Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Emotions Run High

Two down, one to go.  Paige made it through the second hospital stay with 'make-up' chemo pretty well.  Her body cleared the excess chemo on time, and she's been more tired than anything else.  As I type this, we are at home (yay!!) getting ready to head back to clinic tomorrow for a check-up and possible blood transfusion.  Her hemoglobin count was a bit low when we were discharged on Monday, so it won't be too surprising if she needs a boost.

Four hospital stays in two months.  At this point, our routine is pretty set.  Pack anything and everything--from clothes and toiletries to snacks and water (yes, even 'good' toilet paper).  We walk in prepared.  I go to work decorating her door--placing signs & scriptures according to her directives.  Paige and I work together to jazz up the windows.  We love those crystallizing glass markers!  Days are filled with homework, artsy stuff, games, and visits from family and friends.  Because hospital cuisine isn't exactly what Paige craves (ever), I am also the runner to and from local food establishments.  I never know what she's going to want--heck, she doesn't even know until it hits her. Chemo does some crazy things to the taste buds, but I'll do what I have to when my girl feels like eating.

Evenings at the hospital find us watching the sunsets.  I love the windows in the rooms--there are actually some really beautiful views of the sky from our home on the 9th floor.  Paige and I usually bundle up in blankets (at least I do--she keeps it like a meat locker in there) and just chill out.  Lately our chill time has turned into chat time.  I must admit--I'm kinda liking that part.

Last week's talks were a little different.  Struggling with emotions.  Wrestling with thoughts.  These are just a couple of the take-aways.  Throughout this journey, Paige has rarely let go of her emotions.  She keeps them in check most of the time--in spite of the fact we encourage her to 'spill.'  She's definitely not like her mom in this respect.  I have been known to let everyone know just what I'm thinking and feeling at any given time.  What can I say--the girl has her own way of dealing with things.  It's all good.

Hearing about one of the little ones from our floor who was moved down to the ICU hit my girl pretty hard, though.  The words began to flow.  I was down there when I could barely breathe.  Is he having trouble breathing?  Is he going to be okay?  What got so bad he had to go down there?    Does this kind of thing happen with my kind of leukemia?  As I shared what I knew about the situation, I could see the tears welling up in her eyes.  Paige has such a heart for the 'cute little bald kids,' as she calls them.  She says she can say that because she is one.  We are used to seeing kiddos on our floor--especially the little ones--smiling and playing.  We are used to seeing them take rides in wagons with their IV poles.  We are even used to seeing them resting in their rooms--sick and tired of cancer and all that comes with it--during our strolls around the floor.  This marked the first time we were there when one of those kiddos was moved to Intensive Care.  It was tough on her as a fellow patient and tough on me as the mom of a child fighting cancer.  Our hearts were breaking for that family.

From that point, we have prayed and prayed and prayed some more for that precious little boy and his family.  He's still fighting, and we are still praying.  Paige makes it a point to include all of the other kiddos affected by childhood cancers--whether we know them by name or not.  She prays for healing for all of them so they don't have to "keep going through what kids should never have to go through."

Funny thing, though.  After we've prayed--including giving thanks for the healing God has done in her and that to come--Paige has this sense of peace that takes away the worry about what might be.  What could happen.  That's when her faith takes the reins once again.  Faith, peace, and the calm assurance that though times get tough, God is bigger and tougher and will not leave her side.  Ever.  Now that's a reason to be emotional!

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