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Short term long term.  This is my standard response when people ask me how Trey is.  Short term, he couldn’t be better.  Long term, his diagnosis couldn’t be worse.  Sadly, most people who aren’t around him or us much just don’t understand how great his “short term” condition is.  More often than not I have to clarify what I mean and even then they give me a “you can stop talking about it” sad nod indicating that they realize that this poor boy infested with cancer is “hanging in there.”  I get it.  I knew a guy years ago whose child had cancer and I just had no idea where to emotionally or even intellectually put it.  Anyhow, nothing has changed over the past week to change my answer for either the short or long term.  Here’s a more specific update on how we are all doing.

Trey is, as I said, much the same.  He’s going to Vacation Bible School and loving it.  Yes, he demands to hear the CD every time we go in the van.  He’s even softened up a bit on pushing Bella’s buttons this week.  Two things of note.  First, I took a nap with him yesterday (he got his “big boy” bed).  I stroked his back with my finger tips until I’d fall asleep at which point he’d give me a shrug which told me to continue.  When he stopped shrugging I knew he was asleep.  I loved just being there with him appreciating every moment feeling his perfect (albeit scarred from various hospital procedures/surgeries) skin.  I am very cognizant of the fact that each day of Trey may be the best Trey I ever get again.  Second, after VBS today Rachel and I were in the kitchen.  Trey came flying in and went in to the attached bathroom.  His shirt came flying out of the room first, then his socks, sure as shootin’ his underwear and shorts followed close behind.  As they flew through the doorway his hilarious face came out, turned, looked at us and disappeared back into the bathroom.  Sometimes you just have to poop naked you know?

Joe continues to find his way.  Trey wanted Joe (after he got his attention, “Joe, Joe, Joe, Joe…..Joe JOE JOE JOE, JOE!!!) to “introduce” him as he ran out into the backyard under the sprinkler.  Joe began, “Ladies and gentlemen…Treeeeeeeeyyyyy Mitloooooooooo” however he followed that with, “the one with cancer!”  I, of course, shot him the “are you out of your mind?” look and he put his head down.  Well, at least for that moment he knew not to do that again.  Later that night at bed time I tucked him in and I asked him if Trey’s cancer was on his mind a lot and if that is why he said that.  He said that it was.  I told him that he could and should always talk to Rachel or me about it and that we’d gladly answer any question he’d have.  I encouraged him to not ask around Bella as she may not want to hear about it or around Trey as he still has no clue (as far as we know) what cancer is let alone that he has it.  Heck, that alone could/should give  him plenty of questions.  The next time we are in the van together alone (another blessing of going to jiu jitsu) I will give him the opportunity to ask me anything.

Bella is still very much Bella.  My last post was very much about her and her anger and in a lot of ways, that’s where she is.  She struggles with it and I’m sure so much of it is wrapped up in being confused and scared about Trey.  VBS has been great for her this past week as it has tired her out a great bit and even caused her to sleep a bit more than normal.  She’s a great girl who just has blow ups more often than we’d like, more than she’d like she would even tell you.  Perfect love cast out all fear and the antidote for anger is forgiveness (so I’ve been taught).  I give her a ton of both, mostly late at night when her brain has slowed to a rocket’s pace.  The other day I was helping her clean her room and she got frustrated, which frustrated me.  I finally left the room, very much visibly frustrated and said to her, “I’ve encouraged you, I’ve shown you how and helped you.  What do you want?”  She shouted, “I want you to love me!”  Holy after school special moment (remember those?).  Whether you think she was just manipulating daddy or not I don’t think it matters.  If she was, why?  What did she need?  I went back in, sat next to her, held her and we took some time…a lot actually, and worked on her room bit by bit (for the record, I still didn’t clean it.  She did.).

Rachel and I are doing just fine, very well actually.  We closely watch each other and dance the parent dance that most of you…well, dance.  Mommy needs a moment?  Dad steps in.  Daddy is getting frustrated?  Mommy puts her hand on Daddy’s back and lets him know that he’s about to lose his…well, you know.

We’re just a normal family going through mostly…mostly normal times.  “That looks a lot like my world.” you may have thought as you read most of the above.  Well, that was my point in the first paragraph.  A lot of what we go through is just life.  However, we are so thankful that we have each other and that we can go through these days together.  Not everyone does.  Our heart goes out to you as we know that we all have stories.  Thanks for being such a big part of ours.

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