Winding down

I posted in October:

“I am thinking of making a paper chain to count down my remaining chemo treatments. Two down, ten to go! One sixth of the way there. See? It’s flying by. 😛 My plan is to rip that last loop into the tiniest possible pieces, then set them on fire in a tin can in the middle of the street. Catharsis much?”

And now…the end is clearly in sight. Whatever happens next in this battle–radiation, biopsy, other, or none–I will be done with chemotherapy as of next Friday, March 1. I never did make the paper chain, but I still kinda want to burn something. My hospital ID bracelet from that day? Meds list? Hmmm. The bracelet is a lot of plastic, so probably not the best option. I’ll have to think of something…open to suggestions!

It is SO NICE–if foreign–to think of the next round of recovery. My energy levels will climb slowly out of the chemo pit for the last time…and then I get to keep them up for a while. My immunity will jump back up…and stay there, while I go to church, and the grocery store, and Bible study and mom’s group and Hobby Lobby and the pub. Not necessarily in that order. It is a matter of divine Providence that this (at least a quarter) Irish girl will be in the clear for outings right around, oh, Saint Patrick’s Day?

Nobody wig. I only drink good beer and I can only stand to pay for one in a given night.

I am just so tired of being tired. And with radiation possibly in the wings this might not be the end…but it is one step closer.

Stephen was three months old on Tuesday. We saw the pediatric urology surgeon yesterday and he was cleared from further monitoring of his lack-of-gallbladder situation. If he gets jaundiced we are to call in, but otherwise, carry on! I am so grateful that he is healthy. It is a thing of wonder to look back at where we were three, four, six, nine months ago and then to look at his sweet face and not have to worry.

More about our baby: He weighed in at 12 lbs. 8 oz. on Wednesday. Respectable, but since I recall that Joseph weighed 14 lbs. at two months and 17 by four months, Stephen is still our peanut. He likes to sing along when the family bursts, as it will at times, suddenly into song. His “real” hair is growing in and is lighter than the baby hair. Sometimes in the sunlight, if we squint, we see traces of red…but sometimes it just seems dark blond. He loves his brothers and watches them carefully; this might be more a matter of self-preservation than of pure curiosity, but it’s still fun to watch. He is infatuated with ceiling fans. Window frames are also good. He has started rubbing his eyes when he’s tired and can usually get his fist to his mouth when he wants to.

HE SLEEPS!!!

That deserved its own paragraph. A baby who sleeps more than three hours at a time (if that) is a complete novelty in our household. It is the hand of God’s blessing upon us that this baby regularly goes 5-7 hours at night and has, several times, gone 8 hours. We take no credit; other than formula feeding our methods are pretty much the same, so it’s either the formula or Stephen himself. Either way, it is a huge blessing.

There is much more I could write, about our family, about my emotional state, about what has changed for me and for us, about the overwhelming amount of help we have received from friends through all of this and recently in particular, about how the older boys have adjusted to all of it, about the simple pleasure of feeling well enough to cook…but for now, this is enough. Except…

Please pray for my friend Sarah as she nears the birth of her baby girl who will not live long outside the womb. Sarah and baby Naomi are heavy on my heart right now and I want to ask those who read this blog and pray for me to hold them up to the Father as well. Thank you.

Editing to add: Sarah started a blog to tell and honor Naomi’s story at: babynaomigrace.blogspot.com

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