A couple months ago, as we were faced with the reality of the cancer returning, Ryan and I sat down and discussed how we were going to cope as a family all over again. What would we do the same? We would continue to maintain routines and a sense of normalcy with all our children whenever possible. We would continue to be hopeful and faithful and optimistic and strong. We would look for opportunities to increase family bonds. What would we do differently? We would simplify our lives even more. We would improve William's quality of life as much as possible, even if it meant taking some risks that we weren't willing to take the first time (i.e. attend school). Soccer season was in full force as we were contemplating simplifying. We decided we would take a break from all organized sports so we could have dinner together each night and have weekends free for family fun. We have enough boys to create our own teams anyhow! We want to make each day count.
William made it home last Tuesday after 21 days in the hospital. Wow, it felt so good to all sleep under the same roof that night. Wednesday morning, William and I got up bright and early and headed back downtown for his radiation appointment on his ankle. (His last ankle radiation is tomorrow morning). Then we headed home, packed our bags, gathered our snow gear, checked the kids out of school early, and headed up to Tahoe for a quick overnight getaway. (We had to be home Thursday afternoon for his next radiation appointment). It was wonderful...too short, but wonderful. A huge thank you to my aunt and uncle for such a gift! We all enjoyed some pool and hot tub time before dinner---emphasis on hot tub. Even William managed to make it work. Dinner was a family favorite: Fondue! It's all about the weapon-like utensils. A movie, popcorn, hot chocolate, and all snuggled up together on the bed was a perfect, relaxing evening after a long month of stress and separation. Thursday morning we had a big breakfast (trying to pack calories on William's little body), donned our snow gear, packed up the car, and headed to the Heavenly Gondola to have an adventure and enjoy a spectacular view. Ryan and I had second thoughts when we saw the price and calculated the cost for our entire family. After a few gasps and gags, we knew we had to do it because it is what we promised the boys and what we wanted to do as a family. $170 for tickets and another $30 for hot chocolate, hearing the boys squeal with excitement and tell us it was the best vacation ever--even better than Disneyland (I think they got a little carried away) made it priceless. The views were spectacular and the snow wheelchair was sweet. The man-made snow was disappointing for snowball and snowman making, but Ryan managed to find some deep snow for the boys to feel adventurous. We left and headed straight back to the hospital in Sacramento for William's radiation appointment and made it with not a minute to spare.
We were desperate for some happy, family time. Inspiration saw our need for a break and convinced us that we could take off mid-week, spur-of-the-moment, and just find peace and love with one another. (notice I didn't say quiet!)