I don't know why, but today is a joyful kind of day. There's no reason that it should be; it just is.
We had a lovely time celebrating Abby's 6th birthday yesterday. She had school, and then I took her for her official 6-year old photos at JCPenney. (I know there are nicer options out there of course, but I've been going there on birthdays every single year since her birth, so I figured 'hey, why stop now?') She complained about it, but then was a total rockstar during the shoot, got some excellent images, and we were out within about 20 minutes. Whoosh! Then we popped by the McDonalds in the mall and used two of our Monopoly game stamps. I told her what to order for herself (a small oreo McFlurry) and she marched up to the counter and made her request like an old pro, even though she'd never done it before. Then we went home, picked up Adam, Isaac and our audiovisual recording devices, and headed to Chuck E. Cheese in Dublin, Abby's pick for her birthday dinner slash revelry. It was almost empty, so we had free run of most of the games and little rides, and she and Isaac had an excellent time. She was completely tickled when she got to meet the 'real' Chuck, too. We got home at about 8, I scrambled to finish decorating her cake, and then we had candle time and presents. Good stuff, all in all. Birthdays have never been so meaningful as yesterday's was.
But I won't lie: It was also a hard day. Adam and Logan skyped Abby from the hospital in the morning so Logan could sing happy birthday, and I know it was hard for her that her little brother and usual partner in crime wasn't with her to celebrate. And I found myself thinking of the situation with a twinge of sadness on and off all day long: When the photographer told Abby she needed to bring her little brothers back for Christmas pictures, and I had to explain why that wasn't an option (awkward city); when the Chuck E. Cheese performances were in swing and Abby and Isaac were applauding wildly and groovin' to the beat; when I could see Logan, in my mind's eye, galloping around and trying to play all of the games at once and being so pleased with himself for winning lots of prize tickets. There's really nothing easy about this at all.
Yet somehow, there's still room for unexplained joy today. Maybe it's because we're back in the swing of things with the chemo, knowing that the first two rounds did good work. Maybe it's because I'm 33 weeks pregnant and I'll be full term in only 4 weeks. Maybe it's because we decided to start using Skype so now we can all see each other whenever we want, and for FREE. Maybe it's because the social worker pulled me aside this morning in the hall to tell me that her boss would be meeting with the parking garage manager to see if they could implement a new payment structure for patient families who are here for the long haul. Maybe it's because although the sky is streaked with clouds, the sun still filters through. Maybe it's because from the window in Logan's room, I can see a short row of trees whose leaves have actually changed into reds, oranges and yellows, unlike most of their fellow Bay Area tree friends; it's one of the things I miss the most about the East Coast. Maybe it's because I had a chance to have an impromptu conversation about faith with the NP Molly today. Maybe it's because there are so many people praying for us, and holding us up when we can't stand on our own.
Or maybe it's merely that I'm allowing myself to see all of the above for once. I'm not letting the unfairness, the painfulness and the frustrations of this trial own me. I'm daring to be hopeful and look for the good in an otherwise grim situation. Why? Because good is all around. Sometimes, we just have to take a step forward in faith and LOOK for it, GRASP it, and hang onto it.
As for Mr. Logan, he's doing okay. The nausea and vomiting are back, but it's to be expected: He had his second day of meds overnight and that's usually the day that begins the tummy-upset phase of things. However, he ate a great dinner last night, and had a little bit of lunch before conking out this afternoon. We put together a puzzle earlier, went to the playroom where he enjoyed working with some stencils, opened a super cool cape from Karla (thank you!!), read a book and just spent some good time together. He offered up unsolicited "I love you mommy"s more than once, which always melts away at my heart; he's my only child who does that, and it's just such an endearing habit.
The doctor this week (Dr. Garcia) doubled his Atavan dose to try to keep this nausea at bay, and Logan spent much of the late morning/afternoon fighting the resulting tiredness. He finally went to sleep after receiving a flu shot (ouch!) and then talking with Adam and Isaac via Skype. He was much too tired and too emotional to do much else.
So that's where we are. Please keep praying for complete healing and for a good, successful cycle #3. Christ healed the paralyzed man and gave sight to the blind man. He raised Jairus' daughter. He can do those things for Logan. He wants to do those things for Logan. And I appreciate the intercession for our family more than I can express. Great things are happening. Great things will continue to happen. And I'm grateful for all of you marching along with us down this path no one wants to take.