Today, Friday August 28, 2015 marks the very last dose of steroids Noah is scheduled to take for his treatment for leukemia. And we are rejoicing, believe me. And even though we want nothing more than to put this behind us, we must never forget what he has gone through. I truly believe he will be a stronger person for going through this, as we as a family will be stronger as well. But I want to be able to read this back one day and remember the hell that it was. Here is kind of a list if you will of things that we have had to give up or change or deal with because of chemo, specifically steroids.
-tonight is a beautiful night. I wanted nothing more than to sit by the fire with my family. Didn't happen. Last day of 5 straight days of steroids equals miserable Noah.
-Early bed times. Not always fun on lovely summer evenings.
-missed birthday parties (Noah's best friend to name at least one)
-screaming. raging fits
-swearing, hate filled comments from a 10 year old is not cool
-after school snacks, because of fasting every day, it could never happen
-his extreme irritability and genuine hatred towards Holly
-his aching, tired, sore muscles
-his belly aches
-the second loss of hair
-not being able to get together with other families for several reasons. Noah was often too tired, or if there were sick children in a group it wasn't safe for him.
-nothing pleased Noah with food, nothing tasted good
-giving up sports, just too tired at first, then a complete loss of interest
-when the steroids were really in full swing, Noah would say he wanted to kill himself. It was terrifying.
-not being able to sleep
With all this being said, I should be over joyed that today was the last time he should ever have to take steroids to beat cancer. But instead, or perhaps more overpowering is my fear. Fear of relapse. Fear that this is not the end. Perhaps it was just the beginning. Please God no. Don't let it come back. Not ever. Please. Please. Please.
And this is what cancer can do. It creates this image of us "strong" families that everyone says we are. But let me tell you, I don't think I'm speaking wrongly for others in our shoes when I say we feel anything but strong. Cancer can be debilitating. It wears you down and can make you doubt everything you knew to be true. The strongness that you see, is actually survival. And I see it in every family I meet. If I didn't believe in God, there would be no way I could survive the way I/we do. Every day we have, although some are hard I give thanks for. And I think God gives me grace.
Grace has been on my mind a lot lately.
Anyway, the day is ending. Noah is already up in my bed as he isn't feeling good and can't sleep. Which makes for a long night ahead. Same as last night. Most likely tomorrow as well. But even as I type this I am reminded of the first couple months of treatment after Noah was diagnosed. He was up in the night several times to eat, and because he couldn't sleep. Plus, I had a 4 month old that was also up a couple times to eat. See....it got easier:) Grace.
Goodnight all. Thank you for your support. The countdown begins to Sept 11, where Noah will then take his last chemo pills...hopefully forever.