Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy Christmas Eve and a Happy Update!

I'm about to go hide in my room and write my annual Christmas-themed Harry Potter fan fic (a tradition started by Anne-with-an-e in 2008 -- so this is our 10th year! -- wherein we each write a Harry Potter story sometime during Advent, then read them to each other over Christmas Eve dinner.) But, before I do that, I wanted to share a giddy update:

Betsy started a new treatment a couple of weeks ago, and it is working. We have seen an incredible change in her, especially in the last week/ten days. (I could almost say that the last four months seem like a bad dream, but the dream is still too vivid, so... nope ... not there yet.) She is actually starting to feel relatively normal again. We're getting our girl back, and we couldn't be happier.

I'm not feeling very articulate about all of this -- all I can say is, "Happy! We're happy! We're so happy!"  😃

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Poetry Friday: I Fell Off the Internet Again When My Daughter Was Diagnosed With a Chronic Illness

It was almost two months ago when I finally felt ready to write about Atticus, cancer, fear, and learning to breathe again.

Then my daughter got sick.

In reality, Betsy was ill before Atticus even had surgery, but we didn't know what was wrong. We were looking for answers, took a couple of wrong turns, listened to a misdiagnosis, thought she was getting better. And then it all went to hell. She got sick. Really sick. As in, this-mother-was-sick-at-heart sick. She was hospitalized twice in November -- mid-month, and then again the day after Thanksgiving. Really, even now, I don't have the energy to write extensively about what she's been going through. She has a chronic, autoimmune disease but now, with the right medication, we are starting to get it under control. We are beginning to get our daughter back.

~~~~~

In the Hospital 
Karen Edmisten 

The first time I spent a night with her
in a hospital was twenty-one years ago.

In the dark, she cried. I reached for her,
held her, nourished her.

Now, darkness. A whisper:
Mom?
I wake from fraught sleep.
Sweet girl, yes, I'm here.

Nourishment is elusive.   
My vibrant, beautiful girl is frail, wasting.
In the dark I cried,
and held her.

~~~~~

It's been a hard few months. This poem shouts despair, I know, and I've certainly felt a portion of that lately, but things are looking up, and I have genuine hope for Betsy's health. I've got the energy to write this because my daughter has the energy to eat, keep food down, absorb nourishment again. It's such a primal desire ... a mother wants to feed her child: Eat, eat! 

They say a mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child, and it's true of health problems, too -- a mother can't really be happy when her children are suffering, can she?

But a mother can hope. And trust. And keep going. And that's what we've been doing around here. It's what we'll keep doing because it's the only thing to do.

Hope and trust. And learn to breathe again.

~~~~~

The Poetry Friday round up is at Random Noodling