Please enjoy this break in dreary cancer content while I review the most *basic* fall month on record. Praise be that I have almost nothing to report, except my out of proportion joy at the simple things we have been occupying ourselves with lately.
To begin with, my front porch. Can you even? I am so thrilled with this little creative space, and am not even bothering with a humble brag about it. I am overtly bragging and asking for your envy. Here’s why: The fact that my mind has even an ounce of space to buy and plant mums, or to research if ornamental kale will survive October in Colorado shows that I am coming back to myself.
Hi Betsy, I knew you were still in there.
Add in a new, and much needed, welcome mat and some Halloween decor and you have a very happy human over here. I always joke that my mental health can be directly correlated to how many plants I can be bothered to try and keep alive. Truly, when things are hard, I can not bother with the care of living things that aren’t offspring. So the fact that I have 5 ornamental and seasonal plants on my porch is a sign that my heart is feeling an overflow, and that overflow is long overdue.
Other entirely basic and mundane things that are giving me life:
Beau and Joshua attended a friend of Beau’s birthday party.
Multiple moms have found me at school and told me that their kids came home within the last week excitedly informing them, “Beau is back!”
Joshua went kayaking with our neighbor. There he was, just casually popping activity in to his life.
Beau is playing on the local pick-up fall baseball league. I spent the afternoon watching him the other day and couldn’t stop thinking how luck I was to just be sitting and watching him play ball.
I found myself accidentally kid-free as our neighbor took the boys to the rec center to swim and Selah was having quiet time and sat down with a new book by my favorite author. (Which I couldn’t even get more than a chapter in to bc it makes me have ALL THE FEELS. More on that later.)
A couple weeks ago Jude came home from school telling me all about the Homecoming signs they had made in art class. Later in the week, at the end of school on Friday, the Niwot High School Homecoming Parade weaved it’s way through the neighborhood before passing by the elementary school. The kids lined the fence around the big grass field and held the signs they made as the parade passed by. At pick-up that day, Jude said, “I think today was the best school day of my life!”
Our house has been filled lately with the sound of neighborhood kids. As the weather turns cooler, they opt for hanging out inside more often than in the cul-de-sac. There isn’t a more beautiful sound for me then these voices. I haven’t spent much time dreaming of being the house where the kids hang out like some moms do. Frankly, I like quiet and calm too much to pine for that. But after weeks without social interaction both this spring and this fall, and since COVID in general, the sound of lots of little voices in my house is music to my ears.
Last Friday was Super Spirit Day at the boys school. I purchased them Niwot-green shirts and they wore them along with their newly acquired Niwot Elementary trucker hats (shwag from the New Family Playdate). Friday’s normally start with a 15-minute, outdoor, movement (aka exercise) assembly. This Friday, being Super Spirit Day, the Niwot High Marching Band walked over and joined the festivities. Josh and I looked on from the side of the field and damn if I didn’t cry happy tears watching Beau and Jude jump around with excitement as the band played all the classic marching band songs.
What is it about these simple things that makes me weep? Survival, that’s what.
Today I took Jude to school at 8:05am so that he could participate in the running club. Then came home, got Beau ready and ran him back-up to school at 8:45am. I could not stop thinking to myself how thankful I was to be doing a carpool circus, out and back, out and back. What a gift to be given the normalcy of a suburban minivan mom life.
Selah has been casually telling me, though less and less, that she missed me when I was in Phill-a-yell-fia and she is “so glad” I am back. We are all working our way through processing what it means to be the actors in this crazy screenplay. She also got a microphone from (my) Aunt Mary and it is more or less the light of her life.
It hasn’t all been rainbows and butterflies. Grief is always finding a way to work itself out. And as you would imagine, reincorporating a family who has lived apart for a month is not simple.
But it is good.
We are finding our rhythms, re-establishing our roles, and mainly, just taking a freaking exhale.
Beaudin’s next check-up in on October 19th. Our hope is that his t-cells are still active and working, which we will know by him having “b-cell aplasia.” However, even if he has lost the aplasia, that doesn’t mean the cancer is back. It will mean a lot more breath holding and unknowns, but it doesn’t indicate a certain outcome. Either his cells are still kicking butt, or they are fading, either way we will celebrate his ability to be at school and play with friends, full of energy.
For now, we are home. Together.
We will be back to Philly Nov 17th to check his labs again, as well as complete the 3-month bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture.
For you dear people praying for Emily….
Her recent bone marrow biopsy and lumbar puncture shows that she has reached remission!
And as is the case with cancer, all good news is couched with, “but…” Right now, they are waiting, and hopeful, that her counts will rebound soon. She has been pummeled with some very heavy hitting chemo, which did it’s job in getting her in to remission, but as is the case with all chemo, also beat the crap out of her system. Her counts must recover before the plan can move forward. There is also an unknown fever source and they need to ensure it is not a fungal infection (which is quite serious) and the only way to really get to the bottom of that is with count recovery.
Anyhow, all that to say, Emily is in remission, AND please continue to pray that her counts recover and she can’t move to transplant ASAP.