Monday, November 30, 2009

Not quite "Bah Humbug".... but close.

I can't believe we are in the middle of the holiday season.  If it weren't for Alvin and the Chipmunks playing in my car non-stop I could forget entirely.  Thanksgiving was so low-key it was almost surreal.  The volunteers who came in and cooked for the families are really something else and have truly inspired me.  I'm not sure how I will incorporate volunteering in the future... we're just not there yet, but wow do I want to be like these people.  They descended on the house before 8 AM and made a fantastic meal.  And there were so many who were willing to give time in their day, away from their families and their own meal preparations.  And... AND!... they cleaned up afterward!  This was easier than the year we went to a restaurant for Thanksgiving.

My parents came and of course Tom and Marc were here and after a 1 PM dinner my parents left and tryptophan set in and Tom passed out.  For the rest of the day.  He wasn't feeling well so a 9 hour nap was not something I would begrudge him.  It just made Thanksgiving very strange.  We didn't watch the Macy's Day Parade.  I didn't cook.  No pumpkin bread (even the year we went to the restaurant I still made pumpkin bread), no post meal clean-up (not that I'm complaining) and then it was just quiet.

Marc and I hung out and had a great time.  He's at that age I guess, where I vacillate between thinking he's the most amazing and adorable and clever and funny child ever to grace my life and wanting to strangle him.  There's no in between.  And as much as my kids missed each other they sure found creative ways to irritate the snot out of one another when they finally got together.

So, I decided that I wanted to go home for the weekend and despite the drive, which I'm starting to loathe, was a great decision.  It was just good to be away from cancer and sick kids for awhile.  Although I found myself really worried about a few kids in particular.  One made it through a harrowing surgery with flying colors and was all smiles tonight and the other received a new liver this morning and will remain critical for at least 48 hours.  My prayers are with this baby that he will make it and also with the donor family who lost a baby and then made the incredible decision to donate organs so another baby might live.  There are no words for that.

So, home.  It was good.  I saw two movies, got to go to church, visited a friend and her new baby, had a game night with friends, and spent some fun time with Marc.  Oh and we put up our Christmas tree.  Which reminds me again that Christmas is almost here and I have never felt more unprepared.  I honestly just want to cancel it this year and normally I love Christmas.  I just have no enthusiasm and I can't pinpoint exactly what it is.  I'm not unhappy I just don't feel a lot of joy right now.  I know a huge part of it is the fact that my mind is preoccupied a great deal of time with sickness, cancer and death.  Another huge part is just being away from home.  Normally I make a Christmas chain for the kids and they take turns each night ripping a link off.  A visual reminder of how close Christmas is getting.   I'm not home and don't feel like doing it this year.  I'm sorta hoping my kids will just forget if I don't remind them.  Snort.  The other thing that is hard this year is I have no idea what to get Rachael.

None.  Zip.  Nada.

Except overly priced plastic crap that she will squeal in delight over and then never play with for the rest of her life but still manage to spread all over her room.  I'm at a total loss.  Except how about no more cancer treatments?  That would be cool.

Speaking of Rachael's cancer treatment, her blood counts are not high but seemingly stabilized and we are able to continue with interferon.  So yay!  My daughter is healthy enough to continue receiving a drug that makes her irritable and sleepy!  Really though, we are very glad.  And as far as the irritable and sleepy part goes, it's not awful.  People who saw her this weekend were surprised at how great she looks and feels.  And today she said that she felt great after treatment.  Mondays were supposed to be the hard days but she is sailing through so we are truly thankful.

I don't want to feel this way.  I want my children's joy to be contagious.  I want to continue the traditions that we have started and be excited but I'm just NOT.  You know, I thought I'd feel more of the "spirit of the season" when it cooled down.  All weekend the kids wanted Tom to build a fire in the fireplace but it wasn't going to happen with 80 degree weather outside.  "No Marc, we cannot build a fire when we are running the AC!"  But this morning it was freezing cold and instead of feeling the crisp air and joyfully thinking, "Christmas is coming!" I was just cold.

Call me Scrooge.


  1. Hi there, Danielle!
    Robin just told me about your journey and I thought I'd pop in.
    You're not Scrooge. You're human. More specifically, you're a mama. There's lots involved with that when a mama's baby is sick.
    I'll add Rachel to my kids' prayer list (they have a better memory than I do... so count on her being prayed for every night around 8:30pm CST).
    in Christ,

    P.S. Some Christmas music other than Alvin and the Chipmunks might help stir the Christmas spirit. ;-)

  2. You are in the midst of a storm and sometimes it is hard to "celebrate" the things we are supposed to. You have every right to feel the way you do and do not deny yourself to travel through these emotions. I cracked up with your excerpt about what to get Rachael...why do they get so excited about these plastic items and then leave them to rot within hours...been there :) Please remember that you are being thought of, prayed for and we are hear for you if you need anything!! Love you!

  3. You are WAY too beautiful to be Scrooge!

    I am so glad that the treatments are going well for Rachael. I am thrilled that y'all can continue with the interferon. Each day she can do it, is one day closer to being done!

    Glad you went home, that was a great idea. A bit of normalcy is worth its weight in gold!

    I love ya and am sending huge hugs your way!

  4. Hey danielle, I'm still praying for all 4 of you.Is that a recent picture of Racheal? She's so beautiful!That's just wrong about your wallet!!Not sure how to leave a comment on this never did b4. What does select profile mean?