Monday, May 3, 2010

Hope third time's the charm.

Monday will be Cooper's first full day back to the daycare setting since my diagnosis last year. I'm excited and yet a teeny bit terrified - not because of the typical separation anxiety often experienced by a mother and child when bringing a child to daycare of school, but rather because of what happened the last time we were ready for him to go back just a year ago - just a few days before the shit really hit the fan (and the time before that). I remember it so clearly, the excitement we felt about him finally returning to daycare as he approached his first birthday. We planned for it and were excited that we'd be spending a lot less money on child care with him at daycare. We were thrilled that Cooper would be returning to the same teacher that we felt so good about from the beginning when he first attended - when we first brought him there at just a few months old. The very first time we tried to enter him in the program we had to take him out and hire a nanny because his little preemie body couldn't handle the usual daycare illnesses. Every sniffle passed along to him turned into a full blown respiratory infection and every time he got sick he couldn't be at daycare (though it seems every other parent had no problem sending their sick and snot-spewing kids in against the rules) and we had to hire someone to help at home so that we could work but inevitably we'd catch it and Bob would be grounded from flying and one or both of us would end up not able to work from being sick. In just a few weeks of Cooper attending he was sick the majority of the time and his doctors felt it was best to keep him home. Cooper was high risk with a history of pneumonia and his pulmonologist was sure he'd contract RSV if he were in a daycare setting (and perhaps even if he wasn't). So we hired a nanny (and promptly went broke) and decided we'd try daycare again in the summer ('09) when he turned a year old and was stronger. Cooper was back to daycare just a couple of days before I went in for my first mammogram last May (27th to be exact). We were transitioning him back slowly over a week or two - at daycare half the week and at home with the nanny the other half. I remember dropping him off and telling his teacher that the following day he'd be home with Esperanza (our nanny). Cooper and Esperanza came with me to the mammogram appointment (Bob was flying). They didn't come inside with me; instead she took him for a walk in his stroller around the hospital campus. I remember returning to them outside the medical building and being in complete shock that I had just had a biopsy performed because a suspicious mass was seen in the images. The next couple of weeks are sort of a blur except for a few specific moments here and there. I remember having a feeling that I'd be having extensive treatment and I'd have to rehire Esperanza full time and walking into the daycare center and informing his teacher that I had cancer and that Cooper wouldn't be staying (yet again) - this time because I couldn't be exposed to the usual daycare germs once my treatment started. So, here we are, one year later. I've finished treatment. My counts are in the normal range again (low end, but still normal range) and it's time to try again. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I want this to be it. For this third time to be the charm, as they say. I don't want another setback. I won't allow it. I'm strong. Cooper is strong. We're broke from the cost of nannies and medical bills and being on disability and switching to an organic lifestyle. I need this return to day care to be successful and not tied to another health crisis for anyone in my house. We've let the nannies go. I've even given a glowing reference for Esperanza to work for another family here in town. She won't be available to come back. Last time she didn't have other opportunities awaiting her. So I'm counting on the reference request and phone call being a good sign for us - that it is going to be OK. I need it to be a good sign. Friday I brought Cooper to the center for a visit to his new classroom. He'll be in that room for just a month or so before he will need to transition to the 2-yr old room. He had a ball during his one-hour visit. He didn't hesitate one bit and played well with the other kids. He barely noticed I was there, at least until I was telling him it was time to go home and then he was not happy with me. So, I know that he is cool with this. Even I am. I'm excited for him to have more social interaction, for him to be worn out at the end of every day, and for all the learning and arts he'll be exposed to there as well. After dinner I prepared Cooper's lunch and snacks for tomorrow. We are as ready as we'll ever be. Now we just pray and give it to God. And we hope it is His will that this really is the right path and that we continue to be healthy and strong as we approach and pass the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. Father God, Thank you for blessing my family. Every single day is a gift that we cherish together. We are grateful for and humbled by your mercy and love. Thank you for curing my body of disease. For giving me another chance to find you and be used by you to serve your purpose for my life. Thank you for blessing us with the most amazing family and friends who have helped us get through these past couple of very challenging years. Thank you for blessing me with a compassionate employer and with the resources needed to afford treatment and the costly lifestyle changes that give me a shot at beating the odds. Thank you for the brilliant and compassionate physicians, nurses, lab technicians and researchers whose hands you guide to help me and millions like me with effective treatment and care. Thank you for making Esperanza and Sarah available to help care for Cooper in our time of great need and for the open spot at the center so that Cooper can now return once again to the daycare center. Thank you for guiding me to such a wonderful place to worship you - NorthPark Community Church. Thank you for using me, Lord, to help others, and continuing to show me the way. Thank you, father, for filling my body and soul with your light and your love, boosting my immune system, and flushing the impurities and harmful cells away. Without you, Lord, I am nothing. Amen. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” - Romans 12:12 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. " - Matthew 7:7-8 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." - Romans 8:28

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