Everyone who has ever met me knows I tend to tear up fairly easy over “happy things”, actually all things. I inherited this sensitive gene from my mother Janet Kenner Garrick. Sometimes I can bite my lip or pinch myself to try and keep my tears in check but today its worthless. I am a crying mess!
For the first time since that dreaded day, February 3rd, when we began this cancer journey I have felt unsure about the future of Alexis. I have tried to be positive, upbeat, happy, encouraging and even tried to be funny but deep down inside, is always that nagging feeling of the unknown. For the first time I have seen a turnaround in Alexis. Sure, she comes across like she is dealing with this but, only a mother knows what is really going on. We have had some long nights and some long days. This morning as I got up to fix French toast for the kids, all the sudden Alexis appeared in the kitchen and said, “mother this morning I am going down to watch my team work out”. That was fantastic news! I have talked with Alexis about focusing on school and looking at that as her motivation. She just laughed and said, “Really mom, school is not my motivation right now but basketball is”. Off she went happy and out of bed before noon. That is huge for her! While she was gone I went in her room to see if she was feeling good enough to make her bed, that was wishful thinking, but as I stood in her room I was overwhelmed with gratitude. There on her bed were numerous quilts friends have made for her to wrap up in on those days she cant seem to stop shaking, pictures drawn by little children taped all over her wall with words of encouragement, treats, books, stuffed animals, cards and so much more. Yes, I am a crying mess! I was so touched by everyone who has reached out to us during this time in our life. Thank you doesn’t even seem adequate to express how grateful I am for each and every person who has even thought of us.
Alexis just got home and said she even got on the bike and rode it for a little while. The fact that she made an effort is huge! I feel like it is something about knowing we are coming to the end. It reminds me of when I used to watch her as a little girl participating in field day activities at Elementary School. She would look over at me and give me this look of, “why are you making me participate in this?” She never was a good long distance runner but something about her seeing the finish line always motivated her to run faster. Maybe it was the popsicles that were waiting for her or just the chance to sit down. Who knows, but she has always been a strong finisher. We are seeing the finish line. It has given her renewed energy to get through one more chemotherapy treatment. It has given me energy to get through it as well. I have often told my kids, we can do anything once and finally we are down to our last one. Radiation is our next new adventure. I am ready for a change, any change other then chemotherapy at this point. Alexis is happy, I am happy and yes I am crying those dang “happy tears” …again.