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Unread 01-20-2009, 09:43 AM   #135
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Posts: 28,011

Latest Update - Appointment this afternoon to check counts.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 20, 2009 09:33 AM, CST

Good Tuesday Morning,

Sicily is doing good. She seems to feel well and is still full of spunk and energy...she's Sicily! Thank you, God!!!

We have an appointment this afternoon at 1:45 to check her counts. I've been giving her the daily Neupogen shot to help boost her white blood cells so we'll see if it's working.

We had a very good family weekend. The kids were out of school yesterday so Patrick took the day off to spend a little extra time with them. Before Sicily goes to bed each night, she asks daddy if he has to go to work. When his reply is "yes," she comes back with an, "oh man!" She likes to have him around! As does the rest of the family. It's comforting knowing his office is so close...he's not a city away anymore!

Last night, I was enjoying a little down time and was flipping through the channels on TV when I came across the show, "John and Kate Plus Eight." They were having a show were they were answering viewers questions and one mother had asked Kate who inspires her. Her answer brought tears to my eyes as she replied, and I'm paraphrasing, "I'm inspired by parents of kids who have cancer." And they went on to show a bunch of bald headed little children, some wearing the all too familiar mask across half their faces to help shield them from enemy germs. I found myself tearing up to see the site, and then I thought, "but that's us."

I still sometimes don't see myself or Patrick, and the rest of our family for that matter, in that light. I still find myself crying over the site of and stories about other children. I guess due partly because Sicily is acting and feeling like a "normal" little three year old. A person would never guess she is on chemo. Her hair is over half an inch long and her eye lashes and brows have grown back. One of the little mysterious that still dumbfounds me through this whole process. I did make a comment about it last Friday to Sicily's onc nurse, but she just grinned and said, "it will fall back out again." Oh well, as least we do know, and more importantly Sicily knows, that it does indeed grow back.

I am just so very thankful for her ability to keep on living her little life. Makes it so much easier for the rest of us. Sure, we still have some issues...she refuses to take naps lately and we've come to the conclusion, darned if we do and darned if we don't. Either way, come evening she is hard to be around. She tends to have some issues with anger, especially when her brother Elias is involved. She is sporting a nice bruise under her eye from a "tiff" with him. She likes to try to take things away from him. A tug of war evolves and the next thing we know, she's sporting a shinner. Not from Elias intentionally hurting her. We've had to explain to all the kids that injuries to Sicily can be more problematic to her than they would be to them or us, only because of the medicines she has to take to insure we are getting rid of all the nasty cancer cells. I don't want them to feel they have to walk around on egg shells with her, but to be a little vigilant in trying to help keep her safe. It's not their responsibility to protect her, it's mom and dads. But they can play an important part in that role.

Sicily is what she is...a very active, strong willed, energetic little pistol. A person doesn't fair well in a dual with her. I've asked the kids to walk away from her when she gets "fired" up...I don't expect for her to win every argument or be given all she wants...quite the contrary. Patrick and I have decided to handle this situation with much optimism...we expect her to survive this ordeal and don't want her to end up a spoiled, self serving individual. That may sound harsh, but it's not. It's normalcy.

In a life that is robbed of such a thing, we seek it in anyway we can. Maintaining a sense of discipline, of teaching right from wrong, of hopefully learning lessons in respect of others and one's self...Sicily can still grow up to be "normal." Normal is supposedly just a setting on a washing machine, but it is also something craved by people who lose their sense of it.

I had a small meltdown on Saturday as I ran some errands around town. I came home upset and missing what others sometimes take for granted. Patrick hugs me...the kids hug me...I feel better. But I won't lie and say that we are always doing fine. For the most part, yes...but there are still days when I long for how things used to be. But on the flip side, Sicily's experience has taught me a lifetime of lessons I would have never, or most likely not have ever learned. I do feel richer and more blessed in the long run. It is, in a sense, a double edged sword. With that, I will close.

It is a very historical day and I am feeling the excitement in the air...or at least the transition of it coming from the TV. I sense an air of change coming with our new president...I am hopeful! Everyone have a blessed and enriched day! Prayers are still being answered!

Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
America will only be the land of the free so long as it is the home of the Brave
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