Two years have gone by since that horrible conversation when I was told that Maggie has/had cancer. My heart feels heavy just thinking of it.
Recovery or our return to normal has/is gone well. Maggie is on no medications at all. She very willingly wears her hearing aids and is receiving speech therapy thru the school system. She has 2 relatively small scars from each of her central lines and one large one from her initial surgery where the surgeon was able to remove ALL of the initial tumor. But that is ok because we will never let her wear a bikini! :) She really doesn't remember much of her treatment besides what pictures we took. This makes me SOOOOO glad that I kept such a detailed blog about it all (sorry that you would get so many emails etc about new posts). I really do not think that many could tell that there was anything different about her. She is very social and loves to play and sing and just be a girl. She loves all of her girlfriends at school!
Jared struggles more. The counselor in me is always trying to figure him out. He is very analytical (don't know where he gets it from). First grade has been a hard transition emotionally for him. Or maybe I should say for Rod and I..... He has more of an "attitude" that we are trying to gain control over. I remember having an attitude (a rotten one at that) when I was about 10 or 11 but not at 6. It is hard for me to determine how much the stress of the cancer battle impacted him and how much is a typical almost 7 year old. I love it when he is my sweet little boy and it is hard finding that balance of breaking him of this disrespectful attitude without totally breaking HIM.
Rod .... my big hunk of a guy. I think that he is just more grateful that we are all together and that life is simpler now (ok, besides these classes that I am teaching). Having his family all home at night brings him a lot of peace. Not having to play Dad and Mom to Jared is nice for him as well. Altho, every once in awhile I hear Rod and Jared talk and they had a great bonding time while Maggie and I would be gone. He would try to hide the weight that he felt from me, but I saw it and felt helpless to do anything for him. Now he is much more carefree.....
Me. I think that I took on the brunt of the emotional package for our family. I felt responsible to be a good wife to Rod and a good mom to Jared while trying to be advocate, voice, Mom, caretaker, nurse, etc etc etc for Mags. While Maggie was isolated for most of 16 months I was as well (not as bad but well....you get the idea). While being away, friendships have changed for me. Many people felt awkward with me when I was around and I didn't want to make them feel more awkward so I would keep more to myself. I've lost a lot of friendships and built some great new ones. This friendship issue has been the hardest for me to deal with in the last 6 months. Having to go thru medical isolation was not fun but having friendships change etc makes it even harder. I am finally finding myself again. Recapturing things that I enjoy doing and had lost with not only cancer battles but also just plain Motherhood.
I know that our big battle is over and we praise God that it is. It may seem strange that "recovery" is lasting this long (especially for me). However, I guess one way to look at it is that Maggie didn't get off all of her medications etc until she had been in the oncology world for about 18 months. So when I look at it like that, it makes sense that "recovery" could take awhile.
When Rod originally made this video, I think he had great intentions of creating more by now. As much as I wish that he would have, it is nice to know that life is full and busy of normal things.
We truly wish that we could be a blessing to each of you as you have been to us. I pray that you know what a blessing that each of you is to our family.
We still see God working and blessing us.