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Last week there was a great response to my post on Trey.  Therefor, I’ll do it again this week.  Granted, there are some of you who “complain” that it’s a bit heavy at times.  Yeah, cancer can be that.  However, I get it.  It’s sometimes tough to “go there” when you are in the middle of your busy day with the sun shining and the grass needing to be cut.  Sooooo, I will break it down by category in degree of emotional weight.

The Basics

Trey had his weekly meds Monday morning and it went perfectly.  The port was accessed, the meds ordered and delivered quickly, lots of play time and out of the hospital in short order.  According to Rachel perhaps the highlight was before the meds were delivered and he was not yet “accessed” (they basically give him a shot in his permanent but under the skin port).  Trey was running, very very fast, up and down the hallways shaking his head back and forth for no apparent reason.  Dizzy?  Sure.  Out of control?   You bet.  Hilarious to everyone minus Rachel?  Absolutely.  Typical of Trey?  You better believe it.

He has had a cough for the past week or so but that’s nothing for a kid who battles cancer like Trey does.  He coughs, says, “Oohhh eeeeee yeah” to clear his throat (in a low gravelly voice), and moves on.  He wakes up once or twice a night to pee and demands to be put back to bed by either Rachel or me which we do lest he raise his voice and wake Bella (an atomic bomb would not cause Joe to roll over let alone wake up).  If he does wake Bella then we have to do a spider sweep so she can get to the bathroom and the whole ordeal is now minutes longer (which in the middle of the night is exponentially longer than normal daytime minutes).

Over the weekend Poppi (my dad, Trey’s grandfather) did come by and put together the swing set that he got for Joe and Bella’s birthday.  Trey was very excited and loved spending time with my dad and loves his new swings and slide.  Poppi made the executive decision to hammer ribar through the bottoms of the poles (anchoring it to the ground) rather than digging and pouring concrete.  The rationale being that to dig the holes would lower the whole thing to a point where Joe and Bella would not be able to use the swings.  Soooo, now we have “swing flip over watch” it effect.


More Serious

Rachel and I have talked more and more lately about registering Trey for kindergarten in the fall.  It is very surreal to talk about something like that with the underlying unspoken, “assuming…that…well, if he isn’t…hasn’t begun to, or hasn’t” as a given in the conversation.  In similar fashion, Trey has begun to go to physical therapy and occupational therapy just to round off his development.  He absolutely loves it and really works up a sweat.  Then again, when we first discussed it there was that thought in the back of my head saying, “making sure that he is up to speed for…what?” followed by, “what the crap was that, how can I think that way?”

I forgot to add, the #1 question we get in our house so far this spring is, “So…what are we going to do this summer?”  This is as a result of last summer’s “Summer of Trey” which was filled with a trip to The Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg VA, Kennywood, Idlewild, and many trips to the pool.  Now we, praise God, have the situation of Trey still being healthy and another summer ahead of us to fill with memories.  On the challenge side, we have less internal ($$$) resources and external resources (free places to stay/free park admissions).  All THAT tempered by the hope that we don’t spend any of the summer (other than regular treatments) in the hospital.


The Gambling Paradigm

So most of the heaviest parts of raising a child who has been diagnosed with cancer comes down to a gambling…formula or paradigm for the lack of a better term.  Allow me to explain (mind you this is alllllll me and I haven’t even talked with Rachel about this).

I get scolded by my mother when I say things like, “Trey is great…for now.”  She reminds me often that God can most certainly heal him.  Believe me, I am more than aware of that.  However…however, He may not.  That is most certainly A possibility.  If I put all of my emotional chips into “God will heal him.  I have absolute faith that this will happen.”  and it happens well, that is awesome.  However, if he isn’t miraculously cured, I am now beyond crushed (granted, at this point  I will have just lost my son so I don’t know how you can be even more crushed than that).

On the other end, if I walked around saying, “Nope, not going to happen, no way is God going to heal Trey”, resigning myself to the doctor’s diagnosis, I am making a different bet.  What a miserable defeated way to live.  You then get into the dangerous land of mourning his death long before it happens.  What happens then if Trey is miraculously healed?  What does my next prayer look like?  “Wow Lord…uh, my bad.”

In a similar vein, the last option is to not play at all.  Don’t think about it.  Just do your very best to treat each day independent of every other and pretend/ignore/hope that all will be well.  First of all, that is simply impossible.  Second, you then rob yourself of the added appreciation you get for each moment that each day brings.  Also, if/when (see I did it there), he does begin to be “symptomatic” I would end up thinking, “crap, I didn’t appreciate the fact that he was fine just yesterday.”

Therefor, each day and all days bring a bit of a gambling paradigm when your child has been diagnosed as “terminal”.  It’s always with you.  To summarize…

1.  God can heal him.  He may not.

2.  Each day is a gift and it is all that we have.

3.  It never really leaves your mind completely.


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