Sunday, September 13, 2009

Aria has a cold

December 13, 2008
Subject: Aria’s got a cold

It came COMPLETELY out of nowhere yesterday. We went to the Christmas Party at the hospital. You know, the place where pristine health is sort of guaranteed. I never would have gone had Aria shown any indication that she was getting sick. She didn't show any sign whatsoever until we were leaving and I was buckling her in her car seat. She was asking is we could go to McDonald's and I heard the stuffiness in her voice. "Uh-oh!" I groaned to myself. Later that day she complained of a sore throat. I watched her all afternoon and evening. She was fine with the exception of being a little tired and stuffy. She's been back on her chemo for a week so clearly her immune system is being knocked around again.

I woke up at 2am last night worrying and wondering. Doc was leaving in a few hours for Kansas to attend the funeral of his aunt. He'll be back late Monday night. I was imagining what to do if Aria woke up with a fever. I imagined having the hospital bag ready; extra clothes, mittens, hats and gloves because we're in the middle of our first big snowstorm. It's beautiful by the way! I love it..really I do! I thought about snacks, movies, pillows, blankets, a port-a-crib for Rianna in case we all have to sleep over. I was thinking about where Reo would sleep; couch or chair. I was feeling very tired and at the same time could not for the life of me get back to sleep. Hmmmm I wonder why? I was thinking about the words of Pema Chodrin I had just read. She was talking about being able to find joy if only one allows themselves the permission to see it. Her words and those that she quoted from Thich Nhat Hanh's "Walking Meditation" resonated very deeply with me. I knew I would be ok. I still got up and checked on Aria though. It was 3 am and thankfully she wasn't feverish! I went back to bed and started to fall deeply asleep when Doc woke up to say goodbye as he left to catch his place. It was around 4 30 and I got up shortly after that. I'm ok.

Aria slept soundly and in fact slept in. She felt warm when I checked on her and when she woke up around 7 30 I took her temperature. It was 99.0. Not a fever but also warmer than her usual so I'll be monitoring her very closely today. She is definitely sick with a stuffy nose and cough.

That's the thing, guys... I was so thrilled to go to this party and we had a ball! The kids got to visit the real Santa, who was extraordinary. He and his elves gave the kids wonderful presents. We visited with some great friends. It was festive and fun and just a whopping dose of joy. We all needed it. It was shattering to get into the car and listen to Aria and know that she caught some kind of bug probably in school that's been brewing for a few days and decided to pop out just after this party. I couldn't have known that it was happening but I still feel bad that she may have exposed some other kids to this. It is not overly dramatic to say that it is a wretched a feeling.

Some of the words I read last night keep entering my mind this morning. I'm paraphrasing because I don't have the book in front of me but it went something like this; “the greatest obstacle to joy is resentment. I think that's true and right now I have to admit that I resent Aria's leukemia. It is a horrible thing to admit but there it is. I resent it. Now that I've identified that and I've admitted to you, it no longer owns me so I can work on letting it go and in its place welcome that joy that defines Aria, Reo, Rianna, Doc and I.

I'm going to go and face this gorgeous snowy day. I have a smile on my face that isn't a mask to the concerns I have but a smile that reflects my confidence that everything will be fine. I do, however, ask that you keep us close once again. ~j

December 14, 2008
Subject: Aria is MUCH better!

Phew! Can you hear the relief from over here? Yesterday, Aria steadily improved throughout the day. She still has a little sniffle and a little cough but no fever. The kids slept with me in the big bed last night since Doc is in Kansas and I felt her cheeks all night long. She stayed nice and cool! She is in marvelous spirits this morning and we are planning a fun day around here. It is 0Foutside right now so I don't have any plans to leave the house! We'll probably make some cookies. I really want to make a gingerbread house with the kids this year too. Who knows maybe we'll get wild and crazy and make the dough for that!!!

Thank you for all your thoughts, prayers and good wishes! I am so very grateful!! Much love and warmth (literally!) to you all!! ~j

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