Saturday, December 17, 2011

SUCH a pill.

Oh, steroids. You make somethings so difficult, like sleeping. You bring on these bouts of angry rage from the most peace-loving dove of a child. Yet, you cause Gideon to talk in that quicker-than-quick way when all of his thoughts waterfall out of his mouth into the most refreshing pool of savory words. So, I guess I should thank you for those inspiriting dips. He always talks, but just more than normal during this time period. This is a glimpse of Gideon-isms from this morning alone (I had time to type them once they happened so that it was straight from his mouth to this screen...Love jammie Saturdays):

"I want a puppy. I will name him 'Puppy'. Then when he grows up, I will name him 'Grown up'. When he's old, his name will change to 'Oldie'. After that, I'll give him a name once we're both in heaven that he can keep forever. Makes sense, right mommy?"

Gideon wanted to know about the "HEADS" and "TAILS" on every coin. I started with the penny, then the nickel, then the dime and finished with the quarter. He looked at each one for a long time... "So, Abraham Lincoln has a building where people remember him?" (I nod.) "Jefferson lived in a house with a circle roof? (Points at Monticello.)" (I nod.) "Oh! That means the dime man (Roosevelt) used torches to see his trees and branches and WASHINGTON HAD A PET EAGLE?! WOOOOOOOOAH." If it's hard for you to see what he's talking about, get out your change dish and take a peek. This kid and his connections make life AMAZING. He had to suffer through a mommy kissfest after that one.

"I like that we put trees in our houses. (Points at the Christmas tree.) We should put more couches in the forests, too."

I gave you three, but there are so many more I could type out here. All this steroid time, Brody is still handling his brother's dilated pupils and crazy-man tendencies like a monk who is just cloaked in perpetual peace. Even when I'm upstairs, I can hear Brody say, "Gideon, we don't hit. Gideon, please calm down. Your turn is next, I promise. I don't break promises." He says this so evenly and calmly. For some reason, Gideon's big brother's pleas for peace resound more, and Gideon listens. I refuse to use Brody to be my voice of reason for every fit, though. He is only six and I'm the mommy. But, guess what? During one of those fits, Gideon STAYED IN HIS CUSHY CHAIR when I demanded he do so (to avoid bruises). Is my steroid boy growing up?

Now, since we are on the topic of STEROIDS, I have a confession. I usually tell Gideon how his medicine works and I do so in a way that is kid-friendly, but truthful. I use imagery to describe it...Fantastical and fictional imagery that paints the truth about how it works. How could a child understand it in any other way? This time, though. This time I don't even tell Gideon they are steroids. When I give them to him, I say that he needs to let the pills make him relax and feel the happiness in his heart. Did I say they cause him to be relaxed and have a happy heart? No. I let him believe it, though. Sometimes I think mind-over-matter can work. The whole placebo effect, right? Well, it has worked every night so far. Gideon pretends to crumble into a wistful sleeping-smiling boy as soon as he swallows the pills. And I have to carry my conked out and happy boy up to his bed. Guess what happens then? Since his eyes are already shut and he is convinced his heart is calm and happy? He falls ASLEEP. Sure, he gets up at 2 a.m. demanding noodles, but he FALLS ASLEEP WITHOUT PROTEST. I find nothing wrong with this, and I plan on doing this for the next two years of steroid usage. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Take my breath AWAAAAAAY...

It is hard to believe that we go back in today for Gideon's hospital chemo, transfusion, and the start of another week of steroids. What does Christmas on steroids look like? We are gonna find out soon...

Yes, it feels like we were just at the hospital yesterday. I feel like as soon as Gideon starts acting like himself, his sweet lovable and glowing self, we go back for more attitude altering drugs. I guess I can look at this seemingly lack of a break as evidence that the chemo process is picking up speed. Before we know it, Gideon will be six and he'll be DONE with chemo altogether. I wrote that to feel better, but in a weird way it tugged heavily on my heart. I don't want to speed-up his itty-bitty boy time. I don't want this time to speed by so that I can soak in all of the sweetness of this age, but I want this monster gone, too. Cancer robs us of so much. That's why I'm not going to let these sharks be the boss of our sea. God's love and grace is unfailing. He is our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. There are other gorgeous things in the ocean on which to focus our attention. Gideon gets this more than I do much of the time.

May I also say that my opinion about so many things is being altered more and more everyday? I used to adore the quote, "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." I would skip around chanting this as I searched for every breathtaking moment, something awe-inspiring to ponder... Now I realize that life is also measured heavily on how we take the absolute desolate of moments and how we fill our lungs in that instant. I refuse to hold my breath, hyperventilate, or pant through those moments. They are just as miraculous as the moments that take our breath away due to beauty... It means we are still alive and have the chance to make the moment magical.

I'm thankful for the air I'm breathing today, and that modern science has kept our baby boy Gideon breathing when not long ago, he would not have had an option to draw in air for very long. This procedure is saving his life. So what if it alters his behavior for awhile? Perspective... Please pray that it all goes smoothly for Gideon James.

And, may I just say that a certain song has been playing in my head the entire time I typed this morning? (Can't stay serious for too long.) I will be singing this all day. Join me. We'll harmonize.

UPDATE: Gideon did beautifully today. We are digging into those steroids tonight. And, on a VERY HAPPY NOTE, Nurse Michelle gave us the last date of chemo treatments for Gideon: August 18, 2013. I have a countdown ticker in the upper righthand corner of this blog post.