August 5, 2009 Well, we made it! Our last day of consolidation. We start phase III, Interim Maintenance, tomorrow. It means more chemo, but it’s one step closer to Long Term Maintenance when Tanner should be able to return to school and a more normal life. We’ll take the good with the bad and hope that she handles this new phase as well as she has handled Consolidation.
I’ve been amazed by how many people have commented that our family is handling this with such grace. That’s so strange for me to hear. I think we are handling this as well as we can; we are doing some things right and some wrong and some we’re still figuring out.
For instance, my house is a mess and I can’t seem to get dinner on the table lately. I’m trying to be creative about getting us out as much as possible, but would do a lot better if I planned ahead more and tried to keep some kind of schedule with the kids. Sometimes, I find myself getting immune to Tanner’s regular complaints about stomach pain and nausea. I just mumble, “Mmmm hmmm, I’m sure that hurts,” and hand over the appropriate medication without ever really empathizing. I lose my temper, although slightly less often than Tanner loses hers. Jake has started screaming, “You’re mean!” whenever he doesn’t get what he wants, which he, of course, learned from his sister. I’ve gone two days without convincing Tanner to do her physical therapy exercises. I threatened to sit on top of Tanner and force the medicine down her throat this morning when she balked at taking it. My hairdresser is going to die when he sees how far I’ve let my roots go. And, I’ve found myself starting to feel resentful when I hear the fun things our friends are doing that we can’t do because of the limitations of this disease.
It sure doesn’t feel very full of grace over here.
We’re just muddling through, or at least I am (John’s more together than I am). I’m trying to use this blog to regroup every night; to try to make sense of what happened in the day and vow to do better tomorrow. I usually don’t succeed, but a girl can try. I’m not complaining, just keeping it real. It’s no inspirational hallmark card at the Page house these days… just four people and a dog trying to make a hard thing work. It’s a messy job.
Having said all that, I still feel blessed… that I have such an amazing husband and two smart, funny, beautiful kids (even if they’re not all that well-behaved these days), that I have such supportive friends and family, that my child doesn’t have t-cell ALL or AML or any of the other versions of leukemia that are worse than pre-b ALL. And, of course, that you can still buy a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and a People magazine at the grocery store when you’ve had a bad day (On tonight’s menu… a pint of Whirled Peace).