Our three days are up, so Logan checked back into the hospital this afternoon to begin round 3. I managed to stave off my own tears through morning PBS cartoons, lunch at Applebees, the drive up to Oakland and the admission process. I even held them off in the car driving home; far too much traffic to be emotional. Then I kept them in once I'd gotten home since I had to feed Abby and Isaac, get them ready for bed and tuck them in for the night. And then of course I had a Skype call with Logan and Adam -- our first ever -- so I had to keep them abated then, too, and I had to watch Dancing with the Stars to see who'd get the boot. Now that the busy-ness is over and all is quiet save the ticking of the clock on the wall, I'm not sure that I feel like crying anymore. It's odd to not have time to cry. It's odder to feel like you could, but to be so emotionally tired that you find you can't.
So yeah. We're back to the grind. We're back to our divided family. Abby's 6th birthday is tomorrow and I know how disappointed she is that Logan won't be here to help her celebrate. Logan was crushed and started crying when we told him that he wouldn't be able to help her blow out her candles or watch her open presents. And that, in turn, ripped out my heart as their mother. I can't kiss it and make it all better. I just have to... wait. And wait some more. And it's maddening.
I remarked on a painful truth to Adam as we drove northward this afternoon: Logan is beginning to look more and more like a kid with cancer. Adam corrected me quickly, noting that he looks like a kid going through chemo. And he's right. He looks sick, tired, thin, everything he IS. And that adds another layer of pain to the experience: The visual manifestation of his agony. Something else I can't fix or make much better by just 'being' mommy. He was always so beautiful; I'd joked that he was my Gap Ad kid, though he never did any modeling. He certainly could have. He had the look, and the smile. He still does have the smile, as many have noted, but it's laced with something... different. It's as if he's lost his innocence at age 4. And it breaks me.
But I know that despite it all, we have to keep pressing onward. His levels came back looking good, so he's scheduled to begin round three officially sometime tonight or early tomorrow morning. The administration of the drugs themselves is actually a relatively 'easy' time for Logan; it's the week to two weeks after that are so brutally hard and so unspeakably scary for me as his mother. Please pray for peace for all of us, and for more excellent tumor shrinkage. Pray that his little body will get a break and not be ravaged by infection this go-round. He's so painfully thin right now that it cuts me to the quick; he looks almost skeletal, and it was frightening to see his little limbs quivering this morning as I helped him get dressed. We need him to eat and gain some weight, and having an easy cycle would do wonders for those goals.
Lest this should seem overly negative or sad, I need to add a quick little tale before I go. Abby once again pulled out her Children's Bible tonight at bedtime and requested that I choose the first story in my typical random fashion. I paused, put my hand on the spine of the book, and quickly prayed that somehow, I'd choose an appropriate story that would help to restore my faith and hope as we enter this new cycle. So I did a quick page flip, and wound up once again on the tale of the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him through the roof to be healed by Jesus. My voice caught in my throat as I began reading. Coincidence? Probably not. Just a salient reminder that mama needs to have faith.