Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Fears and treatment and beauty.

Watts woke up early this morning in a decent mood but something changed by the time we sat down to a breakfast of oatmeal and a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible. He began to scream and wail and smack us and seemed inconsolable; Nothing seemed to calm him down and we weren't sure what had triggered him or if he was in pain. Within seconds the morning shifted and suddenly I'm analyzing his every move and thinking back to when his last labs were and what medication he just took.

By mid-morning he was fine and we are left to wonder whether he was experiencing side-effects from the drugs he takes on a daily basis or whether he is throwing a normal two-year-old tantrum or whether something else is brewing in his little body.

By late morning the kids and I headed to some trails and spent some time "hiking" and exploring nature on this gorgeous fall day. We picnicked under trees of yellow and red, and the kids were adorable and hilarious and got along beautifully. I laid on the blanket underneath the blue skies and fall colors as Piper and Watts played next to me, and I forgot all about the morning angst and found myself thinking that life probably doesn't get much than these moments. Right then and there. Children's laughter out in the woods, full bellies, no where to be... My heart seemed to struggle to soak it all in... it was one of those moments you just want to bottle up and store away forever.

Those two snapshots from our day today (and it's just now 1:30pm) seem to capture the kind of bizarre and painful and wonderful and overwhelming days that I'm living.

We are still deep in the throes of cancer treatment. This phase of treatment is significantly easier on our boy -most of the time- but there are still some months where we spend over half of it "in the trenches" with side effects from steroids. But more than that even, it seems that Michael and I have entered the emotional battlefield of cancer. While Watts is already 18 months (!!) into treatment, for a huge chunk of that time the treatment was so intense that we spent most of our time in go-mode. There was little time for worries beyond the day that was before us. Now we have a lot more space doing outpatient treatment [which has been so needed and wonderful for our family]... but with the space comes a lot of fears and questions and anxiety. It is difficult to not question every tantrum, every bite he refuses to eat, every sleepless night. We want to live fully present in each day and treat it as a gift, but we are also the eyes and the ears that are on Watts on a daily basis; when before, during our inpatient days, we had the comfort of having doctors and nurses nearby at all times. It's a tricky line to try and walk.

Thankfully, in the very midst of the wrestling with fears and anxiety and the constant watching, there is tremendous joy. There are hours and days, like today, where I simply can hardly believe how well Watts is doing and how happy and healthy he seems to be. I feel as if my blessings are abundant and overflowing.

So that's a bit of where we are right now... Watts is doing great but still needs continuous prayers as he undergoes daily treatment. Michael and I are doing great but still need prayers as we wrestle through an array of emotions and fears and as we try to recover a bit from living in an ongoing state of exhaustion. Piper is simply great. She is pure delight and joy and we are all a bit crazy about her.

Now I'm off to take advantage of a few minutes of overlapping nap/rest time...
Thank you for reading and praying and loving on our family. We are blessed by the support and encouragement.

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