Friday, May 13, 2016

Reese is 6.

I officially cried when the entire car started singing "Call Me Maybe". This is all I wish for my children - laughter and love and silliness and wonder. 

I blew up balloons until my chest hurt. I found the tape and unwrapped the streamers and decorated the ceiling of the van. I could picture what her face would look like when she saw it - and I was 100% spot on. 

This donut dress was the best surprise of the celebration - so perfect, so her. She looked fancy and free and her friends swooned which made Reese beam with pride. 

We rode around town picking up friends, singing, dancing, tossing balloons. We went to the donut shop and had a total "yes day" for Reese and her friends. Chocolate milk, kolaches, extra donuts... anything you ask for is a YES. 

I watched her friends help Reese with her dress, I smiled as they gave us to her as they walked by, I melted at their gentle touch when just playing with her hair. 

I blasted music and rolled down the windows as we sang Katy Perry's birthday song and rolled up to the school. They stepped out and walked into the school on a giggly sugar high. I collected my tears and memories and went home so full of happiness. 

...and so did Reese. 

Happy Birthday, Reesey. My quiet newborn. My sleeper and cuddler from day one. Your sneaky faces from the beginning of life and big eyes of wonder. You teach us how to love and live and make every day the best. You remind us to slow down and stop for a hug because, sometimes, that's all we need. You bring a smile to anyone's bad day, but you also have a temper that relates to that red hair. You're silly. You're demanding. You're smart and you work hard. You are thoughtful. You are the other half of "the troublemakers!!!!" with Miller and also Corbin's best friend. You are Aidan's sweet angel and Sawyer's fun cohort. My middle baby... I love you.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

happy mother's day.

Happy Mother's Day.

To the mom who got showered with breakfast in bed and gifts from all of her lovelies. Enjoy your spread, I know how much you deserve it. I hope you love everything you received.

To the mom who got hugs and kisses from her child with no father to take them to the store to pick something out.  I bet that hug was exactly what you needed to feel appreciated. You are doing everything right. Look in their eyes and see their love.

To the mom who cried all night because she isn't able to hear the words from her own child.  I am sorry and nothing I can say can take away that pain. You show us all grace when we don't know what we can do, but you are so loved. We are all here to support you.

To the mom who loves and takes care of other people's children because, right now, they cannot do it themselves. I see your broken heart when they leave, I see your posts about how much you love these children that are not your own. You are making such a difference in every life you pass.

To the mom whose child isn't born, but will come soon - even with no concrete date. I am sure it is exhausting to wait for something you want so badly, but I hope it will happen at the perfect time for you.

To the mom who wishes she could call her own mom, but hasn't been able to for years. I can't imagine how that must hurt and I am sorry. She helped you be the mother you are today and would be so proud of who you have become.

To the mom that is a cheerleader at all games and events. Thanks for caring about what your children are up to. Your child hears your voice and that goal was for you.

To the mom who works at all hours just to survive and make a life for their child they never had, missing so many things their child is involved in.  What a wonderful role model you are for your children - they are lucky to have you working so hard for them. They will teach their children the same.

To the mom who is at the hospital with their child today, crying in a chair because they had to hold their sweet one down for another medical procedure. Do not feel guilty - you show that child strength. They are not mad at you. You are doing everything right.

To the mom who is a nurse working to make sure other people are able to see their own loved ones. Thank you for everything you do. Your selflessness is appreciated, even when it seems like no one sees your heroic efforts.

To the mom who cries in the kitchen because she lost her temper again. Every minute is a chance to start the day over. If tonight you're in the same place, tomorrow is a new day. No one will remember the little things you are worried about, they remember the love and the laughter.

To the mom who never loses her temper and seems to have it all together. Well done with your organization and I admire everything you do. Thank you for showing me that some things are just not worth the fight. Your laid-back parenting helps others to remember to relax.

To the mom who has no time because she is working and volunteering every day. You caring about the people around you makes the school, the team, the office, and everyone around you better for it. It is not in vain. You are changing things.

To the mom who stays at home and catches up on her shows. Relax, girl. If you need this time, take it and don't feel guilty for how much more someone else is doing. Grab some wine and take a bath, while you're at it - you still have time before pick up.

To whatever mom you are. Whatever combination, whatever you can add...

I see you. I see you all at the store and at the school. I see you at dance and soccer. I see you acting interested in a story gone too long, I see you forgetting why you were in that aisle. I see you snapping because you said "please be quiet" a hundred too many times before realizing no one was listening. I see your hair, your makeup, your excitement when you are out on a date night.

I want to hug you when your kid is losing his mind, I want to high 5 you when you step over him to finish your shopping. Thank you for showing me what parts of parenting I want to add to my own life.

The coffee that you microwaved again, the dinner you burned, the dryer that you have now run for the fourth time...

Forgetting the milk at the store again, running errands during nap time and having immediate regret, opening up wine at 5pm just to get through cooking...

Whether you count the hours until school is back in session or wake up with a lesson plan for your own, every day...

When it feels as if no one notices your efforts or that you're failing at everything you do- remember that you are so loved, so appreciated, and are doing everything right.

Happy Mother's Day.
Luke 1:37. Nothing is impossible.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

another stable day.

It took longer to say hi to me this time at clinic after the MRI. This, likely has nothing to do with me and more to do with being busy with, ya know, other people. But it sort of made our hearts palpitate a bit more.

I called EJ and he felt like he needed to leave the office for a bit - which is weird bc he never gets anxious about MRIs. Or, rather, he doesn't tell me that he is. So, this sort of sent me in a nervous spiral until finally they came in and said the sweetest word of STABLE.

Now, our stable is sort of different than other stables, maybe?

Reese's tumor moves all of the time. Sometimes smaller one way, and bigger another. And then the next month will be opposite. Sometimes it will shrink and then fill back in. Sometimes it won't. We look at similar slices every month so we can get see what actually is moving and decide if we want to stay on vinblastine or not. But again, we do.  (don't judge size by my terrible outlining down below).

But you can see that generally its not a huge difference - and that we can push time on vinblastine even longer - which is essentially the point for now. 

I get a lot of questions about "well what will you do next?"and that answer is the inhibitor(s) that are used for her BRAF mutation (v600e for my fellow momcologists). That is a daily pill for something like 2 years, assuming that it continues to do it's job for that long. 

Next MRI is in 3 months - which is forever away, of course, but when July hits, I will feel as if we were just here

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