Monday, March 17, 2014
My Epiphany!! Kinda Long...actually really long.-Jessica Warren
I had been feeling a lot of guilt. Guilt with Zayne, guilt with Ayden. Guilt with everyone…even extending to my deceased dog. I was worried I wasn’t spending enough one on one time with Ayden, or that he wasn’t getting enough love from me. I was worried that I wasn’t understanding Zayne. He was struggling and I just couldn’t figure it out no matter how much time and effort I put into it what the problem was. My poor husband would get a very silent introverted wife by the end of the night. I was not only exhausted from the day’s trails and regular mom activities but I was utterly worn out from my mind. The gamut I had run with guilt inside my head had me feeling as though I finished a 26 mile marathon. I just wasn’t cut out for this. The MRI awaited us the next day and I felt already spent by the time I went to bed the night before. I felt different walking into this MRI. I felt my husband and I were a team. More of a team than we were for the last one. We knew what was going to happen…we knew what to expect. Aside from results we had done this before. Holding your child down for pokes is never fun especially when he is looking at you with big beautiful eyes that were filled with fear. As we walked down to his room he kept saying “Are you gonna leave me?” Jake and I exchanged horrified glances. “No baby…we would never leave you.” I said with emotion oozing from every word. I began losing it there. Physical pain seems so much easier to handle than emotional. After accessing the port we were able to walk him down to the MRI room. He sat on Jakes lap and I held his “big” bear. He started to become afraid. I watched it wash over him. He looked around the massive room with all the intimidating doctors. He buried his head in his hands and began to cry. I sank in front of him and grabbed his hands. I gave Jake a look. “Hey buddy? You’re ok! Mom and Dad are right here for you!” Jake said with confidence. “Are you gonna stay with me?” Zayne said through huge tears that had not yet fallen to his cheeks. “Baby we are NOT going anywhere.” A doctor came up and started to put the propofal into his IV. Within seconds Zayne was asleep. Jake laid him down. I leaned over his beautiful little face and brushed his hair back from his forehead. I bent down and held my lips to the bridge of his nose. I soaked in the smell of his skin. I put my forehead to his and pleaded with God to surround my baby. I asked for the armies of heaven to line the sides of his bed…and when a mothers kiss was needed and could not be given by me, that he would feel the love and gentle kisses of angles that were hovering above. I stepped away with tears about to overflow and one of the doctors looked at me and said “It’s never easy…is it?” When I looked at him I noted he was truly asking. He has probably seen the same young kids come and go for their weekly and monthly MRI’s and wonder if it ever gets easier on the parents. “No…never will be.” I responded as the tears feel and my throat closed. Jake put his arm around me and we walked down to the waiting room. I let the tears fall freely. We stood at the elevator doors and Jake pulled me in for a hug, which I welcomed. It was an odd feeling. I think for so long you tell yourself you have to be strong and hold it together. I felt walls break inside me. I felt myself lean on my husband for the first time since all this began. I felt myself NEED to be near him. And oddly it felt incredible to let go. I felt a rush of emotion. We stepped on the elevator and went to go grab a coffee. I stopped at the bathroom on the way. I went into an empty stall and just cried. I felt so exhausted and scared but also felt so free and refreshed. It was such an odd indescribable feeling for me. I walked back out to meet Jake. He leaned into me and said “There is a lady here wearing a super Z shirt.” I looked over and saw cousins Aunt that I have adopted as my own. I was surprised at how much warmth I felt walking over to her. I don’t think she will ever know how amazing it was seeing her during that difficult moment. She brought 2 HUGE gift bags with her that she wanted to give to Zayne and the other we would take home to Ayden! I was so excited that Z got to wake up and open gifts!! I was so happy that they called us back to the room before he woke up. I just got to watch him sleep for a little bit. He was all cozied up with heated blankets. I wanted so badly to pick him up and just hold him. The hardest part about this journey I think is trying to convey to your 3 year old that this is helping. This is making him feel better. And no matter how bad it gets or what other news we have to endure Mom and Dad will never leave. We will never quit. And we will never make him do it alone. It’s in those moments that you pray they know their own strength. HE is strong! He was made to be STRONG. I want him to know it’s ok to be scared of the unknown but I also want him to understand that God has put an amazing strength in him and he can conquer anything. NOTHING IS IMPOSSILBE! After he woke up we went up to the chemo lab to get his treatment. Seeing how they already poked him for the MRI we didn’t have to get another one!! We were able to go find a spot and snuggle up!! The doctor came by and gave us the news that the tumor was shrinking! As he was saying this he made a comment that made my mind wander. “I’m not gonna say that by the end of this year the tumor will be gone. A lot of people live with these tumors for the rest of their life. We just need to be sure that it stays small enough not to affect anything.” I knew this. We were told this from the beginning of our journey, but after going through the past 5 months and really understanding what it means to be going through chemo with a child, I found myself no longer excited. I found myself demanding things from God and telling myself I can’t do this again. NO…NOT AGAIN. What if it starts to grow? What if it starts to grow next year and I have to look at my beautiful little boy and tell him that we have to spend another year in a hospital getting weekly pokes. It was daunting, and yet as I thought that I felt guilty. We are blessed. We go one day a week and we have good news come of it. He isn’t puking every day. We truly are blessed…so what did I have to complain about. I felt so torn between looking at God and saying “It’s not fair” and “Thankyou.” We got home and I felt that I was still pretty emotional. I just wanted to check out. The next day was the same. I was beyond emotional and cried through most of it. People would call me so excited that the tumor shrunk and I would rejoice with them and then get off the phone only to be bombarded with thoughts of the what if’s again. Thankfully I had an appointment with my life coach the next day. I was counting down the hours. I was telling Dean all the fears and guilty feelings. I told him if I could just let some of that go I would feel I had more strength to walk the journey we are on. He told me that this was the journey…God had prepared us and we were stronger than what I thought. As he was talking I was looking at my tree that sits by my window. It was a distant feeling that God was speaking to me. I heard Deans voice in the background and simply tried to soak in whatever God or Dean was telling me. I saw the sun’s rays pouring through the window. It was evening sun. Strong in golden colors. The leaves of my tree seemed to be reaching and extending as far as they could to simply be in the presence of the sun and feel it’s warmth. At the same time I began thinking of a seminar I had attended with Dean where we were all given a stretch. Something that would push us out of our comfort zone and in the end gives us tools we would use for the rest of our lives. I remember not being very excited about going but knowing what I would gain would be priceless. Looking back on that seminar I can say I wish I would have worked harder, I wish I would have not been so afraid to look at myself, I wish I could have hushed the chatter in my head that took me away from learning. I began looking at how fearful I was of this journey with Zayne. How am I going to teach my son not to be afraid of circumstances when I am living how to do just that in front of him. Zayne won’t believe me until I LIVE it before him. And then I ask myself what do I really have to fear? If I trust in my God and trust His plan I really have nothing to fear. The challenge then comes when I start to doubt that plan and I allow the fear to take over. Of course I won’t be fear-free…that wouldn’t be human. However I can choose to stay in that place of the what if’s, why’s, and when’s and drive myself crazy or I can use that fear as a gage. When my mind starts to get out of control it needs to be a checking point. Get quite, breathe, clear my head of EVERYTHING, and breathe again. And the more I do this the more plain the choice becomes. I look at my crazy brain versus the peaceful one that is making a conscious decision to trust. And that alone will teach my son something so valuable. To look at the hardship and choose to use it as adversity. I know this is probably nothing you haven’t heard from my sister but for me it’s being to see what I face a little clearer and to keep moving forward. I’m not however saying I won’t get back into one of those ruts tomorrow but the more I practice this the quicker I will get at it and be able to choose in the moment what I want to focus on.