“Do you want to go to chemo today?” I read as the text as I was just about to throw in a load of laundry.
Hmmmmm. Thant’s strange, I thought to myself. Only a couple moments sooner I was about to call Jess and see if she wanted me to ride in with her. I knew Jake had to take their other son to the Dr. today so she would be on her own. She’s had to be on her own before and does jus t fine so I wasn’t sure why I felt like I should go this time. But when I surveyed the condition of my house, I began count how many pairs of clean underwear Michael and I had left and decided I would be productive instead. Besides I really shouldn’t go with her today. I had been struggling with the subject for a couple days now, Zayne weighing heavy on my mind. I should go when I am stronger But as when I saw her words on the screen(since she had no idea I had even contemplated going) I knew it must mean I was supposed to go and be by her side today, ‘cause when you go to chemo, that is all you can do for her.
The ride in was mostly small talk. I could feel the heaviness weighing on my sisters shoulders. The past couple weeks Zayne has been showing signs of his behaviors that sent her searching for answers in the first place. He wakes up all hours of the night wanting to eat, but very picky about what it is. He has had a couple slight headaches, his “grumpiness”, as I call it has been more prominent than usual lately. As we road in silence I knew this was on her mind and since the first batch of chemo didn’t work anymore she was again left to wait and hope this one made a difference, and quick.
“I can’t go back, Jame.” She broke the silence.
“I know.” I said.
I know, seriously Jamie! I thought to myself. Is that all you got? Seriously, you are her sister, give her the “we got this speech, and a slap on the butt as she gets back in the game.” Nope that is all I had. A simple I know, and sitting right by her side. I do know I will always be by her side and she knows it too. And I know she knows that when I got nuthin but a simple “I know” she knows I will be there NO matter what.
Zayne was about as cute as they come.
“Ok, big guy, have a seat in the chair and I’ll get your temperature.” Said the technician.
Zyane jumped right up in the chair and did it all by himself. Wow, I was impressed. Last time I came he had to be in his moms lap and you could barely get him to stand on the scale. And here he was today, getting all his measurements so independently, not showing any signs of knowing what was on his mothers shoulders. Just cute as ever. And quite proud of himself, as he should be!
On to the access room we went. Big Z walked around like he owned the joint. When it came time to access the port he sat on Jess’ lap, and held up his arms. With a grunt of an “owe” he was done. Off his moms lap he came and he escorted me to the poke prize drawer. Jess stayed behind to talk to the Doc about some concerns.
As cute as Zayne was, checking all 8 drawers to make sure he picked the perfect poke prize, my heart was heavy. I knew the conversation Jess was having a couple rooms down the hall was not fun. I found myself slipping into the “whys”. I have moments of feeling sorry for us(as much as I hate to admit it) I do. The past few days have been “feel sorry for us days”. The thought crosses my mind….Why us? Why now? This is not how I saw Jess and I spending our 30’s. And then I think to myself. Well, Jamie, who ever dreams of their future, and thinks, hmmmm, child with a brain tumor. There are so many tragedies, I need to not get lost in my own. And then when I look around and see all I have to be grateful for, I move from feeling sorry for myself to just plain scared. What does the future hold? How will he respond to this Chemo. Will he be sick. Will we spend another Christmas eve in the hospital. Oh I really don’t want to do that again. What if the tumor keeps growing. What if it takes more of his sight. What if the headaches return. What if none of the chemo works. What if they take him to Saint Jude and they put him on an experimental drug and he grows a 3rd arm.
My thoughts are interrupted by Zayne as he excitedly pushed his tractor across the floor. “Mame” he said “You be the boy and I’ll be the worker, and we will build a pool.” The whole scene made me laugh. Ok Jamie, I thougth to myself. Time to pick yourself up. Nobody picks this journey. You have much to be thankful for. Look at how great Zayne is doing. Count all the blessing you have, cause there are tons, and take on the trials one day at a time. Besides, if he does grow a 3rd arm from a trial drug, count your blessings then too, wouldn’t he be able to do so much more productive with a 3rd arm. You are always wishing you had one.
I found myself looking around at others hooked up to IV’s. Some looked ok. Some had lost their hair. Some looked more like Zayne, couldn’t tell from the outside the battle he was fighting on the inside. As my heart began to break for all the kids around me, and their parents, I looked at Zayne and was thankful for the blessings we do have.
We went back to the room with Jess and waited for Zaynes counts…..
The rest of the story to come tomorrow…..I’m afraid I am tired tonight and this seems to have gotten long already…