Monday, June 10, 2013

I've hit a wall

I figured this would eventually happen.  I didn't know how long I could keep up the mad pace without eventually having to "catch up" with rest but I was going to keep going to see what happened.  I'm sure it won't last long...maybe a day or two and I'll be back at it again.  With scans coming in less than two days, it's not so much the "scanxiety" that I'm feeling this time but the undeniable fear that lies right beneath the surface that has brought me to a standstill.  It's the anxiety I live with every day that I've turned into adrenaline and put to good use. That's probably what has kept me going this long at such a crazy pace.  

The past few months have been spent in a fabulous tizzy of adventure and living life.  We've gone from Disney World, to running a marathon, planning events, working on the foundation, to adjusting back to a busy life of school, swimming, birthday parties, extra curricular activities and just not having to sit around the house anymore.  There has been many nights staying up late making sure that Team G Foundation's message and mission comes across clearly and has been something I've been so dedicated to these past few months.  I'm so proud of what it's becoming and I'm so proud of the individuals who are a part of it...our board.  Even my girls seem excited about getting involved and helping others.  

The fact that I've needed to stay busy and fill my plate to the max is with good reason.  It's too hard to stop and re-live the memories.  Being busy has helped me live in the moment and planning....planning...(something we didn't get to do much of for the past year) has helped me move on.  Our lives have been full and we've been cherishing every moment.  I'm pretty positive that Gabriella has seen the worst of her cancer but the reality is that cancer... is cancer.  It lies so close to the surface just as the memories of every difficult moment.  They are still so fresh.  The smells...the sounds...the feelings.  For the past few months Adam I have been doing our best to process the past year little by little.  It's not easy to re-live those moments of fear and dread especially when they can resurface so quickly and easily.  Looking at pictures we took of the difficult moments just brings me back to that place in time and the tears can come rushing back quickly. We meet those tears with resistance and push them back down with the understanding that we will probably visit them again soon.  I often can't look at the pictures for more than a moment because it's just too painful.  The fact that I can still listen to my daughter laugh, watch her run around and play, hold her tight in my arms and kiss her precious little head is a luxury I do not take for granted.  Some parents don't have this luxury and my heart breaks for them.  Other parents will face this reality all too soon. 

What can I say about G...she's just an incredible little girl!  She's been growing like a weed and her hair is coming in beautifully.  The other day, she came up to me wiggling her tooth and said, "mommy, what's this?"  I told her it was her first loose tooth and she was so proud of herself!  A couple days later, it came out and she got a visit from the tooth fairy.  She also lost the tooth right next to it about a week laster...then "lost" that one in the parking lot.  The tooth fairy still came after she wrote a nice note to her letting her know about the lost tooth ;-).  Gabriella is back in swimming lessons (as is Bridget) and has been doing so amazing!  The first day, she jumped back in the water like she hadn't missed a beat.  
We've also taken a couple of trips to Vine Hill to get her registered for kindergarden.  I really don't know if I'm ready for this step but I guess I'm going to have to be.  It just seems like we missed such a big chunk of her pre-k years and in all reality...we did.  She is really excited about kindergarden and was asking me all about it after taking her preschool graduation picture.  
We let her know we're going back to the hospital for her "pictures" and she let us know she's really excited to take her "dizzy nap".  I wish I shared her enthusiasm.  

The tooth fairy came for G on the same night the "ME" fairy came for Bridget...May 7th, the day before her 3rd birthday.  The "ME" or her pacifiers have finally flown off with the good fairy that will take them to the hospital for the new babies who need them. Whew.  Adam and I were not looking forward to that day but with the months of telling her that the "me" fairy would be coming soon, she really was prepared.  She gladly left them at the front door before bed and didn't have too much trouble falling asleep.  The fairy brought her a new pink hamster house for their pet "Peaches".  Yes, Peaches is still surprisingly with us.  There were some tears the days following but I think she was really proud of herself for taking this big step.  The next day we celebrated her birthday with a pony candylicious party.  She's been doing amazing in swimming as well and has just followed her big sister's lead.  Bridget is an incredibly generous little girl.  She is still 3 and has her moments but she is always willing to give G whatever she has that G wants...which is pretty much everything. 

The was the hardest, coldest most beautiful race I've been in and it was awesome!  So awesome, we're gonna do it again next year!  The day after getting back from Florida, I packed up and headed off with my dear friend Angela and her husband Alain to Big Sur.  We set up camp and were able to get a good night sleep before heading to the starting line in the morning.  It was a foggy morning and the cold was lingering throughout most of the race.  We were blasted with cold wind at the top of most of the passes and it was cold.  The sun came out for parts of the race but overall, it was chilly.  I kept thinking in my head that no matter what, I was going to finish and see my girls and hubby at the finish line.  (I even got to see Uncle Ronnie ;-)  I thought about everything G went through and it motivated me like nothing ever has.  A couple of times near the end, I had to hold myself back from bursting into tears.  The pain was there and as one of the motivational sayings reminded's only temporary.  The glory will last a lifetime.

What an incredible night this was.  I did my best to keep up with Michelle and Cara to help plan for the event but they are just too good at it!  The commitment and the dedication that these ladies put into it was incredible and it showed in how amazing the night was.   They raised over $52,000 that night!!!   $42,000 is being sent to Cookies for Kids' Cancer and Jacob's Heart.  I had the honor of introducing the Warrior Mama's and childhood cancer survivors (and with a little more preparation and practice, this will come more easily the next time.  This was very difficult and amazing all at the same time.  The beginnings of the night, I got to talk with all these ladies and hear the stories of some I hadn't heard before.  I also got to talk with the young survivors and stood there in awe of them just knowing what these young girls had gone through.  Adam brought his Captain Beau and Firefighter Jimmy to auction off the Firehouse Dinner.  It was so great to have these guys come to help us raise money for the cause.  It ended up my fun loving sister-in-law bought the dinner!  Some of us went to the balcony and got to send off lanterns into the nights sky courtesy of Angela.  It was just a wonderful night and to be such a big part of it by working with these ladies and meeting the mom's and survivors, was even better.  
Here is the video if you missed it:

I've never felt so passionate and so dedicated to making something like this happen.  I've spent hours, many late at night thinking, planning, adjusting and just making sure that everything is coming along the way it should.  There is so much to do and I feel at times I've become obsessed.  I often have to pull myself away and check back in with reality.  More on that later.  For now, what we are doing and what we are going to accomplish is helping all of us with perspective in our own life and it gives everyone a great sense of unity and strength that we can do this together.

I decided this needed a whole post on it's own so I'm working on that.  Stay tuned for was incredible!!

Life's little reminders.....

The other day I spent over an hour marinating in a heavily chlorinated pool and even after 3 showers, I still smelled of chlorine.  But seeing both Gabriella and Bridget flourish in the water because they both felt safe with me nearby and having my full attention made me want to sit there forever.  I'm not a perfect parent by any means.  Heck, I've been so busy these days just doing things, I sometimes wonder what my kids think.  I still get frustrated with my children at times, especially now that Bridget is in her 3's but more than ever before this whole journey, I have the ability to take a step back and put things into perspective.  I look at my G and I'm still able to hug her, to kiss her little cheeks and head that is growing this amazingly beautiful new hair and I am SO grateful.  So often, I read about cancer parents loosing their child.  It makes me even more grateful...for every tear, scream, glass of spilt milk, all the laundry....for all of it.

Good night for now.


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