Friday, November 9, 2012

Gratitude... is contagious!

Two weeks of radiation down and three more to go! That's how we have to learn to see things. Zack's final radiation treatment of the week went quite smoothly today. We arrived at our usual 9 am appointment and within 15 minutes we were back on the road.. I had plans to spend most of the day with Nancy and Zack was going to hang out with his friends. I had told Zack that it was better if we stay away from home and let Frank continue to rest. 

Zack is excited, he has the rest of the day and evening to hang out with his friends. On the way to treatment I called his "other" Mamma , Melanie and asked if it was possible for him to stay with them tonight. I explained my concern about him staying in the house with Frank still sick. I know I'm probably OVERLY protective, but I need to know that I am doing everything possible to keep him safe. Zack has been doing his share to stay safe as well. As soon as he enters the house he puts on his surgical mask (we bought a pile of them for us and guests when they are needed). He makes sure to wash his hands and uses hand sanitizer. Since I wear turtle necks most of the time, I have a built in mask, of course I'm still cleaning everything in the house and spraying the Lysol. 

Zack has a bounce in his step today. His color looks good and he is a little (too) excited about maybe not going into the hospital next week. I asked him if we were supposed to pack just in case, he looks at me and says "Mom, you know we never know one day from the next what is going to happen, we just have to be prepared." Excuse me??? I thought Frank and I were the ones that taught him that!!, well Scouts gets some credit too. So, it seems my son is taking these "changes" better than his Mamma, whom has never handled change well. 

I decided it would be easier for Zack to get around by just letting him keep my car. We run a few errands  like drop off his loaner cell phone (his replacement arrived within 24 hours!), mail out the broken phone, return some pants that didn't fit him. He is finally ready to drop me off at Target, where Nancy and I agree to meet for lunch and some window shopping. It was bittersweet seeing him drive off (especially in MY car). I have been in protective mode- overkill of late and know that I can't smother him. 

Nancy and I had a great time just being "girls". Taking our time shopping, having a wonderful lunch at our favorite Thai restaurant and then more shopping. I was lucky enough to find a cute affordable new purse (yes my weakness) and a pretty new jacket. As I do every month, I also grabbed some Lindt and Ghirardelli chocolates for the Nurses, Doctors and Social Workers at the Clinic. I love to give them just a little something as a Thank You for taking such good care of Zack. I still can't understand how they can care for children with these horrible diseases day in and day out and still continue to smile. It takes a very special breed and we are so grateful for having found them. I check in with Frank to see how he is feeling, which unfortunately was not much better, he thinks the fever has finally broken but is very sore. I then check on Zack who is having lunch with Chris L. and then plans on going to hang out at Drakes until school is out. It is now around 3 pm and Nancy and I decide to wrap up our day. 

Nancy drops me off at home and I find Frank on the patio reading his book with the ever faithful Sidi by his side. He is starting to feel worse again, with the fever returning and a head and body aches. This seems like the very thing that Nancy had a week ago and it took over 8 days to clear up. Now more than ever I am glad that Zack is away and I again start to clean everything up.

Frank tells me that he is going to sleep on the couch tonight, he just can't stay flat on his back for another day and night, so I run into the bedroom, change all the linens and decide that I can reclaim the bed and possibly, finally get a good night's sleep. I manage to make a couple of jokes teasing Frank and get him to laugh a bit. It's so hard to see him sick, he is usually quite healthy. This simply will have to run its course and I will continue to play musical beds / couches based on his comfort level. Zack checks in and is with Chris F. and his family where he will be spending the night. He is still feeling well and is glad to be able to hang out with his friends. 

As I lay in bed checking my emails, Facebook and start to write the blog, I see a message from one of my new found friends. I "met" Jen on the Sarcoma website and befriended her on FB.  Her husband ( I might have mentioned in previous blogs) was 13 when first diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in the spine. He just today had surgery (his cancer has returned and successfully been treated four times before). Her post stated that they were surprised to find the tumor was Ewings.. again... Freaking out I called Nancy, we had just spoken of this at lunch, how each case is so different and how Zack, who's cancer was in the soft tissue NOT a major organ or in the blood or bone has very good odds (85% after treatments) of it never returning. Nancy calms me down reminding me of our lunchtime conversation. She also reminds me to watch something funny to change my thinking. She is right! Of course do I take her advise? Nooooot really!! I watch three episodes of "Hoarders". Oh well, ever the HGTV girl. 

As I lay in bed, I read on Face Book the many things that people are grateful for this month.  I am reminded of the things that I am to am grateful for: the many days my son is "allowed" to have as close to a normal life as possible, that my husband and my relationship is better than it has been in many years, that our friends are the best out there and I wouldn't trade any of them for anything in the world and especially blessed to still have my mother in my life who loves and supports us. 

 “Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted–a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” — Rabbi Harold Kushner

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