“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
~ William Shakespeare
Thank you to those who put on the dinner, the cooking, cleaning, the donation of the food, the donation of the Lodge, the music, the entertainment, the face painting, and henna. Thank you for the T-shirts, the "Team Zoë" logo design, the buttons, the slide show of Zoë's pictures. Thank you for the transportation, the babysitting, the hats, and the necklace. Thank you for the raffle baskets, and all the wonderful items. Thank you for coming out in the
snow.... Thank you for all of your donations, may they be time, money, or the power of prayer and positive thought.
I tried my best to sum up how I was feeling last night when I gave my mini thank you, and I don't remember what
I said really. What I do remember, and what will always stick with me is seeing that room filled with so many people. People who were friends of friends, relatives of relatives, people Zoë has never met, even those who I had never met before. All there sitting quietly and looking back at Zeppo and I. If I had arms big enough I would have embarrassed the whole room. Yet again I weep. Not for my daughter, but I tear up because I never knew people could be so good, and kind. So generous and caring.
Themes of the night:
There were many sentaments, questions, and remarks that were made to me by many people. One of which was regarding my strength, and how if in my position they did not feel they would be able to handle it. Well I think Kurt Vonnegut says it best....
"Shit happens, and it's awful, but it's also okay. We deal with it because we have to."
~ Kurt Vonnegut
If you were in my shoes you would find you inner strength. There are two options you have when you find out your child has cancer. You either fall apart, become a wreck, and become useless, or you buck up and do the best you can every second of the day. I joked with many and said that I choose option two because I am way too fabulous to be a wreck. OK so I only semi-joke. Come on...I am soooo way too fabulous to be a wreck. I guess having a strong inner ego is a good thing in my situation. I do what I do for Zoë because I have to. She is only as strong as
her support system. She would not be doing as well as she is if I was crying all the time, or unable to laugh with her. It is important for her to see me happy. So when I need to break down (and I do), I do it away from her. I call
someone, I hug someone, and I go on facebook and I trade my fear-tears for some joy-tears. Then I go and kiss my little girl, and reaffirm my belief that she will be just fine.
I was asked about support groups. Parent groups. No, I have not joined any of these online, or through the hospital. I fear getting involved with a group of people who are angry, or jaded, who are looking to place blame for their sick child. I do have a lovely woman who I have emailed (and hope to email more often), who is unfortunate to have a child afflicted with cancer as well. She is a friend of a friend, and has been a wonderful support even if we email only a few times here and there. My support is my friends, family, and rapidly growing extended community.
I was asked how it felt to be away from the hospital after nearly a month. I now know what it must be like when a convict is released from prison. It is surreal. The world looks big, and bright, and so colorful (even with the snow). The car felt so fast, even going so slow. It was exhilarating to leave, but a relief to be back. Last night was the first time I have left Zoë for more than two hours. Wouldn't you know she didn't even miss me. She was with her Grammie, and slept nearly the whole time.
Finally I was asked about Zoë. So here is a little update for the past 3 days since they have all been pretty much the same:
Zoë finished her second round of chemo on Thursday. Friday, Saturday, and today she spent recovering, and being a typical baby. She has not had one side effect at all from this round of chemo. It has been over a day since she has had any pain killer, or nausea medication. I am blown away by how well she is doing! I keep expecting her to wake up and be so sick, and every morning she greets me with a smile. She was all giggles and happy today which is extra wonderful because today is her 3 month birthday! Zoë was greeted this morning to a poster made by the night time nurses wishing her a happy 3 months too. *smiles*
Today the 24 hour urine collection ended, so now the urologists know how much each kidney is producing. Tomorrow they will clamp the left kidney and collect 24 hours of pee from her catheter. Then compare the volume from the left nephrostomy tube to the catheter to see if her left kidney is draining properly to her bladder. Once her left kidney function is determined there are several options to resolve her left nephrostomy tube. Her right tube will probably be replaced this week before Zoë's immunity drops. The doctors are concerned with infection from the current tube (as they are only supposed to be in for about 2 weeks). It is wonderful that they have stayed in this long with out any issue.
So there were many many more questions asked, which leads me to believe that there are even more questions you may have. If you have known me at all, even for a little while, you will know that I am extremely open, and honnest. I would love to answer any questions to the best of my ability. Also, some questions you have maybe ones that I have not thought up, and I may want to ask the doctors. So, please post, or email me questions and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability. Please keep in mind that I am still refraining from doing much research at this time about the cancer itself, and those googling out there may know more than me at the moment. But I would love to answer any questions you have regarding Zoë, or myself.
So because of your over generousness we had a ton of left over cupcakes, cake, sandwiches, and soda. I brought the left overs to the hospital where they were gladly accepted by the nurses and doctors. Some of the cupcakes went to 6 North, and 6 South (Oncology and Hematology), and the cake went to the emergency room. So the hospital staff has been on a sugar high all day! It was wonderful to share, and give back a little to the staff who have been taking such remarkable care of Zoë.
Tomorrow my mission is to file paperwork for my job to be authorized to accept donated time. I will let you know as soon as it is approved.
I will end here tonight as it is nearly tomorrow, and Momma needs her beauty rest.
This post is brought to you tonight by some of my favorite authors, so here are a few more quotes to go out on. (Some of you may remember some of these as I put them in the program for our wedding too.) *smiles*
Love and Hugs!!
“The Eskimo has fifty-names for snow because it is important to them; there ought to be as many for love.”
~ Margaret Atwood
“Love: the sickest of Irony’s sick jokes. The place where logic and order go to die.”
~ Christopher Moore
“Love is the ultimate outlaw. It just won't adhere to any rules. The most any of us can do is to sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words "make" and "stay" become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.” ~Tom Robbins