I have forgotten how hard it was the first time for Lolo to get back on her feet. She is doing so well. It amazes me some days. But, she is tired; beyond tired each day. She started back to school and I started back to work. It has been a whirlwind. In addition to getting used to being in school all day, Lauren is having daily radiation treatments after school. The first week, she felt somewhat uncomfortable, but this week, she started having a lot of pain in her leg. Some of the pain is attributed to being on her feet all day long and hiking up and down the staircases of Marian High School. She is carrying her books and trucking it back and forth like a trooper. Today she hit the wall after coming home from radiation. She laid down for an hour. Lauren had a horrible headache. I made her try and hydrate herself by getting caught up on her water intake. I even gave in and had her try motrin. (She hasn’t had motrin for a long time because her platelets have been critically low, but now she is building enough platelets to give her a little pain relief.) The motrin didn’t help too much. She went back to sleep for the next three hours. I thought we were going to contact her teachers and get an extension on homework, but she popped out of bed, went to the table and started working. She is still there. She is determined to keep up. I asked her if she needed to sleep in tomorrow, but they her freshman class is going to get a chance to skype with the author of her summer book reading assignment and she doesn’t want to miss it.
Lauren likes her classes and her teachers. She is figuring out her schedules and doesn’t want to be treated any different than anyone else. It seems like a dream that she is really off doing high school like a normal teenager. Jonathan is sharing stories of his senior year and is determined to go to college off in the mountains. I can’t think of anything that makes me happier than sitting down and having a normal, family dinner complete with bickering and teenage attitude. It is the best. I don’t think I have really processed in my mind all that has happened. I am just plowing forward. Going back to work for me was timely. I needed to get on with things. I also need to pay two Catholic school tuitions and get ready to send #1 son off to college next year. In the back of my mind I keep wondering if we are really going to get to live like a normal family again. I catch myself thinking this and sometimes, like when I am driving home in the car alone, I can’t help but break down in tears and beg God to give our family a chance…..most specifically, to give my little girl a chance to really be a kid and let all of this be behind us. Please, God!
I cannot believe all Lolo has been through between her two battles with leukemia. I am weary. We were so hopeful that Lolo would get well and get out of the hospital and we would have more time for Phil’s mom. His mom, Pauline, moved her to an assisted living facility, but her health has declined and she had to be moved to full nursing care. I am sure the stress of Lolo’s illness didn’t help much. As we get Lauren settled in school, we will get used to going out to visit her at Brookstone. We are sad she couldn’t stay at Aksarben as the people there was great with her and she was starting to feel connected to the staff. We have had our share of it this year, to say the least, but I know there are a lot of people in the same boat. I sometimes think I have lost my mind trying to start a non-profit, but it is something I can sink my teeth into and not feel so helpless. Helpless is definitely the word being a mom of a little girl with AML feels like. All parents of kids with cancer feel this way. It is awful. But, so many of us are trying to make a difference and fight for our children. I have been incredibly blessed with determined people that keep coming into our family’s life that are helping us launch Lolo’s Angels. We are truly walking amongst angels here on earth, not to sound cliché. I am about ready to drop starting this new job, running Lolo to radiation, and trying to get her back on her feet, but there is nothing as rejuvenating as sitting in a board meeting with people that have volunteered to fight alongside us. Our board of Lolo’s Angels is fearless. I can’t wait for you all to meet them! Pictures coming soon. So is our new website that is almost ready for public view. We will have an official website separate from “Call to Water.”
We will be posting the video our local news station KETV did of Lolo’s first day back to school. It is pretty sweet, just like her. I wish Taylor Swift’s people could get word to Taylor that our girl got hit with leukemia again and came out just as “Fearless” as last time. I wish Taylor would help us launch a big campaign against pediatric cancer. We just have to help these kids. But, in the meantime, what I wish more than anything is just normal life. We have that for now and it is absolutely precious! I am grateful for every minute of it and all of you that helped us in so many ways through prayers and all your love. Only two more radiation treatments for Lolo. She is hoping if she gets rested up this weekend, she can go practice golf and join her Marian Golf Team next week to be a part of it all. She had to let go of volleyball, but is excited to hang with the girls on the golf team. Her coach is a military guy, like Phil, and all the girls are really nice. Lolo is in good hands at Marian. Every time I see her in the halls she has a big smile on her face. That’s my girl! So for now, I am thankful to have such a wonderful job; my students are cutie patooties that are all going to know a lot of Biology by the end of the year. I am also so thankful to see Lo bounding down the hall being a goofy little freshman. It is a pure gift, that’s for sure.