Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Year

This week has been filled with emotion. Today, July 4, one year ago was the day we found out Noah had cancer. What a life changing moment that was. I can remember that evening so clearly. And I have been reminded of it often this week as today approached.

I remember the call we got from the nurse telling us to head to Children's immediately. We were grocery shopping in Superstore. We were planning on leaving for our annual family camping trip in 2 days. I was standing in the chip isle. I remember arriving at the hospital, sitting in the Children's emergency waiting area. Then they brought us to an isolation room. We still didn't think it was anything major, they obviously knew otherwise. I remember the doctor apologizing that things were taking so long, and Chris and I looking at each other thinking, we have only been waiting a little while. Oh how our lives were about to change in a matter of minutes, and we had no idea.

I think that perhaps this week has been hard because it is almost mirroring what this week was last year. Packing the camper, getting ready to leave for our annual family camping trip tomorrow. So many things are the same, yet in a completely different way. This time, I am feeling nervous that something will happen to prevent us from leaving again. Noah was so devastated last year when we couldn't go, and so I have been extra paranoid about them getting sick. And of course, Noah has a cough and complained of his chest hurting. Then he burned his leg on the stove climbing to reach something in the cupboard. Holly may have a bladder infection, and Coltan had the diarrhea this week. All these things that would have seemed so insignificant only a year ago. Now could be major complications, even hospital admission.

I don't think that I can accurately describe how cancer changes your life. Unless you have it, or watch someone dear fight it and you fight it with them. It changes absolutely everything. I wish that I could sit here and say that things are better now then they were when we first found out. But really, they aren't. Noah is doing well physically, but emotionally, we are struggling more than ever, And we still have the cancer and chemo to face.

He is so angry, and disobedient. He hates Holly, and does everything he possibly can to hurt her or bug her. He doesn't listen to Chris or I, and we are at the end of our rope. Every day is a constant battle with him. We are seeing a child psychiatrist, but he is off for the entire summer and we only met twice so far. We just don't know what it is, if its the chemo causing it or something else. We have always had a hard time with Noah behavior wise, but this is unbearable.

Its heartbreaking to know that your child is fighting so hard against a terrible disease, and then also have a ton of emotional issues to go with it. The feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. Most days it feels like he truly hates all of us. And then its followed by really tender moments, and moments where he is his funny, silly, helpful self. Its really hard to understand.

When I look back on this year, I can't believe that an entire year of watching my son battle cancer is over. In some ways, it feels like it went by really fast. And to recall all that has happened, all that he has endured, all that we have faced together as a family is remarkable. A year has gone by. An entire year. And he still has more than 2 more years to go. How much chemo can his body handle. How will we get through another year. And another. Its so exhausting.

But, tomorrow we leave for our camping trip. And that is a positive for us. I certainly feel nervous about it though. Being so far away from the hospital. Please pray for us that it all goes well and that we really can enjoy this time together as a family. Pray that Noah will continue to do well and that his attitude towards us and Holly changes, and we can have our sweet funny little boy back. Please pray that Holly and Coltan will remain healthy, not only this week, but always. Pray that Coltan's lung will be healed and that he will never need surgery to remove it. The thought of him going in for surgery is too much some days.

Thank you all for your continual support and prayer. I can't even tell you how much it means to us, and how much it pulls us through each and every day.

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