Wanting and working and waiting builds character. Our family’s patience (both collectively and individually) has expanded during Abraham’s 30-month battle against brain cancer. I don’t claim that as a special feat; there really is little choice during intense times of medical necessity.
As 2017 began, Abraham had his three-month MRI. The results documented a stable scan of his brain and spine, and under direction of our skillful oncology team, the surgeon removed the port in Babe’s chest. He and his brother Tom have been fighting a persistent fever and cough, but it seems they are both slowly, steadily on the mend.
Removing the port moved us all one step away from Abraham’s cancer treatment. It doesn’t signal the all clear, but it does change our space into a milder yet untold truth that lies somewhere between no longer – and not yet.
Our son may no longer be in active treatment, but the view for a cure that holds much certainty remains hidden. We continue to grow our hope despite the unknowns because our perspective is fed from gratitude and grounded in faith.
Like everyone, we cannot see beyond our present reality. Setbacks such as fevers that linger and falls on the ice make it even harder.
So for now, the transitional stretch ahead offers our family an open climb. Fortunately, this new, formidable terrain welcomes us all with majestic, humbling views along the way.
Peace, love, and strength…
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
It’s almost Christmas, and our driveway is now properly trimmed with my new Crafting for a Cure Peace Sign.
And with only four days to go, of course there are cookies:
A year ago, Abram was approaching nadir of his 3rd chemo cycle. He was able to leave the hospital for a couple days before the fever kicked in, and this is the moment we arrived home:He didn’t even take off his coat and hat before curling up in his recliner to sleep.
Days are still hard sometimes. Simply sending our recovering little boy to school this week after his pediatrician alerted us to active Influenza A in the area makes me want to pack my family into a sterile safety bubble. Every ache and pain -especially phone calls from school about “weird” headaches like this afternoon- sends shocks of panic back to the surface.
Despite the forever unknowns, I’m keeping busy and focusing on the positive. Tonight, in between checking his beautiful eyes, precious head and general wellbeing, I packed up some of his warm, small clothes to donate. His chubby little belly has the elastic band of his favorite Minion PJs stretched to the max. What a beautiful, happy site that is after seeing him critically underweight for so many months.
Abraham’s headache has lessened a bit and I am grateful to spend this evening with my husband, our recently-turned teenager, and a sweet little boy who has outgrown his clothes. What gifts!
Peace, love, and joy…
Christmas is the spirit of giving without a thought of getting. It is happiness because we see joy in people. It is forgetting self and finding time for others. It is discarding the meaningless and stressing the true values.
-Thomas S. Monson
Abraham has never been at a loss for words, yet when it comes to Santa, crickets. Not a single word spoken until prodded by Dad, he finally asked Santa for Granny to have flowers for Christmas.
Peace, love, and joy…
rend·er /rendər/ verb
- provide or give (a service, help, etc.)
- cause to be or become; make
- furnish for consideration
- transmit to a clearer form
If you are happy and I am happy – that makes two.
If I am also happy for you, and you are also happy for me – that’s four.
Why just add to the joy of the season when we can plainly multiply it?
Render a plot of life unique
No other trek will do.
Judge others not
What they begot
Admeasure all paths as true.
Peace on Earth.
“The heart that gives, gathers.” ― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching.
Taking care of ourself should be a priority. Our body, mind, and spirit grow strongest with proper use.
So, eat well.
We gather a love only as plentiful as the seeds of compassion we share.
I wish you all big love.
Dividing lines are forming fast.
The rift remains the same:
A crooked, selfish, hellish blaze
Where hatred fans the flames.
Water, peace, and Mother Earth
Were challenged then and now.
What needs to change
Is scope and range
Till tolerance abounds.
May native lands grow calm again.
May the water run free and pure.
May individual freedom reign,
And humanity endure.
We are one.
Peace, love, and hope…
If only we could
Listen a moment sooner,
Push a little gentler,
Hug a second longer,
Love a smidgen wider, and
Forgive a minute quicker,
What a kinder day would rise.
Peace and hope…
Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel. -Gilbert K. Chesterton
Freeing ourselves from our burdens is not always possible. That does not mean we are doomed to break under the pressures of family, occupation, or self.
Today, my sister and I brought Abraham to the hospital to flush the port in his chest, to be examined by the radiation oncologist for side effects or signs of regression, and to confirm the route we will take to amplify his decreased hearing due to the ototoxicity of chemotherapy.
All of those things are difficult.
Yet, all of those things are who we are.
Here is Abraham in the Chicago Sports Room waiting for the nurse to come with her tray full of needles and syringes. With all the pains and discomforts and inconveniences and exclusions that cancer has thrown at my little boy, needle pokes are the toughest part for him.
Yet, there he stands proud of his hat, and although he was definitely afraid, when the time came, he took his seat and allowed Nurse Jessica to do what she needed to do – because that’s just who he is.
Sometimes, recognizing our responsibilities as part of what makes us whole and unique shifts the weight of what we must carry to what we are made of; thereby adding substance to our sense of self and reducing the pressure from our sense of duty.
Peace, love, and shifting perspectives
We can be the image we wish to see.
It begins within.
It begins with me.