Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Happy Halloween

Nemo, Dory and an Octopus...
Momma's costume.... llama socks

Hitting the neighborhood for Trick or Treating 

They even trick or treated at our own house... just to have Madison (the Octopus) answer the door

Finally it was time to come inside (to warm up) and to investigate their haul...

The smiles and memories are always the highlight of this evening for Momma (though the weeks and days leading up to it I know I can be quite a bear about the holiday). 
But the true highlight of the evening was when Lillian ran up with one of my favorite Halloween treats (mini banana taffy) and with tremendous enthusiasm said... and they are SOY- you can have them Momma (Anyone that that closely follows my journey knows that I have food and dietary restrictions which have often brought my Lillian to tears and frustration, so to see her sheer joy that there was something Momma could safely have and enjoy was just what this Momma needed) 

Until next year :) 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Fall Break Shenanigans

It was the perfect stay-cation.
Filled with a mixture of adventures, friends, and lots of fun.

There were trips to the zoo...

 Including a train ride
Time with our favorite cowboys...

A bit of fall cleaning (Another Sparkle literalist... get up there and wipe off the table)

Adventures at Target...
Yes that is Cooper pushing Madison down the aisles...

 Movie marathons... sitting in our favorite spots
Cooper loves to climb in the bucket
 Dog sitting for the neighborhood
Learning to wink

And Band competitions to cheer on our favorite baritone
Whether we were in the stands
Or watching the live steam via candle light

Whatever we did, we did together. It has been a great two weeks.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Soccer Fun

Cooper decided he really wanted to play soccer this year and he had a great time.
His coach and teammates were very kind and he was excited to play and learn.

One of his favorite parts was the post game snacks :)

Here is what he requested for his game day team snack- Little Soccer Men were a huge hit!

Monday, October 8, 2018

One on One

Sharing some one on one time with my Sparkles :) 

Car cuddles waiting for the bus with Lillian

 Bingo reading in the kitchen with Cooper
 And quick before school chats with Madi before she leaves for school
Just a typical week with my Sparkles. 

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Monday, October 1, 2018

Beneath the Hair and Under the Smile...

I feel like I am drowning in the reality of remission. 

Unlike chemo, there is no end date. 

No count down. 

Days and weeks run together making it impossible to see progress. 

I entered into the world of remission believing I could begin to be normal again only to discover that normal as it used to be is unattainable. 

The smallest things which I previously did automatically now take so much longer.- both in time and in effort. 

I struggle to process things and easily become exhausted and overwhelmed. 
The simplest of tasks or responsibilities are a heavy weight for me to carry. 

Without the scarves, the bald head, the steroid puffiness, and the lingering look of illness, people see the return of the person they knew and they think I am the same. 

But I am not. 

I can't be who I used to be 
I can't give or do any more, what I am already doing is far too much. 

With remission comes the reality check of the damage caused from the chemotherapy. 
Because while the chemo did its number one job (to kill the cancer) it also had a few side hustles. 

My diet now has to be dairy and gluten free 
I have to carry an inhaler with me to treat asthma that I didn't have before 
I am working with additional teams of doctors, specialists and therapists as we begin to explore quality of life post chemo. 
And I must embrace the nerve damage that causes difficulties in my daily routine and tasks that I wish to complete. 

Normal is now defined as being able to participate in all of my activity of daily living without thinking about my health
And I am not there yet. 

I am struggling to Choose Joy and to Live Brave 

I am seeking hope yet often feeling hopeless. 

I can’t hope for what is lost or what other people/mommas my age can and do have
I can’t hope for relief or it to get better

I can't yet hope for the future, its too far out of reach

But I can hope for
Joy filled moments today
Moments of relief
A better day today then yesterday

And I can continue to remind myself: