Thursday, January 1, 2015

It is (frequently) New Year

I imagine that there a host of people out there today, making resolutions, starting fresh, starting over.  There is something about a brand new calendar on the wall that suggests that anything is possible and almost begs for change, for our better selves to make a showing.  It is a day for hope.

I have never been one for making new year resolutions, always thinking that when you see a change that needs to be made, today is the day to do it, regardless of how far into the month we are.  But I rarely do things in a traditional way anymore.

As an example, I cite our advent season. It read a bit different than most, being dictated by the slow but steady progression that we know all too well, of gathering information about cancer.

December opened with big scans on both kids, followed by the delay as inconclusive, but concerning results dribbled in.  Brent required a PET scan in week two, again, with requisite wait for interpretation and results.  Tumor board, surgery and the excruciating wait for pathology took up the remainder of our pre- holiday time.

Throughout the month I deliberately committed to further responsibilities as a volunteer, really hoping that I would be able to fulfill those obligations.  I continued to look for work, despite the travel to Houston or New York City that might have been required for cancer.  Instead of baking cookies, I filled my freezer with pans of lasagna.  Instead of sending out Christmas cards, I cleaned out and organized closets. I tried to be prepared, to be able to run a household from afar.  And I waited for each slow step.

It wasn't until we began our Christmas celebrations that I realized the heaviness I had been carrying around with me all month.  I am in great LFS shape, as I like to say, because I am far too familiar with the hospital process, the slow measured steps of cancer.  I did not get ahead of myself, as I did last January, trying in futility,  to push things along.  This time, I simply waited.  I knew who I would contact in case of advancing disease for the melanoma.  Or recurrent disease for the osteosarcoma.  I didn't even research the lymphoma.

I recognized the things that I could control, which wasn't much.

I do not in any way want to minimize the joy, the gratitude and the celebration that came on the Ramer's non-traditional Christmas Eve, when we learned that no malignancy of any sort was found in the suspicious lymph node that they removed from Brent.  There was a lot of whooping it up.  There was dancing.

And wine.

Believe me when I tell you that there is no greater gift than the health of your child.  These tidings of great gladness arrived three years to the day of when we learned about Lauren's brain tumor.  I sort of consider this to be a good omen, replacing the negative association that we have long held with December 22.

So, despite an overnight trip to the hospital on Christmas day for post surgical drain issues, we have had a lovely holiday season.  And it would appear that clock starts over again for me, where my time is somewhat my own, free to pursue the things that I would like, uninhibited by considerations relative to cancer.. With LFS, we are like planet running on a tighter orbit, traveling around the sun every three months instead of every twelve. New Year's resolutions can come more often for us than for the rest of the world. 

My resolution is to replace all the days and dates that have weighed me down, experiencing new and joyful things that obliterate the darkness and worry...every three months...until forever.