Saturday, December 15, 2012

"I fall asleep counting my blessings..."

Zack went to school on Friday to drop off and pick up his next scheduled set of schoolwork. He is feeling "okay" but even with the double blood transfusion I can tell his energy is still low. He is in a lot of pain on his leg as a result of the radiation treatment. Even though these treatments are done, the healing is slow. He walks slowly and almost as if he just stepped off of a horse. He calls me from the school to tell me he has decided to stay and have lunch with some of his friends.  He came home just as I was leaving, tells me he was given his new schoolwork and is going to spend the rest of the day resting and reading. 

I am on my way out the door to pick up Mom. Since I have to go to Hendersonville to buy treats for our Annual Christmas party, she and I decided we would make it a fun day. I am excited about being able to spend some time with her. It's been a while since we have had a full day together with no Doctors appointments or "scheduled" appointments anywhere. We decide to have a relaxing day, window shopping, lunch ,grabbing the food for the party and later dinner. Mom has been having problems with her Hiatal Hernia, so we take our time eating lunch. It hasn't acted up in years, but she is learning that the more stressed she gets the worse it acts up. Mom started to share more stories about her first job in the US. I love hearing her stories, her life has been so eventful I still tell her she needs to be published. The day went by so fast, but it was so great. By the time we finish it is 8 pm.  Zack was working  a little tonight with Frank on this special indoor water feature, but he was already finished and hanging out with Drake when I arrived home at 9 pm. Frank worked another two hours before he made it home. I unload the groceries, crawl in bed and prepare mentally for tomorrow's party.

I wake up early. With a full night's sleep behind me I am ready for a day of party preparations. We are expecting about 25 people and not having heard what anyone is bringing, I am fully prepared to cover all the food. (Everyone usually brings something, which is so nice, as we have a wonderful assortment of food). Since I haven't been home long enough to clean house, this is the first thing I tackle. It's not that hard, as Frank has been very good about keeping up with things. As I carry a heavy candle holder through the house, one of the iron birds on it falls to the ground, waking up Zack. He comes out of his room and asks if I'm okay. We laugh at the fact I was trying to be so quiet and then BOOM, I drop the heaviest, loudest item I could possibly drop. He fixes his breakfast, gives himself his shot (which is amazing, he now is doing that on his own since he is down to one a day) and then starts to clean up his room. At lunch he offers to run to the store for a couple of items I forgot. As he gets ready I notice he is again walking slowly. He says he needs to bandage his leg before getting dressed. Knowing it is in an awkward location on the inner back of the thigh, I offer to bandage it for him. He warns me that it looks pretty bad. Understatement of the year!! I feel squeamish as I am attaching gauze to the area. This is a result of a large blister that ruptured , it is raw exposed skin. (sorry to be so graphic, but it's not always pretty) I was able to get it covered and wrapped. As he goes into his room to finish getting dressed, he comes out again and the bandage is at the bottom of his leg. We laugh and Zack says "Fail!".  So.. we try again, this time he says it's okay for me to tape it at the top of the bandage, "just make sure you don't tape on the sore area." I redo it all and this time it works. I try and tell him not to go, but he insists saying that it doesn't matter what he does, sitting, walking, laying down, it still hurts. He returns within 30 minutes and says the bandage is still staying on. 

As I finish the final preparations for the party,  Frank returns from work and gets the outside cleaned up (leaf blowing and firewood cut for the fire pit).  I receive a couple of emails and texts with news from people that are not going to be able to make it. Some are sick, I feel bad for Nancy, who has developed a terrible toothache and another friend whose glands were swollen, she was worried about being sick around Zack. This time of year there is so much for everyone to do, I am grateful to those that were able to make it on such short notice.  Rhonda was able to pick up Mom, so we had even more time together and Mom seemed to enjoy herself. We had friends bring their dogs and Leah (Drakes sister) brought her four month old baby boy. Zack had mentioned earlier that he hoped a lot of people wouldn't ask about his treatment. He said he is so tired of being the "kid with cancer." As it turned out, everyone respected his privacy and would just ask how he was, if they had questions they would get me on the side and ask me. A bunch of Zacks friends came and though he was tired, he was glad to have them all here. For the entire evening I would hear "Mom" as all of his friends call me, I felt so blessed to have so many kids around. He has such amazing supportive friends, as do we. You never know how people will react during times like this. It's hard for some to know what to do and say. I can't help but smile, Zack is still outside at the fire pit with his friends and Frank. As the song goes in my favorite Holiday Movie ,White Christmas, "I fall asleep counting my blessings".... 

Lots of good food
Leah, "Striking a pose"
Even more delicious desserts

Zack and Mom (Me)
"Meme" my Mom
Leah , Chris and Sidi

Drake and Kar

Jeff & Kelly
Rhonda, Mom and Bijou
Amy & Bill (they were on time!)

Zack and Leah "sis"
Frank, Chris, Honey and Sidi
Zack, Amy and Landon (Leah's son)

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