Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Harrison's List

Early tomorrow morning, Harrison will be going in for surgery to remove two cancerous spots from his lungs.  It will be an extensive operation, and we are already so very tired.

However, we have not just been sitting around for the past couple of weeks since we found out that the cancer had returned feeling too distressed or overwhelmed.  Those pain free hours have just been too precious for all of us, and we have been trying to get some fun in along the way. 

Getting a family picture made with Harrison's #inthefight shirts.  You know, like we are fighting cancer.

 Today a group of high schoolers came over to watch the newest Veggie Tales DVD, which isn't available in stores until next week (but I have an advance review copy--review and giveaway next week).  I wish you could have heard the laughter coming out of that room, as about 15 of his friends watched memories of their childhoods, and I was so pleased to have them here, lifting his spirits.

I also fit in the 'answering of the questions' that I mentioned a few days ago.  The other two will get their list on here soon, but here are Harrison's answers--

My favorite music - Rock, Dubstep, Anything except country
 and books - Bible, Harry Potter, various fan fiction
 movies - Avengers, Dark Knight, Braveheart (with eyes covered during 'that' scene)
 days - Saturday and Sunday
 places - His room, The Venue (church), Dogwood, Kansas City
 sayings - Stupid is as stupid does.  If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving is not for you.
 verses - Phillipians 4:13, Ezekiel 23:20
 teams - KU Jayhawks, Team Jacob (lol), Wonderbots (?)
 colors - orange, black and red
 animals - dinosaurs, playtpus, thestrals, magic ponies

And then there were two pages called "The Future 'Me' I want to Be", with categories like:

Books I want to read - The big book from Time Warp Trio, more Harry Potter books
Places I want to go - Austrialia, Europe, the moon, Hollywood, cruises
Topics I want to investigate - how venus flytraps work, conspiracy theories
Things I want to do - go skydiving, skiing/tubing, be an actor, make people happy, fly (Hmm, all 3 boys separately said that one)
Talents I want to develop - bagpipes, animations, do impersonations, getting rid of chemo brain
People I want to meet - Froggy Fresh (formerly the rapper known as Krispy Kreme), Weird Al, Psych actors
Random acts of kindness I want to bestow - draw pictures for kid's at the hosptial, cheer people up when they are down
Adventures I want to have - go to a different dimension, or visit Middle Earth with none of the bad guys there, catch all 151 original Pokemon (?)
Things I want to learn - all the knowledge needed to win a big game show, why some people are just hateful all of the time and are never happy, how to understand women (HA!--good luck with that, son)

We'll be working on getting some of that second list worked in after he recuperates some.  Well, except with the understanding women part.  And the whole Middle Earth thing.

This is a video he made for his YouTube subscribers.  He would love it if you would watch, and then give him a like, or thumbs up, or whatever they do there.  It ups his street cred, or something like that.

Click here for video

And if you are a pray-er, we sure would appreciate any and all you might think to send up for us.  I'll update soonish.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I Know, I Know. It was just a TV show.

Today I received the neatest books in the mail--3 different planners that I will be reviewing soon.  One was for me, and there were two different versions for the boys.  I am not a planner, or an organizer, so I was a little curious to see what all was included before I jump in with both feet (or at least one, anyway).

There are the standard pages for school work and chores, but the versions that the boys have had two pages called "All About Me", and there was space devoted to answering the following questions:

My best friends
My favorite music 
 and books

And then there were two pages called "The Future 'Me' I want to Be", with categories like:

Books I want to read
Places I want to go
Topics I want to investigate
Things I want to do
Talents I want to develop
People I want to meet
Random acts of kindness I want to bestow
Adventures I want to have
Things I want to learn

I LOVE this, and hope to get all three boys to tell me their answers to these questions soon.  However, I noticed that the planner for me did not have pages like this.  I guess the writers figured moms would be too busy or tired to think about these things, or maybe get depressed over the reality that most days/weeks/years seem to be an endless cycle of cleaning, cooking, teaching and basic survival.

I'm going to think about it, and just might come up with some answers of my own.

We shall see.

Right now, though, I am off to get the clothes out of the dryer before they get too wrinkled, and the dirty dishes cleaned so the roaches won't sneak in during the night to carry them away.  That whole 'talents I want to develop' question?  Being able to twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and have everything just fall into place.  How her husband could not appreciate that is beyond me.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walking a Mile in Her (High Heel) Shoes

Last week I happened to be looking through my husband's Facebook feed.  He has about a gazillion friends from all over the place, and it is interesting to scroll through his list every now and then.  Well, I was just scrolling along and saw a series of photos and posts that one of his friends had made about his daughter's high school beauty pageant.  There were lots of comments and likes, saying that she would do wonderful and how beautiful she looked.  And my simple, hypocritical mind went into overdrive.

She didn't seem all that beautiful to me, not the beauty pageant kind, anyway.  I mean, her dress was pretty enough, but she was very puffy and pale, and her hair was just blah.  Even in the pictures she looked like she was hating every minute of it.  I started to wonder if her parents were making her do this pageant.  Couldn't they tell that she was miserable and would probably be laughed at or joked about later?  I mean, I don't even know her parents, but surely someone could have used a little more wisdom in this situation, right?  I have lots of parenting books that I could recommend.  Of course, I wasn't being critical or anything, just concerned for that poor girl's feelings.  Ri-i-i-i-ght....

So, out of curiosity, I clicked on the girl's name, and was able to scroll through some old posts and pictures. Long story short, she was a tiny little thing with gorgeous hair and a great smile about 3 or 4 years ago.  I could tell that from her cheerleading and class favorite pictures.  Then there were various hospital pictures, because after a while and through much pain, she received her diagnosis.  No, it wasn't cancer, but it is a very painful degenerative condition that is treated with steroids.  You know, those drugs that cause weight gain and hair loss and are tolerated as a last resort of trying to keep the pain away.

So much for my self righteous goodness masquerading as parental/societal concern.

I went back through those pageant pictures again, with a different set of eyes (and heart).  I saw a young lady that is a fighter, and who isn't going to let her pain and limitations dictate her choices and the things she enjoys.  She was her school's homecoming queen last year, and class favorite every year, so obviously her peers think she is special.  I saw parents who are unbelievably proud of their daughter's perseverance and spirit, and who are probably just happy she is still with them and functioning.  I saw the grandparents whose hearts probably break every time they think of what life has handed their granddaughter, but they put on their own cloaks of courage whenever they are face to face with her..

Their unbelievable beautiful granddaughter.

I don't know how she did in her pageant.  But she did it, and I think that is the point of it all.  And as a parent  of a boy whose life has taken him in a very different direction than any of us would have wanted or imagined, and one who will be judged by some because of his scars, or his limp, or his diagnosis, I should know better.  I really should.  I could come up with all manner of quotes or Bible verses about not judging, but my mind keeps coming back to a song I used to sing in Children's Choir, so very long ago:

He's still working on me,
To make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and the stars,
The sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.
How loving and patient He must be.
He's still working on me.

Thank goodness.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Cancer--Part Deux

Hello, my sweet bloggy readers.  Just a quick note to let you know that Harrison's latest scans show 3 small spots on his lungs.  This isn't a big surprise, but it stinks all the same.

We will know a little more about what comes next after the doctors meet and confer next week.  There will definitely be surgery and chemo involved.

I am already exhausted just thinking about it.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  Spend some time hugging on the people you love, OK?