year. I can look back over the past fourteen months now and see that in the beginning I was in shock. Phoebe’s brain surgery in my recall, is blurry and fuzzy and dreamlike. I remember feeling numb and going through the motions, but I was a little out of it in retrospect.
The horror of the post surgery tremors and not sleeping for 36 hours; having to hold her arms down so she wouldn’t flail about. I feel like I am reading someone elses story when I scroll back the blog to those days. People reminded me to eat, told me when to rest, and even sent us away to a hotel to sleep for 16 hours straight that week after her surgery.
Thank God for friends and family who stayed so close during those fragile days.
And then the hairloss and the Septic shock and burned hands and feet. This sweet baby girl has been through so much. And we have gone with her on this crazy ride. All of us. All of you.
Then things got better, chemo became more predictable, although not a schedule by any normal sense of the word. A thousand 2 am ER visits, and sodiums gone wild in either direction, and fevers and dehydration…and that was just Phoebe.
We also had Deacon and the boiling pot of water incident the same day Ben broke out in mysterious hives, and we had 3 out of 4 of our children in the hospital at the same time. And of course who can forget the Whooping Cough the boys and I came down with? What a mess.
And now we’re here. She’s done. Everything has changed in our world and we are different people because of this journey. It feels much like waking up from a stressful dream and realizing that your life is still in tact and you’ll be okay. But the memory is still there, and there are still things to process, still questions you are needing God to answer. So road rash…that’s the best way I know how to say it.
Tomorrow morning we will wake up together, all six of us under the same roof and start the newest normal. And Phoebe will just be doing life with us, with her blood counts climbing and climbing and that feels amazing. We have learned to live in the moment with this sweet girl, and we are all going to enjoy having her around all the time.
The boys are doing great; some of you have asked about them. Benjamin is enjoying Cub Scouts and spending time with friends playing in our bamboo forest, making hide-outs and cutting down trees with his machete. He is a voracious reader and if I don’t hear him for a while, I can usually find him curled up somewhere with a book. He is an awesome helper with Phoebe and Deacon and has really bloomed since we moved back to East Texas.
Averic is doing great too. He is hoping to start Gymnastics or Karate soon and has been improving in his reading which has been a struggle for him at times. We recently adopted a new dog that we named “Howdy” and Averic being the animal lover of the family, loves running around with Sadie and Howdy on our land. Averic is a big snuggle bug when it comes to Phoebe and she asks for him most often. He enjoys going to home-school roller-skate day each Friday at a church nearby and loves spending time with his friends. All 3 boys are also involved in kids choir at church on Wednesday nights and they love it.
Deacon is doing well, although I think this year has affected him the most. He lost his play-mate for a long time; she changed, she was different, she couldn’t play or run or wrestle like they used to and that was tough for him. He often has a difficult time understanding why Phoebe is “so special that everyone sends her mail and presents and not me” Poor little guy. How do you explain it all to a new 5 year old? So, he is a bit clingy with me and at times a little more sensitive than your average kid, but I am hoping and praying that he begins to feel more secure about his place in the family soon. He sneaks into my bed around 2 am every morning and I let him stay. He hasn’t had nearly the amount of attention and focus this past year that he would have otherwise, and I feel those 2 am snuggles, at least in part, make up for some of that. He enjoys learning letters with Mom and “doing art” he says. He is so glad to have Phoebe home and it is the joy of my heart to see those two together playing in the bathtub or playing make-believe.
Nathan and I are looking forward to getting away together, just the two of us very soon. We have passed like ships in the night too oft these past many months and we need to get to know each other again. I have gained so much respect for my husband through all of this. He has laid down his life for his family and remained strong throughout it all. He has anchored us and been the best Dad a little girl could ask for. I am so proud to call him mine.
So here we go…and I know God goes with us into this new place. He has carried us and will continue to carry us.
Thank you for celebrating with us!