Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Whiny Girl

 I have been feeling extremely sorry for myself lately. And I hate it. I really try not to do that, but sometimes it kind of sneaks up on you, ya know? I guess a better way to describe it is that I've been feeling a little down. I mean, here I am, a wife to a wonderful guy, mom to 5 amazing, beautiful children, I have a nice, warm home with a fridge that is full of food, I have a strong body that can do so many things, I have amazing and supportive people in my life.... and I feel down. I really think I am just so completely exhausted, and lacking any sort of motivation whatsoever, that I feel so crummy about life right now.

We have 9 radiation treatments left. August feels like a lifetime ago. I can hardly believe we have been dealing with cancer for over two months. On the one hand, it feels like it has been ages. I feel like an old pro. And on the other hand, I can hardly imagine what my life was like before all of this began. Will my life ever be the same? No, it won't. I am forever changed, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but right now I don't like the reason behind it. I know life changes and moves and evolves. But, you know what? I hate that fact of life at this moment in time. I want to sit down and have a temper tantrum until I get what I want.

I guess I should point out the good things in life, if only to help show that I'm not a complete Debbie Downer. I mean, I can try and be happy even when I have no desire to do that, right? Right.

Magnus has had minimal side effects from radiation. He loves going. He loves the radiation techs, the anesthesiologists, the recovery nurses, everyone. He rarely ever cries when he has to have something done these days. He still hates getting his blood pressure taken, so he cries about that, but I'll take it. He is so funny and sweet. Everybody loves him, which of course, I love. 

The few side effects he has had are increased instability (ie. falling down, losing his balance, getting dizzy), and irritability. His reflexes have slowed down a lot too. He runs crooked. And his right eye has not really improved. He also started losing his hair. BUT! We can deal with those. He still attends therapy twice weekly and enjoys it for the most part. He may have to have surgery on his right eye, but time will tell. Overall, he is doing great. 

Our family is hanging in there. On Tuesday I worked all day and saw my kids (besides Magnus) for a total of about 45 minutes. It was rough. I do like that I only work 2 days a week now though. At least for a little while. I got a new job and I am keeping my old one as well. I will be working nights on the weekends at a rehab center as soon as Magnus finishes treatment. I am excited, it seems like a great place to work, and I'll be getting experience for nursing school. Andy also got a new job and his last day at UPS was last night! He is ecstatic. Mostly because he will be working up at Primary Children's Hospital in the Nuero Trauma Unit where Magnus stayed! Awesome, huh? His road to PA school is being paved nicely. And in other news with me, I applied to nursing school and find out in a few weeks if I got in. Laylah, Jonah, Daphne, and Baron are staying busy with dance, soccer, piano, and friends. They are all doing well and seem happy and content. I am so thankful for my amazing children and for good people who watch over my kids when I am not around. We live in an amazing neighborhood and I have amazing friends and family. 
We have lots of changes coming up, all of which are very good things. I am excited for Thanksgiving. It will feel like a big milestone in our family's journey. Andy and I will have new jobs, I will know if I made it into nursing school, and M's treatments will be over! For the last 3 years around this time of year, I have complained on my blog that the year has been hard and that I just want it to be over so I can have a fresh start. And guess what? Each subsequent year has been harder and had more challenges than the one before. So I am not going to do that this year, even though I want to.... because I like to complain and I'm a whiner, but I am trying not to be. Haha :)

This year, while full of challenges and heartache, has been rewarding and a wonderful learning and growing experience. I felt love like I never knew from my Father in Heaven and from Jesus Christ. I learned to let people serve me and in turn, learned what I can do for others who are going through a challenging time. I learned empathy and compassion, which were things I struggled with before.

See? I guess it's a good thing to be positive sometimes. I feel better already :)

Here's just a few photos from treatment one morning:

 Magnus just after being put out for his treatment

 Andy and Mag waiting to be called in

 Sleepy Magnus (with mustache residue from my mom's Halloween party the night before)

 See? He's exhausted too. He has been sleeping longer and longer after his treatments lately.
And me. This is my "feeling sorry for myself" face.

But I don't anymore, because I have lots to be grateful for, right?! I need to keep telling myself that... especially because tomorrow is Halloween and the day after that is Magnus' 4th birthday. Fun times ahead! 

Keep a smile on your face. It definitely helps :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

It's been awhile. I'm at this time in my life where I would have thought that I would have a ton to say, but I don't. I give mini updates on Instagram and facebook, so I don't feel like I need to add as many details on my blog. We take everything day by day, and to be honest... We are doing alright. Even better than alright. We are doing well!
Magnus has been a champ about radiation, doctor appointments, and therapies. I think he actually enjoys most of it now. We try to get out of the house a few times a week to do fun things too, and he is a happy kid overall. Many of his side effects of surgery have dissipated, and I could not be more grateful for that. Minus the fact that he isn't a great eater or sleeper, he is doing awesome.
Magnus has slept with me for probably half his life. He always goes to bed in his bed but ends up in mine somewhere around 4 AM. Not every night, but often enough. None of my other kids ever did this, except for the occasional bad dream. And I would let them climb in bed for a snuggle and then take them back to their own bed after they would fall back to sleep. With Magnus, it was different. Maybe it is because he's the youngest and I wanted him to stay my baby forever, but I always allowed him to stay in my bed after he fell back to sleep. I remember thinking one time, "I'm such a sucker! I never would have allowed this with my other kids!" But he would just snuggle right up to me and he fit in the crook of my arm so perfectly. It was never uncomfortable and I could always go back to sleep right away. 
I consider this a huge tender mercy that I did not feel inclined to put him back in his bed. I cherish the memories I have of Magnus waking up in my bed in the morning and stroking my cheek or kissing my face. I can still hear his tiny whisper saying, "Mommy... I hungry. Can I have toast?" I will never regret all of those extra snuggles we shared. 
I used to think people were weird for sleeping with their kids. But now I feel, to each his own. I love Sunday mornings when every kid comes in my room, one by one, hops in bed with me, and we snuggle and talk and end with a big wrestling match. It is one of my best and favorite memories that I'm sure will bring a smile to my face for many years. I love being a mom.