Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Some good questions

Last week while Rob was at the hospital with Steven, I snuck away to go talk to his class and explain rotationplasty to them. I tried to stress how rare his cancer is and I gave them an update on how he was doing. I briefly explained that he could have had his leg amputated or we could have tried to save the leg, but we had chosen rotationplasty. Then I shared the Mayo Clinic video and asked, "Does anyone have any questions?" Of course, most of their hands shot up and they had some really good questions like, "Why is that better than the operation where you save the leg?" "What did they do with the part they cut off?" and "How will he sleep?" and of course, "When will he come back to school?"

Someone asked, "When will his hair grow back? Because I think he should keep that hairstyle--it looks really cool." Also, "What color will his hair be when it grows back?" Toward the end, his teacher said, "Class, Steven is going to be the same person even though he will look different. He will be the same Steven and he will want to be treated the same." One girl raised her hand and said, "Excuse me, but I don't think Steven is the same person. I think he is much, much braver." So precious.

One of the last questions I took was from a teary eyed girl. "I just want to know, why are there so many scary things in the world?" Oh boy--I didn't have a good answer for that one. In fact, her question is haunting me this week. Seriously, why? Some of the friends I've made at the hospital are seeing this scary stuff right now. My heart goes out to Tanner's family. He passed away on Saturday after his battle with lukiemia--it was a secondary cancer from his treatment for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Also, cute little Andrew with AML is in the PICU and is having a hard time. It seems so unfair that these innocent kids have to suffer--I can only imagine how hard it is for their parents.

Now for some positive news--Steven continues to go forward in good spirits and is feeling pretty well. The swelling must be going down in his foot, because he says it feels like the nerves are waking up and sometimes feels like they are going crazy. Last night he crutched into my room at midnight to tell me that he couldn't sleep. It totally surprised me--that really might be the first time since he was a baby that he has woken me up in the middle of the night. The kid is the soundest sleeper and even more so when he is sick. I rubbed his good leg and gave him some pain medication. Something must have worked, because he slept well the rest of the night.

The rainy day(s) hasn't helped anything around here. We did manage to escape the house for a trip to the library. Steven is now working on a huge new stack of books. He is so lucky that he likes to read--what a blessing when you are bed bound. Luckily, I don't have a good excuse to sit in bed all day and read, but I admit that I did it anyway. I had 101 other really important things to do--probably most importantly I should have spent more time with my kids. But this rain! This cancer! Why do they get me down?!


  1. Not only is Steven one of the bravest boys I know, but you are one of the bravest mothers I know (and Rob a brave dad). I am in awe of all of you and your continuing positive attitude. Don't feel bad that your stresses get you down. That is to be expected. I'm amazed that you have been as upbeat and informative and forward-moving as you have been. I know you and Steven's positive attitudes will take him very far in his recovery. We continue to love and pray for you...

  2. I'm so glad things for Steven are going so well and so impressed with how you all seem to be handling it all. Going to his class was especially brave and I can't believe what kids say and are thinking. Their innocence never lasts long enough in my opinion.

  3. I love the class comments! Scary indeed! The rain is not helping anything, time for a break in the weather.

  4. I love that you went and talked to the class. Good prep for when Steven comes back to school.

    I was thinking the same thing about Steven and his love of reading. Such a blessing right now!

    This rain needs to stop!

  5. you guys are all brave. Wish I could make the sun shine for you.

  6. I think as adults we have some of the same questions, but are afraid (or embarrassed) to ask...thank heavens for kids!! I hope you know how special you are are amazing! as is Steven! and....I think we're all hoping for some sunshine soon.