February 10, 2010
We’re cooped up and feeling it. That’s all I can say about it without whining and I think I’ve had enough whining in the last few days to last me a lifetime! Tanner feels good and we’re going in for counts tomorrow to see if they are at least on their way up. Her oncologist called yesterday to tell us to stop her oral chemo until her counts come up. He felt they might not rise quickly while she was taking the 6-MP so she’s off of it until at least tomorrow.
Those of you who keep up with us on facebook will have likely seen this picture. I posted it the other day. I can’t stop looking at it. There’s something about it that is so powerful for me. I didn’t ask Tanner to pose for this picture. If you know her, it will not surprise you to hear that she inserted herself into a picture I was taking of the floors in our new house. She ran into the room, saw me taking the picture, threw off her coat and jumped right into the center of the picture. Nothing unusual. She’s a ham, alright. But, I was surprised when I got home and loaded the photo onto the computer.
It’s not her pose… that comes straight out of my People magazines that she sees lying around the house. It’s her face. I expected her to be a little silly, a little put on, with a cheesy grin or a comical pout. But, her face is open and honest. She’s staring at the camera with a confidence and an integrity that takes my breath away. Leukemia has stolen many things from my child, but it will not steal this. It will not steal the strength and courage that I see in that straightforward look… in that beautiful face. No hair to hide behind, but she doesn’t need it. She is a force to be reckoned with.
This is not a child who is afraid. She may have fears, but she is not afraid. She expects the best for herself – you can see it in that look. The way she is looking so calmly at the camera. She’s a superhero. She’s a rock star. She’s GI Jane.
I take comfort in this. I look at her in this picture and know that she will be able to handle whatever comes her way. That she will be an extraordinary woman someday when all of this is just a memory. That the same tenacity and persistence that drives me batty as a parent will be the same determination that allows her to succeed against all odds as an adult. She will have learned it the hard way.
Say a prayer for us tomorrow if you think about it. We’re hoping to hear her counts are on the upswing.