Not only do holidays make me sad, but they also throw me off. I find it difficult to return suddenly to my "routine" after a holiday. Unfortunately, we had clinic AND counseling today. I was completely thrown off and it caused me a lot of stress.
First thing this morning, Hunter found a dog under our trampoline. He came inside, got my phone, and then called the number on the tag. I was there when he called and I heard the man tell him, "Oh, he'll wander on home eventually. He's good about that." I was dumbfounded. The dog did eventually leave on his own but I couldn't imagine being so lackadaisical about my pet being away from home.
The fact that I had made a counseling appointment in the late afternoon meant that it made more sense for us to leave a little later than normal for clinic. After sleeping late and then the dog situation and also, I decided to run for half an hour... I was so confused and thrown off... it was crazy.
Once we finally got on the road, in the station wagon which I detest driving, I ended up turning around and losing fifteen minutes because I'd forgotten my wallet. Winning!
About half way to the hospital I realized that we had forgotten to put on Hunter's numbing cream. Which meant I'd have to ask the clinic to put some on for him and that would make us even later... which might interfere with our plans to meet up with some fellow leukemia/BMT patients who had become online friends of ours.
When I got near the parking garage, I noticed that the bloody oil light was flashing. See!? I hate using that vehicle! After a call to the husband or ten and some yelling and the car stalling in the middle of the garage... literally... and me stepping out of the car and looking around to see if anyone might be willing to help me (no one stopped, sadly), and then my getting mad and turning off the car, restarting it and then flooring it, I managed to get us into a parking space and into the hospital. As if I wasn't already stressed enough thinking that I might need to walk, with my son who didn't wear sunblock or long sleeves, to the gas station near by, the nurse comes out to tell me that Hunter's temperature was elevated and that we needed to recheck it to make sure he didn't have a fever (and when we rechecked it later it was normal).
The clinic visit went well. While we were there I met some nice ladies, a young lady who is 11 years past transplant and looking beautiful, and her mother. They were really sweet and quite an inspiration. I needed to see that glimpse into the future today. I just really needed it. The only thing of significance during our visit was that they want us to drop Hunter's hydrocortisone dose at night.
I decided to risk the car breaking down again and drive to the gas station near the hospital instead of trying to walk. We made it. I purchased oil and asked a nice man to help me pop open the hood and then open my oil filter because I seriously had no clue how to do any of that (remember this isn't my car... my car was sold about 8 years ago).
We managed to somehow make it to Panera Bread near Daystar (Hunter's counseling facility) which was where we had planned to meet up with Lexi and her family. We relaxed and enjoyed a leisurely lunch and were chilled out by the time our new friends arrived. I enjoyed visiting with these wonderful people. It's always nice to meet others who are going through what we are... very few folks can relate so well to this crazy leukemia/BMT experience.
Lexi and Hunter had their picture made together. Two beautiful fighters. I love it.
After we met with Lexi, we went to counseling at Daystar. Hunter was so excited to see his counselor, Jeremy. It seems that Jeremy is trying to eat healthier and he, too, gets annoyed by some things... the way that Hunter gets annoyed by his sister. Glad Hunter has someone to whom he can relate.
On the drive home, we had a long talk about careers. Today, he would like to run his own massage business, work for Walgreens (because he wants to be more like his dad), and he would also like to be a doctor. He says that he has so many things he'd like to do that he can't imagine how he'll do them all. I really know that feeling. I love hearing him talk about his future instead of talking about wishing he could die. It's an amazing change.
As stressful as this day has been (and continued to be even after I got home thanks to a crazy toddler who fell and busted his knee and had a bloody tongue) I am doing the best that I can to keep my perspective... to remember that things could be so much worse. It's amazing to think that a year ago, we had no clue that our lives were about to change in less than a month. And things would never be the same. Now we know just how strong we are and we don't take anything for granted. So bring on the hard days. I'll be here to welcome them, ride them out, and then use them to help me gain perspective because things could always be much worse. 11 months ago I learned just how bad things could get.
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