Today started out so bad. Although Tanner actually seemed better physically, she was totally depressed and cried most of the morning. No five year old should have to start her day with 6 different oral medications that taste like crap! I told her it would help her, I told her it would make her feel better, I told her she had to take it or the nurses and I would hold her down and give it to her (boy, did I feel like mother of the year for that one). Finally, she took it all and with tears told me she hated this. I hate this too, punkin.
As I changed her sheets from where I had spilled her bedpan overnight, she sat on the bedside toilet and cried in pain. I told her we would go outside to the little balcony play area for our unit and that Jake and Grandmom and Grandad would come. She said she didn’t want to do anything but sit in bed and watch TV. Then, the miracle happened… a little blond, blue-eyed two-year-old miracle who skipped into her room and said, “Hi Ta Ta!” Her face lit up, he crawled up in bed with her (a priviledge none of the rest of us have had since she is in such pain) and actually hugged him (she has hugged me several times in complete surrender, but I have not been able to hug her back for fear of hurting her). She immediately got in the wheelchair, and holding Jake’s hand, rode down the hall with me pushing and toting her IV contraption with us. We went outside where she tried to get up and follow jake (she couldn’t do it and had to sit back down), then back to the room where they hung out and she got to be a big sister and not a cancer patient. The best medicine ever.
That said, she crashed after they left and slept for a couple of hours. I left at around 2 pm when John came to go home and spend some time with Jake. On her docket for the afternoon… a craft in the playroom and a private concert by our dear friend Celia Whitler since Tanner can’t go off the unit to see Celia play downstairs. And, of course, chemo. I hope the effect of Jake’s visit lasted through the day.
Speaking of Jake, what I coming to realize about this horrible disease is that our whole family has cancer. Sure, Tanner is bearing the lion’s share, but it is effecting us all, even little Jake. I called Jake on the way home from the hospital to let him know we were coming home and he asked, “Tanner come too?” It’s sad he’s too little to understand, but beautiful in it’s own way too. When he was with Tanner today he never asked about her IV or why she was in bed or anything. She was just his big sister, same as always. But, we will all have some huge adjustments to make.
My brother shaved his head today for Tanner… amazing. He sent a picture and promised her he would keep his new hairdo until her hair grew in.
Thanks to everyone for your love and support — we feel it and it helps.