Friday, April 21, 2006

Letting go and "Just Being"

Steven and Laura have gone up to Gatlinberg to rod-run, where all different cars are on show. He has gone there every year since he was old enough to drive. This year he will not be driving his car in the 'parade', but I am sure they will have a blast as they do every time. It is lovely to see them continue leading life as normal looking happy and excited.

So they stopped off to say goodbye this morning. This young man of mine has dealt fantastically with the CML and everything else in his life - yet I found myself asking him if he had his Gleevec! And I so wished I had not, it felt one step short of asking him if he had his toothbrush or underwear..... Sometimes its just so difficult to let go, especially that I am still getting used to the fact that he does not live here anymore.......

Those first few days after the diagnosis, (should that be in upper case?), I really had no idea how to talk to Steven about him having cancer. It was the only thing on my mind, but was it fair to only talk about this to the exclusion of everything else every time he came near? It was so difficult to even try to think of anything else that even came close to being important enough to talk about. Every time Steven came in the door or called, I wanted and needed to drill him about how he was feeling, what he had eaten, any side effects, and 10 million other questions. I am sure there were times when the "oh mom!" reaction wanted to kick in, but he has been fantastic. He answers my questions, tells me how he is feeling. He is just so 'cool' with my low-key freaking that it has helped so much to put my mind at ease and I am sure this makes it so much easier on him too.

Early on I asked Steven to tell me if he feels sick or has reactions to the meds without me having to ask him all the time. I figured that if I knew he would tell me, I would not have to keep asking him and we could possibly get to that 'new normal' state faster. This has worked fantastically so far! He has been fortunate in that he has had virtually no side effects, has color back again and his energy is increasing too. It would be so much more difficult if he did not share these things with me. It would worry me more if I had to guess at the answers and feelings going on inside my child.

The truth, good, bad or ugly is so much easier to deal with than not knowing or guessing or trying not to ask but having that worried and scared feeling everytime you see your child. I am so fortunate in that Steven understood this immediately - ok, I had to threaten to beat him, but only once...

Even though this journey has been so very short for us so far, I have met some amazing people online through the boards and blogs and news groups (yes! I now know what an 'ng' is!) that have already changed my life in such a positive way. This is a tremendously scary road, but those others that are also walking this road, and other cancer roads, have made me realise that my life was almost 'empty' before this. Not empty in the traditional way of empty or pointless......... it just seems so much fuller now, in a very good way.

Frank is picking up most of the work in the shop these days while I work on the different aspects of the fundraising we are wanting to do. I am busy trying to fix up the RoadRunnersUSA blogsite ready to change the fundraising over to that one and get serious. We have registered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as Team Road Runners USA - please register to walk with us if you are in our area, or go to our site within the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and donate - that link is on this site too, or search for me as a participant - Annie Baggett. If you are not in our area - register and walk in your area - you can and will make a difference......

Oh, and that rose bush that attacked me the day before The Diagnosis? It's filled with the most beautiful red roses! I pass by it every day when walking to the shop and I remember that day when I never thought I would smile again..........When it stops storming around here, I will take a photo and post it here.

Monday we will get to meet the new doctor. Its only been two weeks since the last CBC, but feels like months.....I am going to "just be" until Monday comes.

The other thing that has worked out well. When Frank has his 'heart-scare', we got little keychain pill holders and put a few nitro pills in there - just so we would have them if we ever needed them. We have not - thankfully! So we gave them to Steven and Laura to put a gleevec in them so that if they are out and get spur-of-the-moment plans, they will not have to go home first or not be able to participate. Steven says this has helped out a good few times so far.......... it helps normalise life in a small way. Just thought I would share that.


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