January 12, 2010
I have been trying to take Tanner to see the Princess and the Frog for more than a month. Either her counts were low, she was sick, Jake was sick and home from school or it snowed and Jake was home. Finally, today, we got to go.
We dropped Jake off at school and then ran a few errands, picked up a bagel, and headed to the theater. We were a little late and were really hurrying to get into the theater when I noticed Tanner skipping. Not awkwardly, not lurching to will her body forward and upward, not with one leg having to be slung along to cooperate… just skipping. I caught her reflection in the window of the restaurant we were passing and thought she could have been another child – one without cancer. I said, “Look at you skip, girl!” and she laughed and began running – fast and hard and with joy that she could.
She’s getting so much stronger. She no longer has that emaciated, fragile look she had even a month ago. Her legs look stronger and she is able to walk up stairs without holding onto the rail, get herself off the floor without using her hands and jump rope again.
She’ll hopefully start physical therapy soon to capitalize on this period of time that we have, before she is able to go back to school, to really try to build back some of the strength she has lost. Until now, we didn’t think she had any real chance to make a gain with physical therapy. Any gain she made would have been wiped out by the intense chemo and steroids she was taking. But, now, she has a chance to build some strength that I think she can actually hang on to.
We had a great time at the movie and went to pick up Jake at school. Usually Tanner sits in the car while I go into the church to pick Jake up. I bring in hand sanitizer and soak Jake to his elbows before we get into the car. Today, I let Tanner come in with me. It was the first time she had seen Jake’s classroom or met his teacher after having dropped him off and picked him up from school nearly every week since August. We stood in the doorway and when Jake saw her, he screamed, “Tanner!!!” and ran into her arms. He buried his face in her chest and then looked up to say in disbelief, “You’re here!” Even a two-year-old could recognize a special moment.
When we got home, Tanner’s friend Meredith came to play. Meredith was in Tanner’s Kindergarten class and is also in the 1st grade class she’ll enter when she’s cleared to go to school. The girls put on countless shows, dressed up and played Wii. She had a great time.
It’s so nice to be able to do these things… and to feel like we’re headed for more good things… school, a birthday party, a family vacation.
We still used the hand sanitizer, though. No sense in getting crazy.