Thursday, June 17, 2010

What I Really Felt Today


I tell my children that "hate" is not a word we use in our family. We can dislike or not appreciate. Perhaps we'll have a lesson one day when "hate" is appropriate, but I haven't figured out yet how to verbalize it in appropriate terminology to ages 3-8.

I hate what it is doing to my child, what it is doing to our family, what is does to other children and families. Why can't we learn whatever we are supposed to learn some other way? And as my dear friend, Lisa, so poetically puts it: "Save it for a Lifetime movie!"

Today I'm angry that we're back in the hospital for an unscheduled stay. I'm angry that we never get any good news from any labs. We're not even one month into a possible 1 year of treatment, 5 more years before being declared cancer free, and a lifetime of regular exams to monitor various organ functions (esp. the heart) due to his intense chemo.

I want to say it's not fair, there is all sorts of heartache that we all must experience. I just wonder if there is anyone out there who feels like their life was not that hard. I suppose it all comes with time and perspective. I hope to be able to say one day that I'm glad this was one of our trials, but I just don't have the ability to go there today.

The night we found out William had a tumor and it was probably cancer, our bishop (church leader) came to our house to talk to and comfort us. He gave us lots of good advice and counsel--much of which is hard to remember because my emotions were close to the surface, but my sister was there and she reminded me tonight of some of the things that she heard (knowing we would likely forget). She said a lot was said to William about being happy throughout this. I was to be patient (yeah, I'm working on that and see the need) and learn how to let go of the little things that really don't matter. (Does mopping the kitchen floor count?) Ryan was told to be a strength to me, but to also let me be a strength to him. (I'm working on that, but it kills me to see him get emotional). We remind often ourselves that this is one of the toughest things on a marriage. We were both reminded that this would be a long, long process.

Tonight we had dinner together at the hospital. Thanks for the pizza, Jamil! William stayed in his room with Grandma since we are now in a sharing room (boo) and 5 boys and 3 adults does not a quiet room make. The rest of us headed out to the picnic tables on the grass in front of the hospital. It was pleasant outside and the boys had room to run around. All was dandy until Clark said he had to go the bathroom really, really bad. We told him to hold it because we had just taken them all to the bathroom 20 min. earlier. He replied, "But Soren is going." I spun around to see Soren standing next to a big redwood tree (remember we are on the front lawn of the hospital) with his shorts and underwear around his ankles, peeing on the tree! Oh my! Can't my boys at least figure out how to do it without pulling their pants down all the way.

A friend sent me this quote today and it helped me get out of my grumpy mood. Thank you, Lauren.

"If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell." ~Lance Armstrong

Whatever happens, I'm going to keep hoping for the best and appreciate every moment I have with my children. So William fell asleep this afternoon and I crawled into bed with him and put my arm around him and thought to myself, "I can handle days like this when all I can do is just hold what I love."


  1. Hooray for anger! I say we make a list of emotions each week and mark them off as they arrive, at least we will be accomplished! If you are still angry today, drive highway 99, that's where all angry drivers go. Fill your bucket this week!

  2. I don't really know your family but I am a Natoma Station parent with a son who just completed 2nd grade....I think of your family daily and I am very sorry for all the pain your family is being put through. It saddens me to see things turn for the worse these past two days but hopefully things will start turning around. If your son if half as sweet as it sounds hopefully he is taking things in stride. I hope you continue to find the strength to continue this horrible journey and accept help from anyone who offers.

  3. Julie,
    I'm checking in on you almost daily right now and wishing I could do more to help than just pray. You are due for a good day anytime and I'll be waiting to read about it.

    Lots of love,
    Amy (Warner) S.

    P.S. I think that cancer is definitely on the Good Things To Hate list. It's right at the top of mine.

  4. Hang in there, Julie. You are such a pillar of strength. You are loved by everyone who knows you. You can do it.