Today I got the results from my third brain MRI in the last twelve weeks. I’ve had so many as a result of what my scans eighteen weeks ago revealed. Progression. Or?…Maybe not? A whole tumor board couldn’t decide. So I’ve gotten scan after scan so said tumor board could decide. Well, today they reached a decision. Very possibly NOT progression and maybe likely just brain reaction/scar tissue from the previous radiation treatments. So no radiation! And no more scans for eight weeks! Phew! I meant to pop a bottle before I started writing this. Better hurry!
I’ve been feeling intensely overwhelmed these past eighteen weeks. Like I was going to collapse under the pressure. Cancer. Progression. Maybe? Scans. Taking care of my family. Doing well at my job. More scans. Christmasing my ass off. Decorations. Gifts. Wrapping. What did I order? More scans. And today that ends. Today I know I don’t have to have more radiation. Today I know I get eight weeks of peace from having to get scans and waiting for the results. Today I get to settle into the real meaning of Christmas.
I have a Christmas tree dedicated to my keepsake ornaments that my Mom has been giving me every Christmas since I was born. And now being added to the tree are keepsake ornaments for Nolan and Sutton from since each of their first Christmases. My Aunt started that for them. She gets a little help from my mom and me sometimes. We are carrying on a Christmas tradition. And Sutton stood there with me and held and hung every single ornament. (Let’s be honest, we all know I only let him think he was hanging them. I had to mom so hard.) But he also asked questions about each and every one. And loved hearing about how old I was for each ornament. And he really loved when we got to his and Nolan’s ornaments. He thought they were just so funny. And his very first ornament he hung in a particular place; right at his eye level as he’s coming down the stairs each morning. And of course he had to enact for me how that was going to look. He would come down the stairs, look at his ornament and say “Oh, that’s me.” He then kisses his finger and very gently taps the ornament. I about snorted! That kid cracks me up! But then we got to the most special ornaments of mine. The first one was a glass snowman with my name on the scarf. I told him my Grandmother, Mama Joyce, gave that to me. He asked, “Did she die?”. I tell him yes. He’s very delicate with that ornament as we hang it on the tree. The next one is an ornament my Grandfather carved. It’s a golf ball where where he carved one half to look like Santa’s face and the other half to look like his hat. And it’s so perfectly painted. I actually think this ornament is my brother’s. I’m holding onto it for you, Joseph. Anyway, Sutton asked about that one and I told him my Papa Joe made it. He, of course, asked if Papa Joe had died too. I tell him yes. “That’s sad”, he says. “It is for us,” I tell him, “but they are together and watching over us.” He smiles and says “I’m going to hang him next to Mama Joyce so they can be together on our tree, too.”
This day began with high stress and forced Christmas joy. Yet, it somehow melted into a wonderful day that ended with the most precious experience with my youngest son. He helped me find my whole Christmas spirit. I am grateful. I am blessed.
Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?! Ya’ll, it’s time to lighten up! I gotta go pop my champs! Merry Christmas! Thank you for the prayers! Praise God! ❤