Saturday, August 1, 2015
Last night was a blue moon, the second full moon in a calendar month, a rare occurrence. Cancer is supposed to be a rare occurrence, and generally is, unless you are a Ramer.
When Lauren was diagnosed with tumor regrowth in her brain later in the spring, I completely surrendered my outside life and have been 'cancering' full time with the kids. Dan, most thankfully, has a paying job with health insurance to help support this family hobby. Yes, there is certain amount of snark found in this statement, but a full measure of honest gratitude in it as well.
For weeks and weeks, the news was hard. I described the experience at one point, like juggling live hand grenades. I prayed for health. I prayed for breadcrumbs. Sometimes, there were moments that I couldn't form words or prayers, but merely listened, with a certain emotional detachment, as doctors outlined the considerable problems that we faced. The challenges seemed endless in number and insurmountably steep.
But hope, dim and distant, remained. Encouragement, love, prayer and support -from friends, from family, from strangers- continued to surround us.
Eleven days ago, my son Alex went into surgery, giving life saving bone marrow to his brother. And yesterday, they saw the first signs in Brent, that this priceless gift had begun to grow. Upon hearing this news at rounds, my legs became weak and I broke out in a sweat. I turned, and blindly walked back into our hospital room, even before the doctors were done talking.
For the first time in months, I do not feel like the road ahead is completely daunting. While I fully recognize that there are many serious complications that could arise in either one or, God forbid, both of the kids, I am strangely hopeful that things will become easier for us. I can imagine a life outside of this hospital.
After the tumultuous events of the past months, I look forward to watching Alex finish his high school years and learn where he will go to college. I know that Brent will certainly have some challenges with isolation after transplant, but I can imagine how much he will enjoy being with his friends again. Lauren has thankfully recovered from brain surgery, and has begun to train for cross country, strengthening her body. Olivia, well, exploring the world is full of possibilities and adventure for her. She delights in every moment, and that sort of enthusiasm is contagious.
For many months, I have only been able to look a couple of days in advance and think hospital thoughts. My focus has been shallow, my vision, decidedly nearsighted. I have finally taken a full breath, my first, in a very long time.
God's blessings this week are an answer to countless prayers offered on our behalf. It is humbling, both the love that we feel and the support we have been given. My heart is now full, instead of heavy. Full of hope, full of love.
Dan and I have endured, with much help, two children having cancer simultaneously, twice in our lifetime. This is our blue moon.