Living in the Now

Yesterday was Joel’s chemo day, and oddly enough, in the morning, even though it was the beginning of his third week of radiation, I was hit with the gravity of the signs as we go down the hall to where Joel receives his radiation.

Then, in the afternoon, when they brought his I.V. with his chemo med in it, it comes wrapped in a bio hazard package that kind of resembles this…

Once again, I have to shake my head and remind myself of why I am putting my little guy through all of this. I realize sadly, that countless parents have walked this before me… but this is still my first time, and it still feels like a dream. I feel so ill-prepared for all of this. We are almost bombarded with doing things green, natural and organic, and I have bought into that hook, line, and sinker… yet, daily it seems, our days are filled with bio hazards, toxins and radioactive dangers.

Today, in the waiting room, I got talking with another Mom, and her questions brought our conversation basically to a place I don’t normally let my mind go. The long term outcome, side effects of treatment and the possibility of a relapse. I try very hard to live in the now. It is interesting that Christ instructs us to not worry about the future and He also tells us to be like children.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:2-4

For the most part children live in the now. Yes, Joel does talk constantly about all the things he wants for his birthday which is still over 3 months away, yet he has very little concept of one week let alone 3 months. I tell him about what will happen tomorrow, past that it can be overload. Sometimes Joel will ask about things that will happen in 2 or 3 days time, but most of the time he is content dealing with the present. I asked him if he remembered anything from his surgery, he looked at me like it was news to him that he had surgery and said, “No.” I know he knows that things have changed. He knows he can’t run and play like he used to. The only time he has ever said anything about his physical changes was when I was helping him put on his sweater. He was having difficulty with his right arm, (that is the arm that lost motor control it is slowly coming back) as he tried over and over again to get his arm in the hole he looked at me and said, “This arm is a slowpoke.”

Joel is far from perfect, and sometimes he rages on. Sometimes he is down right rude, but he does it in the moment. When someone is taking blood and he doesn’t want them to, he might growl like a tiger at them; or cover his eyes when they want to check if his pupils are dilating. Sometimes he puts on a brave face and lets them take blood and shines the flashlight in his own eyes. What he doesn’t do is say, look, you have taken my blood and my blood pressure, and now you want to look in my eyes. He confronts each thing one at a time. Not worrying about ‘what was’, or ‘is to be’, just ‘what is’. And we think we have so much to teach them.

I read books about tumors and cancer and all the scary stuff that goes along with it, so I understand and can ask the right questions… but when I close my eyes at night, I don’t think about what may be… I do sometimes think of what was, I am still grieving that a bit. Not much… mostly when I see him trying so hard to do something that was simple for him. Mostly, I think about what is; the funny little things that happened today; the fact that we are now officially outpatients!!!! That Joel grabs my hand and gives it little kisses. That he was flirting with the pretty girl at Ronald McDonald House, who gave him a cupcake because it was her 18th Birthday today! I know, I know, but you should have seen him batting his long eyelashes at her and saying, “I like you!!!”

I don’t think I have ever lived in the now before to the degree that I am right now.

Living in the now!

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