Sunday, September 25, 2011


We've had a great weekend, but it didn't turn out how we had planned. The boys were out of school on Friday. Steven got to go bowling with some friends from school. He had a great time and asked to do it again on Saturday. He would crutch out to the end of the lane while one of his friends carried the ball for him. He would trade a crutch for the ball and then try to throw it down the lane. It was fun to watch--so good to see him involved with his friends. One of his friends had chosen it for his birthday party just so that Steven would be able to participate. I won't deny that I had my doubts that he could do it, but I learned a lesson about letting Steven decide what he can do.

On Friday evening, my brother called with great news that his wife had gone into labor. My parents were out of town and I was the closest family around, so he asked if I could help him with his boys. We ended up watching them overnight at my parents house (if you've seen our little place, you can see that we don't have a lot of extra space). As we were bedding down kids, the phrase, "is it a case of life or death?" kept running though my mind. Life and death situations seem to change everything. In this case, it changed part of a day. But I was thinking about the last nine months and figured that we'd been living in a life or death state for a while now. Don't get me wrong--I'm not trying to sound like death is around the corner, but without treatment, Steven's cancer has a 0% survival rate. In that way, his treatments are life or death.

Being in this state of mind has really influenced how I live. I don't plan ahead well at all. I usually think about what is for dinner 15 minutes after I should have started preparing it. This leads to a lot of eating out and many runs to the local grocery store. I don't even plan very well for who will take care of my other kids. My friends and family have been amazingly patient with me as I call them the day before I need help to ask. I can't commit to anything. I hate breaking promises, so I try not to make any.

Steven's chemo schedule is my grand excuse. Even this weekend, I got a call from the hospital asking if I could bring him for chemo on Monday instead of Tuesday. One day doesn't seem like a big deal, but it has thrown me off a bit. I happily agreed, anxious to get this done. But even tonight, I don't know for sure if he will go. He had labs done this afternoon and I will learn the results in the morning, at which point I will know the plan. I won't even know until the morning of if we are off to the hospital. Can you see why my mind can't think ahead very far?

Back to life: my brother's baby was born Friday night. It really was a joy to focus on a "life" situation instead of a "death" one. He and his wife named the baby "Bradley Steven"--a shout out to Steven, whose cancer fight has coincided almost exactly to Bradley's gestation. I got to hold him yesterday and had so many feelings rush back to me of Steven's birth and the joy I felt when he entered this world. Our brush with death has increased my appreciation for the miraculous gift of life.


  1. First of all, congratulations to Matt and Brittany. I love their choice of a name. Next, I liked this post Sonja. You and your family have been in a survival situation for a very long time. I hope your transition back into (mostly) normal life will be a smooth one. I'm sure their are things that most of us take for granted that you never will after this; like the ability to plan ahead for instance.

  2. We are so grateful for all you did for us this weekend! I think Aaron and Max wish we'd have a baby every weekend...they had so much fun. :-) Bradley has an amazing older cousin and a big name to live up to.

  3. Jill--it is actually Mike and Amy you need to congratulate. And Amy, it really was our pleasure. Ithink it was meant to work out that way because we had no direction in our life anyway.