Friends and Facts

Last week I received the results of my latest scan. The great news is that my cancer is no longer detectable on the CT scan. This means that the chemo is working, and has shrunk it dramatically — to the point we can’t see it. What does that mean for me? Not much. I’ll continue on my chemotherapy schedule with Gemzar. I’ll have a little more flexibility if I need/want to take chemo breaks/vacations  — like when we travel to Alaska in June — but basically I will keep to my routine. Overall, I’m pleased at the progress.

We have these friends who we only get to see every year or two and lately only for a couple days at most. But it doesn’t really matter because we just pick up where we left off — like the time apart hasn’t been time apart — and spend virtually the entire time together talking. Literally not shutting up except to sleep. And we talk the four of us together, as our children play — picking up where they’ve left off, too — or husbands and wives separately. Catching up, discussing parenting, volunteering, and life in general. And laughing. Oh do we laugh. Great big belly laughs with tears running down our faces, making jokes out of almost anything and everything.

It is always, always a soul-refreshing time. No matter how short. This visit we spent less than 48 hours together. Because they love us so much that they were willing to drive more than 22 hours round-trip to spend a day and a half with us. I can only hope we provide half the refreshment they provide us.

Friendship can be a fickle and fleeting thing, so for me to count these two beautiful people as dear and precious friends makes me feel so blessed. I am not one who has a wide circle of close friends, but I’m so fortunate to have a few amazing people in my tribe. I have done nothing to deserve these stellar souls in my life, but they are and for that, I am deeply grateful.

Thank you both for making the sacrifice to come down to see us. Thank you for the laughs and the conversations and the encouragement. Thank you for your loyal and unwavering friendship. We love you more than we can ever express.



A New Adventure

You may have noticed that in my last post I slipped in the fact that we were transitioning our son to online school. It’s an idea that my husband and I have tossed around for a while, but we’ve always ruled in favor of traditional school. Our son has been at a charter school since its first year (1st grade) and we’ve stuck with it in spite of their growing pains.

It’s on its fifth or sixth (I think) head of school; because of location of the buildings, the school’s been on lockdown at least once every school year; and our kiddo has had some issues with bullying. His second grade teacher was awful, and the teachers he had this year proved less than cooperative with Allen’s newer academic issues (finishing and turning in school work in a timely manner).

With all the work I was putting into helping him get school work turned in on time without the support of his teachers, I just decided it would be easier if we tried an online schooling program. We also figured that we would all continue to wonder about it until we tried it. So beginning last month, he started with an accredited online school. For now, I’ll withhold the name of it, since I’m still unsure of how I feel about it.

That’s not to say we don’t still have reservations about schooling him at home. I worry about socialization and his ability to stand up for his beliefs. And I worry about my own sanity. I worry about the health of our relationship, and whether being his “learning coach” will ruin our relationship.

At first, things were very confusing, as the teachers began to adjust his curriculum to fit with his peers and with his academic level. But we muddled through and now have a fairly smooth and regular schedule. Except on days like today when Math took the Kiddo three hours to complete. Yes, you read that right — three (3) hours.

Obviously, my patience has been tested. He’s easily distracted and consistently complains when he has an assignment that involves writing. He’s convinced that he can do math in his head, but gets frustrated every single time he tries it because he gets the wrong answer. Sometimes he aces his assessments and other times he has to retake them because he fails to read the question completely. My husband receives texts at least weekly from me, stating that I can’t do it.

But then I step back and look at the situation with less emotion. And I realize that I have a limited time left with my kid and this is a great opportunity for us to spend time together. And I watch the news to see yet another school shooting where 17 have been killed, and I think that maybe this wasn’t such an insane decision. That maybe, just maybe, my husband and I got it right.

So we will continue to work at it. We’ve committed to staying with the online program through the end of the school year before making a final decision. Maybe we will decide to stick with it as long as I’m able to “coach” him, and maybe we’ll decide to put him back into a public school next school year. But for now, we’re figuring it out and we’re making it work. And the Kiddo and I still like each other.