Look at this adorable hat my friend Chris made. She sent one for each member of our family.
I have over 500 hospital photos to go through. When you're told by a doctor that your child has a brain tumor, possibly cancer, and you don't know his prognosis yet.... well, you take a lot of photos of that child. And then when you find out that he does indeed have cancer and find out his actual prognosis, you take even more. And that's what I did. I want to remember every little thing about our hospital stay. Which is why I am slightly annoyed at myself for not bucking up and blogging every night while we were there. I have a sort-of-kind-of-not-great record from instagram, but the "little details" aren't on there. If you haven't noticed, I am a definitely a "little details" type of person.
(Little, kind-of funny side note: When people call to tell us news and they get a hold of Andy, he asks them to call me. Because I will sit and ask him questions that I know he doesn't know the answer to and it drives him crazy and he'll say things like, "I didn't ask questions!" which to me is absurd, but what do you do? Also, we met with our radiology oncologist on Friday and after he explained everything he said, "Do you have questions?" And Andy said, "Nope" right as I started in on my 20 minutes of questioning. See? Funny. Haha)
That's kind of why I haven't been blogging. I am overwhelmed. Not necessarily by everything going on (because I am convinced that all of the prayers on our behalf are what are, in fact, keeping me sane and normal), but by the task of trying to remember everything, going through photos, and getting it all down. I know that the longer I wait the harder it will be, but I still don't do it. Eesh. Kind of a catch-22, yeah?
That's when I sit at my computer and ramble about who-knows-what. I entertain myself.
So, I'll just give a little update.
Magnus: Magnus is starting to get back to his old self. He is walking on his own again! This is huge to me. I walked into the kitchen yesterday and he followed me. I was so shocked. He hasn't walked without help since the surgery. Apparently he is getting stronger. Go figure. They told me it would happen, but I guess after 3 weeks and no progress, I just thought it would be awhile. He is still off balance and I worry he is going to fall, but he is doing it. Happy dance. His speech is also improving every day. I am just amazed at how far he has come in 3 weeks. He is happier since coming home. He is also incredibly emotional and laughs a lot when he's happy or cries and screams a lot when he's sad. It's like we're riding a roller coaster over here.... high highs and low lows. (See what I did there? 12th grade English class ain't got nothin' on me.) He still doesn't like our home health nurse, but he is doing much better with his picc line being flushed or having the dressing changed when Andy or I do it. I am just thrilled that my boy is smiling again on a normal basis.
Baron: Our Bear has not seemed to be affected much by all of this. The only thing I have noticed is that he is jealous of all the new toys that Magnus has received. Luckily Magnus is good at sharing so Bear has benefited. The two of them used to fight like crazy before the surgery and they fight like crazy now, soooo.... that is great news?! Just kidding, I really do wish they got along better, but I'll take any normalcy I can get ;)
Daphne: Daphne is my super-sensitive little gal. She has been there for Magnus at his every beck and call. She would do anything for that little brother of hers. And she does. She will read to him, play with him, color with him, get anything for him.... you get the idea. Daphne has been a little extra clingy lately, and professes her love for all of us on a daily basis. Hey, you don't hear me complaining. More hugs and words of affirmation from my baby girl are not something I complain about. She is a sweetie and I am so glad we have her in our family to help us through this time.
Jonah: Jonah has been great with Magnus. I mean, really great. He is ultra-attentive and will spend about an hour a day reading Magnus all of his new books. He entertains him and comforts him. It is very nice to watch. Jonah probably took the cancer-news the hardest. That was a rough night. Jo was pretty inconsolable and wept on my lap for a good 30 minutes after I told the kids. It broke my heart. Jonah has been stoic since then and has carried on with dignity. He has also been more loving and sensitive and again, I am not complaining. He has continued with school and soccer and friends as before but I have noticed that he is not as eager to leave and play as soon as he gets home from school. It's nice.
Laylah: Well, this girl.... what can I say? She has seemed the most normal and taken everything in stride. Of course she has expressed her concerns, but she has kept her head up through it all. She does what needs to be done, she helps when I ask, and she rarely complains about any of it. She gives the best hugs too, right when I need one. I say it often, but I really don't know what I did to deserve this little missy. She has carried on with grace and gets the job done. I am thankful for her.
Me: Hmmmm, me. It's easier to write about other people. But I suppose I'll give ya'll on update on how I'm doing. I am doing well, surprisingly enough. I can't tell you how much words of affirmation and gifts of service have helped calm my troubled soul. I always thought my love language lay in other areas but this experience has proven otherwise. Sometimes I have a moment where I feel incredibly grateful for this experience. I don't know what will happen in the future, and that's okay. I will always be grateful that I was able to rely more upon my Heavenly Father and feel peace in this trying time. It has been a gift, in a way. A soothing, wonderful, never-wished-for gift. But I am happy to have received it. It's not all wonderful. I have my moments. I feel crazy sometimes. But I feel as though my family has grown so close through all of this and I will be eternally grateful for that.
Andy: This guy. I sure love him. He is amazing with Magnus. It seems like right when my patience is gone, he swoops in and takes over with a fresh batch of patience for all. He has had his moments, which is fine. But overall, he has been the guy that I couldn't be more grateful to have by my side. We both came to the conclusion that we will take everything step by step, not look ahead or behind, and just keep moving forward. Our goal is to keep our family happy, close, and and loving. Our home is our safe-zone. Fears can be expressed, help can be given, peace can be felt. I love my husband and the ability he has to still make a joke and have everyone laughing. It has been good for me, especially in moments where all I feel like doing is sobbing.
So there you have it. A peek into the lives of the Collette's and how we are all coping. Life is pretty great, even when it's not. I need to remember that. Because it is hard, but it's not too hard. And
it is most definitely worth it.