This weekend marked the end of the regular hockey season for John. He couldn’t have been any more thrilled with the fact that he got to go to the arena twice on Saturday for games and then again on Sunday for games and the medal ceremony. He loved every minute of it! I realized this weekend that when it comes to hockey he has the characteristics of both his brothers. When he’s nervous and excited about something, he gets ornery like his oldest brother Michael is known for. There were few nice words from John before getting on the ice. Just get him ready and get out of the way. After the game he has the skill of embellishing the facts just a tad about goals scored and games won….maybe just a little like that other brother did years ago. It was a weekend all about John and his hockey. Perfect in his big brown eyes.
On Saturday as I watched him on the ice the thought didn’t escape me that it was two years ago when he was skating his last game of that season, he had cancer….we just didn’t know it yet. He was almost 5 1/2. On that Sunday I had done the bad mom thing by letting him skate even though he had a low grade fever…because I didn’t want him to miss out on the medal ceremony. That next day we took him to the doctor and he was diagnosed with strep and from there it would take about a month until we learned the real truth…the nightmare we were thrust into.
2 years…wow. It doesn’t seem that it has been that long ago. 2 years! All John has been through, how we’ve all changed, where we are today… Watching him on the ice this past Saturday filled my heart with warmth. John is our miracle…our gift.
Almost 2 years since diagnosis…almost 9 months since the end of frontline treatment. I’m trying…Jon and I are trying not to live our life in fear of relapse. Jon is better than me at this or better about not verbalizing his fears and calming mine. We seem to click along and then the fear grips us so tightly it seems impossible to function.
This past Monday John mentioned that his legs hurt. Anytime I hear a comment like that from him it sends my mind racing, but I can’t let him see that. I did my best to reassure him, tucked him into bed and prayed that was the last I heard of the leg pain (leg pain was one of his most prominent symptoms at diagnosis). I was up late that evening going over my conference folders for the next evening and John stumbled out of bed a little before 1 in the morning crying, crying crying. His legs hurt. I tucked him in, gave him some tylenol and rubbed his legs. When he fell asleep I went to see Jon who was wide awake. I can’t even explain the fear…the feeling that we were about to be thrust back into our old life of cancer treatment and hospitals. There was very little sleep for either of us that night.
I shared my concerns with a few friends and ignored the strong suggestions from one that I call the doctor. John had an appointment already scheduled for Friday. We would wait. Another comment about leg pain was made on Tuesday after hockey. I walked around with a nauseated stomach all week.
Thank goodness it was a busy week with conferences on two evenings. Thank goodness I work! If my mind had anymore time to think about the “what ifs”…it’d be ugly. I have the best support system at work and I am blessed in so many ways there.
Finally Friday came and it was time for the appointment. Both Jon and I go because neither of us want to go alone EVER. Each appointment carries the possibility of being the one that changes everything.
The appointment was a huge relief! John is great. His appointment was great. His counts were great (I haven’t gotten the urine results yet, but I am confident they will be as well.). He had grown almost a centimeter in 1 month! Growing pains…the doctor was confident that John’s pains were growing pains! What a relief! I was asked why I didn’t call in with my concern (My dear friend was right in BOSSING me to call.). I had told her it was because we had this appointment scheduled. Really….it was because I wanted to live 3 or 4 more days without cancer. I shared with John’s doctor that I was a basket case all week. She reminded me that we are not that far out of treatment and not to be so hard on myself…that those fear will ease over time. I find that hard to believe, but I hope she’s right. It is exhausting to worry.
During John’s appointment Jeanine, his Child Life Specialist, stopped by to drop off a very special gift. It was two framed photos of John with Mikko Koivu from the WIld about Children event from last March. Super cool! It worked out perfectly because Jeanine was able to take John for a while so we could talk about our concerns with the doctor. Dr. Chu couldn’t get over how great John looked. Skinny, but great.
The big guys are doing well. Michael is in between hockey and lacrosse and home a lot more often. For him I have went from Mom to “Shellster”, unless he wants something it is a demanding “MOM”! I think I will start ignoring him when he calls me Shellster. Who calls their mom that?
Jeffey’s hockey season is still going and will end the weekend of March 15/16. His team is doing really well. I believe they are 30 and 2 or something like that. Tomorrow Keith Ballard from the WILD is coming to skate at his team’s practice. I believe the opportunity was won in a contest. I know Jeffrey is really looking forward to it.
On Sunday evening our family all sat in the same room and watched an entire movie together. It was Gravity..a few scary parts for John and Jeffrey, but we all liked it (Although I did have to remind my husband several times that the movie is fiction…so quit saying, “That couldn’t happen”!). I seriously can not remember the last time we all watched a movie together.
Wow…I got wordy again (Imagine that!) I am going to include some winter pictures for our parents that are sitting in the Arizona sunshine.
Love, Hope and Blessings,