Of Ports, Plans and Plot Twists

Yesterday was a day we had waited for impatiently and dreaded simultaneously. Jonathan would receive his radiation plan from the team at 9 am and then have surgery to place his port and have his lumbar test.

(What?!)

The ‘port’ is a piece of plastic less than an inch long that is inserted into the chest above the heart. The port is used to administer medications, retrieve blood draws; anything an IV would be used for. No more sticks! Yay! It is under the skin and NOT exposed unless needed, so the maintenance is MUCH easier than William’s line’s dressing changes, infection prevention, and inability to bathe.

The lumbar was like a spinal tap. The MRI showed nothing cancerous in his spine, but checking is required. BOTH of these hurt when one wakes from anesthesia, which isn’t easy for Jonathan anyway. Perhaps he has some redheaded genes after all. If the lumbar test shows cancer in the fluid, he needs high dose radiation. If not (PRAY HARD!) he can get a lower dosage, which means FAR FEWER side effects. Side effects include impaired cognition, growth, etc. You know, those scary things we’re used to facing.

He was cooperative, polite and very kind all morning. He charmed everyone with his newsboy cap and matters. I was quite proud to see him walk up with great eye contact and check himself in by name in a clear voice, patiently re-spelling our last name a few times. (Get used to it, Kid.) We took a 2 hour break to see the park and get some sun!

jon federal hill park

PLOT TWIST: The Johns Hopkins radiology-oncology team is superb. The adult waiting room was a sea of humanity, overflowing with about one hundred people. The pediatric floor was empty and the nurses were darling. The team informed us that there were TWO radiation options– Proton and Photon. Here is your science lesson for today. Middle school moms, this counts as double homework time, so the chocolate or cookie is earned.

Photon therapy is like x-ray radiation; it would be concentrated to areas of the brain and spine but would pass through, like x-rays through a wall. Some would pass through to other areas of the brain and organs like the heart and bowels. Protons- like the ones Mrs. Frizzle taught about– are the denser pieces of the atom. They basically reach a target and stop, like a toddler’s requested applesauce being hurled on a clean wall and falling to the freshly mopped floor.   The benefits are still in working theory, but the benefits are proving to be less damage to the brain that results in developmental delay and more protection to the organs. Thus, this treatment is largely encouraged for children. Considering Jonathan’s situation already, we want to give him his best advantage.

HOWEVER, Johns Hopkins won’t have photon radiation ready for another year. The two closest locations are CHOP (we can’t move and commute to Philadelphia) or…Maryland– which is about ten minutes in traffic from Johns Hopkins. Within twelve hours they had reached the Maryland team, checked with insurance and set up a consultation for today, in about 45 minutes. We will receive plan details, but we assume it will be similar.

Meanwhile, William and I have 4 appointments today as well. My bag is loaded with snacks like a Kindergarten Zoo Day chaperone.

Jonathan came out of surgery well. He cried off and on, refusing to eat and struggling with his throat from the aspirating tubing and the surgery, which runs a line through the jugular.  May we take a moment to marvel at medical advancement, please? THANK YOU.  He also had orange staining from the iodine that looked like an unfortunate self-tanning accident, which reminded me of my 20s. Trauma for all.

He fell asleep by 9pm and we relished the hours.  2:30am arrived with great misery. The next hour held the childhood suffering that parents dread. Suffice to say, pain and trying to understand what hard, foreign object was under the skin of his chest was a challenge. It took both of us to calm our disoriented, pained son. My husband put an identical covering and bandage on his own chest in the same area to help. After administering medication, showering him, changing clothes and reading books to calm him down, he fell asleep around 4 am.

post port

Trying to explain temporary pain for long-term benefit is difficult, but to a person in suffering it is Herculean. My inability to carry or hold my son due to my unborn daughter is difficult- the plight of most mothers. It helps to know that God fully understands how it feels to watch his Son suffer– but I can’t explain how this shreds the heart. Watching him rest peacefully just a few hours later feels like crossing a great finish line.  Hearing him whisper-sing “We are weak but He is strong” is salve to the soul.

Today he is bandaged, fed, and off to another hospital with his favorite stuffed animal, playlist of soothing songs and his father– the strongest man I know. I’m thankful to call him my husband. We are just shy of 11 years of marriage; he has battled wars for all of it, battled cancer alongside our sons for three of them, and fought over how close dirty socks land to the hamper for about 5 of them. He is leading our family to serve the Lord and follow Him. We are living as those who will be evaluated and judged for how we obey and believe. Eternity will outlast these years. Likewise, we believe that the reward promised and pleasing Christ is worth it.  Please continue to pray for us and for the souls of our sons.

More news coming soon.

With faith, hope and love.

elizabeth elliot

***Added update: Jon will have a sedated CT and radiology tests tomorrow morning to help the radiation team prepare. Tentatively– because EVERY plan has changed at least once so far– treatment will begin October 31. Scary indeed!

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Jonathan’s Treatment Plan Q&A

“And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…”

PLEASE: Do NOT call /text us immediately. We are overwhelmed with calls from the hospital and by actual logistics to make this happen and can’t answer you right now. This is ALL our information right now. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, we don’t have the answer. NOW….

We had two meetings with genetics and oncology at Johns Hopkins, in which we outlined a TENTATIVE PLAN. There are still some variables that could change things. Keep in mind, ALL THIS can change in a moment.

This will be a Q&A format:

“What kind of tumor is it?”  There are 4 types of Medulloblastomas. Two have cool names; WNT and SHH (Sonic Hedgehog. Yes, really. From a fruit fly experiment.) Then Group 3 and 4 are mostly lumped together. Clearly, we will give them great names. Jonathan’s is Group 3-4.

 

“Is that the bad kind? I heard that has 30% survival rate! Should I freak out?” Thou shall not freak out. Jonathan is considered average-intermediate risk, not high risk. This is because he is over age 3, the entire tumor was removed and it is not in his spine.  Overall, survival rate is typically in the 80% range…if you like numbers.

nevertellmetheodds

Why genetics testing? Do you need to test the baby?  Having two sons with cancer raises red flags for hereditary disposition that can be tested for, although it is unlikely as William’s AML is Trisomy-21 related. IF Jonathan has this genetic syndrome, radiation WOULD NOT be helpful and would not happen, as it would raise the probability of more cancers. Instead another aggressive chemo regiment would become the new plan. Currently Elizabeth has NO genetic conditions that can be seen and there isn’t cause for concern at this time.

When will treatment start?

First, we need a port for medications and chemotherapy. This will allow for blood draws and monitoring as well. First we need: port installation surgery, a lumbar extraction (is there cancer in the spinal fluid-unlikely), physical and neurological exams, MRIs of the brain and spine, audiograms, and blood tests for organ functions. These will be for a baseline and tested repeatedly. This will take place between now and Halloween.

Radiation, if done, will begin on/before October 30. The process will take several hours/half a day. It will be 5 days a week, Mon-Fri for 7 weeks.

After a short rest period, we will start chemotherapy. Suggestions and alternatives are things I do NOT appreciate right now, even if you have great intentions-we have heard them all. Yes, we poison our kids to save them and we DO use the non-drug options already. I’ve heard it all, so kindly remain silent if you oppose our course of action.

health concerns

Chemotherapy dates and times are still rough, but will last about 8-10 months. The entire treatment will last about a year with two years of follow-up care, which is very familiar. Typically, there are 2 or 3 days inpatient following chemotherapy administration. As his immune system tanks he may get fevers and/or need a blood transfusion. This could mean additional hospitalizations, as it did with Will.

chemo dose

Can you be around radiation pregnant? Yes. His radiation will happen under sedation, so I won’t be present/close, but once in his body it is not toxic. However, other family members will take this duty to keep us safe and because I’ll be in labor within 6 weeks.

Is Jonathan okay? Nope. Not even a little. He cried and was very scared and sad to return to the hospital. He does NOT want to return and acted completely typically. Blood draws were a challenge and much of the daily frustrations to come will be eased by the port, but the adjustment will be a challenge with his sensory issues and verbal delay from Autism. He has shown great courage and says the best part of the hospital is getting presents and Lego sets– for which I lovingly blame y’all.

jon car

Can he comprehend what is happening? Yes. He knows his brain had a tumor and an illness, he needs medicine and will need to be in the hospital a lot. He can grasp treatment plans at a kid’s level. As for the rest, can anyone fully grasp it?

What do you need?  The meals, gift cards and groceries have been amazingly helpful, as have the Prime Pantry deliveries. THANK YOU. I can’t thank you enough.

The fact that in the next 6 weeks I will give birth and have the joys of post-pardum is… damaging my calm. I am in shock, overwhelmed, feeling okay and still laughing. Usually.

shock However, we feel well-supported. I am sure in the days to come I will need help picking William up from school, weekend help, or even basic housework help. Of course, the usual–someone to hold the baby so I can shower, etc., but we will also have family members in constantly. I’m not too proud to say Southwest points and vouchers are the perfect Christmas gift.

Yes, you can come visit. All of you. I don’t know when we will need it most or even when this will start, but I love y’all for wanting to pack and be here immediately.

There will be another update to answer more questions soon… including some of the more-ahem- interesting and notable questions.

 

We love you.

 

Sunday and Monday

 

SMonday: The strange twilight between the peace of Sunday and the rush of the week’s demands. The time of preparing for what lies ahead without being able to face it yet. Yes, “Sunday Night” is quite our home just now. We are post brain surgery and preliminary diagnosis, but will wait on news. The New Normal appears from nowhere, like water on the boys’ bathroom floor, but an inevitable tidal wave awaits. We have begun to try hours of the Old Normal Routines, like school and therapies, dishes and laundry, cuddles and bedtime stories, and laughing through the dark.
Sunday morning, Jonathan put on a tie and shoes, declaring it was time for church.  It was comfortably familiar, like walking down the hall of former school or singing a long-forgotten song. Seeing the Church felt like coming home.
The lesson was about David defeating the Philistines after killing Goliath, and God helping David and the army. Reciting the verse about God helping in times of trouble, Jonathan crawled from his seated spot on the colorfully carpeted floor to my lap. His head was obviously hurting a bit, but I noticed a little tear and a frowning lip. The instruction continued; God helps us when we are scared to do what is right, to tell the truth or even be brave at the doctor.
That is when my strong and tall 6 year old began to cry quietly. “I’m sad my brain hurts and is sick. I am sad about the doctor… I need help, ” he whispered.  He put his head  in my lap and took deep breaths. I stroked his back and neck gently in either side of his healing incision.
It was in that moment I realized Jonathan  knew he was going to face something difficult-and God helping didn’t necessarily mean banishment of pain or hardship.  I held my son and whispered Truth. Life is hard, so we need a Savior. We are broken, so we have to trust the Creator. Mommy and Daddy are here, but God is the only constant. When we are weak, He is strong. There are Big Hurts in life, and many don’t go away until Heaven, but darn it we will fight with all our strength until then.
More often than not, God delivers through fires, floods, giants and cancers rather than from. Crosses are heavy to carry. Trusting God doesn’t always mean victory as we see it.  My Jonathan knows full well that “God With Us” means he will get shots, he will wake up confused in his Batman underpants with new scars, he will hurt and above all, “When we are happy, thankful, sad or scared, we pray”.  He sat with his head next to my pregnant belly and softly cried for a moment. Then he stood and asked for his father, so we went to the sanctuary and both held him as we worshiped and suffered…and then he asked for grilled cheese and ice cream.
The following day Jonathan returned to school for two hours. I nervously sat in the back pretending to be invisible, as I plan to do on his first day of college.  Aside from moving gingerly and not rotating his neck, he acted like nothing had changed. I marveled a bit as he read, cut and glued, and quickly wrote his name and traced letters with ease. After years of struggle, I was almost surprised to see him do what I knew he eventually would.
His class is filled with outstanding professionals and darling 5-6 year olds. For two glorious hours,I seemed to be the only one feeling stuck between worlds. I brought him home and he quickly melted into a pile of exhaustion and Legos.  Monday, indeed.
Honestly, I am content in Sunday. I have  done a fair amount of crying in church. It’s the time I am exposed to God without distractions of laundry and lists. It’s when I see genuine smiles and loved ones. It’s the hardest and softest place I know. There is greatness in coming before God in raw, brokenness and suffering when I have no words to pray and no song in my heart. It can take more than a Sunday to reach the “even so, Lord Jesus”.

Yet, “Monday”awaits. Lunches must be made, sticky floors need mopping, boys must be raised into men. Monday marks the beginning of News, Treatment, Illness, Blood Counts, Crying, Healing, and all the Normal Things that don’t stop for malignant tumors. We are ALL facing our own Mondays. May your Sundays be stronger than your Mondays.

Scary Things and Tumor News

 

My first venture into a “haunted house” was in 6th grade; a teenage goblin  tripped me and I barreled into a wall, resulting in a 40 year old skeleton carrying me out of the exit. I was greeted by prepubescent laughter–supremely frightening. I’ve avoid intentional scares and ‘hauntings’ since then, but each time something terrifying jumps out, my immediate response after a moment of a shock is to strike back–it is best I avoid paid gremlins.
Suspense frightens me much more than the Things That Lurk. God bless the women who scream in theaters, “He’s behind that door! Run, Girl!”  A greater blessing still in the one who yells, “Stab that Creep back! He has Mommy Issues!” Laughter helps illuminate the Dark Night of the Soul.
My last mandatory “fright walk” was a high school team-building exercise. The full moon shone and others walked slowly, arm in arm, down the outdoor path. I confidently skipped along in a totally uncharacteristic way for one reason. For the past three summers I had attended church camp at that location, often praising and encountering my Lord in the place that was now darkened and meant to frighten.  I’ve walked difficult paths before and painfully learned to navigate it with the presence of the Most High.
A glance at our medical charts can look like motherhood nightmares. I was warned pregnancy wasn’t likely, followed by pregnancies intersecting with deployments, and birth issues. Born without oxygen and in distress, born premature, Down’s Syndrome, Failure to thrive, feeding tubes, Autism, Acute Myloid Leukemia, and now a bleeding brain tumor that will result in more oncology treatment. Our Christmas Letters are absurd.
I don’t think I received a raw deal or have a hard life– quite the opposite. We have an epic tale, and I adore a superb story.
As I sit in a hospital room with my dearly loved firstborn son, I am at peace with this familiar territory. Grappling with sleep deprivation and Sovereignty is familiar.
The ones that work in haunted houses are soon bored with what terrifies others. We will walk through head up and facing what comes head-on. There are some terrifying things behind the doors we are about to open.
BEHIND DOOR #1: The foremost neurosurgeon sat with us after surgery and told us the tumor is purple and the consistency of a dense currant jelly. Years of experience and close looks under the microscope showed that it was malignant. The current working diagnosis is a medulloblastoma. They were once ALL fatal. Research done primarily at…Johns Hopkins… has helped change that.
DO NOT GOOGLE. (Shudder) Allow me if you love the technical details.
DOOR #2: Again, this is ALL we know about the tumor and future treatment. It was been exactly one week since surgery. Full, thorough pathology usually takes 7-10 days. Results will come and the door will open. Jonathan’s skull and brain need to fully heal before anything begins. Our current situation has PLENTY to ponder without the what ifs.
DOOR #3: Treatment: There are many potential paths. Radiation and chemo could be inpatient, outpatient, and combination and and in a variety of duration. WE DON’T KNOW.We won’t open the door until we have faced door #2.
Handling the suspense: We know this is difficult for y’all, Dear Ones. Go ahead and freak out. Panic. Grieve. Bake. Write. Cry. Run. Yell. Whatever you want to do. Just know that soon we will open Door #2 and #3 and then it will be OUR turn to react and then help Jonathan learn how to look the Scary Things in the eye and fight back.
When things are Impossible and Insurmountable, the Infinite  works.  Taking Up Your Cross and obeying commands will attract frightening things. A real Enemy is at work and is after the souls of my sons.  However, the God I worship and imperfectly obey also gave his Son over to die. You may not agree, Friend, but I have staked my soul in this Truth and will live accordingly.
Please join us as we walk and discover what is in store.
Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Isaiah 35: 4 say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

How You Can Help-Jonathan

3  years ago I wrote “How You Can Help Us and Other FAQ” for William’s cancer treatment at UNC. Today we are at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore for Jonathan. Sibling rivalry is alive and well.

We should have more information and a plan in place this week but for now we plan on staying in the ICU for 1 week, potentially 2. Currently we have the grandparents present and flexible plane tickets have been purchased.

WHAT HAPPENED:

I brought Jonathan to the ER for severe concussion symptoms, total loss of motor skill/balance and vomiting on Thursday. A CT scan showed blood pooling in the lower cerebellum area of the brain, which controls balance, involuntary functions like breathing, etc.  This was NOT caused by bumps or a fall; something was in his brain for a while and hiding. Within a few hours he was flown by helicopter (which he enjoyed!) to Hopkins and was admitted to the trauma unit.

We now know what it ISN’T. As Arnold said in Kindergarten Cop, “It’s not a tumor!”, or a malformation of a blood vein. His angiogram was done by the #1 pediatric expert in the nation. God is so good. There IS a mass under the blood pooling but what it is and the cause remain unclear. The blood will naturally dissipate and cycle and then we can see more. We do not know about surgery, schedules, etc.

We are okay for childcare for now, thanks to grandparents. We are cycling back and forth the 45 minutes so that William and Jonathan are never alone. William will resume school Monday.

WHAT YOU CAN DO YOU HELP:

We learned a LOT from our 6 month hospital stay with William, which has made this even seem less traumatic and even familiar.

MEALS: We are pro-food, as a rule. We don’t know when we will be home to receive it or when we can eat large meals. What IS helpful is to have small meals or ingredients that are easy to assemble or transport, like cooked meat that can be added to parts, like tacos, chicken on a bagged salad, etc. Bags of frozen veggies and even chicken nuggets for William help. Muffins, cookies, cereal bars, applesauce, veggie straws– all toddler items help us feed William and can be brought to the hospital.

EASIER/NOT LOCAL FRIENDS: Local supermarkets like Wegman’s and Amazon Pantry deliver to the door. Family members are NOT from here, so avoiding time to fight traffic and navigate for the grocery store is wonderful. I will post the usual constant needs so that a simple click will bring it to us and save the trip. Size 4-5 Pull Ups, toilet paper, “Clear and Dye-Free” laundry detergent and Clorox wipes are always helpful necessities.

**Food gift cards for Papa John’s Pizza, Jason’s Deli, Chick-Fil-A, or really any chain restaurant are VERY helpful.

BEING EVERYWHERE AT ONCE:

William may need care and loves to play with other kids and outside. He’s loved the attention! I can’t tell you how amazing their elementary school teachers and staff have been, and our church/military family have made sure he is never alone. Afternoon park trips may be helpful so that he doesn’t have to do round trips in the car as we switch out at the hospital. We will be SURE to ask when we need help.

TRAVEL and VISITORS:

We can only have 3 people in the ICU room at a time, so we need to space out visits. We are SO thankful for visits and when I am with William I am happy for company while I do laundry or dishes.  We don’t know what schedules will be like for next week-October, so stay tuned. I will make a schedule for visitor windows at the hospital and here at the house.

EASIER/NOT LOCAL:

We will be able to Facetime, but if your kids want to make cards or videos for him to watch, it would be a treat, especially at 1am. Just a short message or dance party video would be great and allow him to see faces.

THE HARDEST HELP TO ASK FOR:

God has blessed us with financial ability to pay for our immediate needs and has always provided where we fall short. Financial help is NOT our biggest stress right now, but for those who want to bless us that way may. We don’t want to say no to a blessing if you want to give it.

The hardest burden was driving to the hospital, parking costs and airfare. Gas cards, Military PX cards or Southwest vouchers are the most helpful financial helps.  Others take off a percentage to use and we want to respect your gifts.

Again, THANK YOU for the incredible outpouring of love on all our family members. We are doing surprisingly well. Past trials have prepared us well. Our biggest goal is to glorify and honor Christ in all our circumstances and to raise our children well. Thank you for helping us to do that and to show them how we can be kind and love one another.

Love,

Kaitlin/Mom

“He Left It On the Field” and Other Cliches

 

Motherhood and sporting events are full of bad calls. Today we had an IEP (Individual Educational Plan) meeting with the school district for William, which is an event no matter how simple. For example, as we reviewed William’s motor skills and asked about dressing/grooming skills, he removed his shirt and threw it with great gusto and fanfare. A usual Wednesday.

After this relatively painless meeting in which William bathed in the glow of being called “too cute” by every woman present, I tore him away from his adoring public and turned my phone off of silent—

THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL HAD CALLED.

The voicemail was from the nurse: “There’s been an incident. Jonathan is fine, but we need you to call us.”

This is how FEMA employees must feel as they brace for the aftermath of impact. Today was the fundraiser Fun Run—visions of my child losing his mind during the Kindergarten Running of The Bulls flashed through my mind.

“Hello, I’m returning your call about Jonathan.”

“Oh. Well, they were outside doing the Fun Run and child in front of him stopped suddenly. Jonathan ran right into the back of his head and—” The phone service failed.

Those 10 seconds of call back weren’t much fun but I breathed a sigh of relief.

I resumed the conversation, “So, he rear-ended someone? How bad was the collision?” The nurse continued “He hit his face. He was able to answer my questions and said his head wasn’t hurt, so we put a cold compress on him.”

I am NOT a mother who freaks out over these injuries although I know many mothers of firstborn kindergartners are, so the nurse seemed a bit surprised when I laughed and asked if he had a bloody nose.

“He may have bruising, but I didn’t see any blood. He wasn’t even crying. If he did, HE LEFT IT ALL ON THE FIELD.”

He left it all on the field.

Southern Football Moms, please stand on your riser rows and greet the new member into your ranks. I too, have heard this cliché!

I suddenly remembered I live 35 minutes from Baltimore and this phrase probably isn’t as meaningful to others. Moreover, it means my son needs to pay more attention during commutes. People do not maintain speed and can stop without any warning. Clearly my son needs to learn to maintain distance, to ‘bob and weave’ and maneuver defensively but for now I am fairly proud that my kid took a hit calmly.

Upon his return home I asked how the run went. “Uh, I ran.” Duh, Mom. “Did you hurt your nose?” Nod. “Did you bleed?” He gave me the incredulous sideways glance. “I’m fine.” My 6 year old is now 17. He left it on the field, but his backpack was left in the hallway as he ran for the kitchen. 15 yard penalty- repeat first down, Son.

Steering Sinking Ships at 2am

My eldest is exclaiming from the bathroom, “Mom! Help! My sock is wet! There was water on the floor! Everything is ruined!  I can’t even poop now!”  I’m filling out school emergency contact information and on the fourth line I am wanting to type, “Do the best you can.” The time is now 8 pm. Let’s work backward, shall we?

The proverbial Titanic that is this family’s Ship of State-of-Affairs hit the iceberg at 2 am. The ship is now underwater and I am left huddling next to The Unsinkable Molly Brown who promises that we will survive. Women and children first, after all.

2 am: What was that crash? Are we hit? Yes. How bad is the damage?!

That crash was from the boys’ room. William was awake and laughing. I spotted the Iceberg. Knowing it was all in vain, I attempted to put him back to bed, relieved that his brother was sleeping blissfully through the herd of elephants parading through a hurricane that I was certain I heard opposite the door.

We used to wake up at midnight, 2 am, 4am, and 5:45 with brother every night for several months post-cancer. I did as well, thinking were were still there.  About once a month he reverts.

IMG_3239  IMG_3068

At 3am I decided to be productive with my time awake. I filled out paperwork and let William have a dance party. He sang “Who, who, say who” to Edge of Seventeen as I wrote a survey and filled out school sheets. He danced, stripped, and ran feral.

A little after 4am I tried to help him rest and to grab 10 minutes of rest myself. Failure, destruction, and a hole in the ship. Jonathan woke up at 5:43, precisely on schedule. He looked at me, asked if I was okay and said I looked sick.

kaitroughmorning

Meanwhile, his brother knocked over chairs and Cheerios. Jon went to the deck and brought William. In the 15 seconds before I put down my broom, William was naked and the Pull-Up was over the deck railing.

cheerios

We gathered resolve and emergency items (read snacks and towels) and braced ourselves for swim class. They were SUPERB. Last week my mother in law worked her magic and they both got in willingly and obeyed instruction! Today was a little tougher because I was not there throughout the lesson but remained clothed, practiced skills, got into the water and didn’t die or poop.

swim lesson

I also got Barbara Manatee (Endangered Love) of VeggieTales Silly Songs stuck in my head thanks to my grey maternity bathing suit. Bearing witness and dazzling the kids with a bag of treats was my Life Preserver, Lynette. When I emerged from the water and beached myself in a chair I found this:

lynette and will

No. If we go down, we sink together. After an excruciatingly long time putting on socks, shoes, and wanting to read every book in the waiting room, we returned home for showers and a load of laundry before heading out to the Mothers Of Preschoolers kickoff. I needed people and there would be dinner. The boys played, ate, and convinced everyone that they were well-rested, well-adjusted and going to survive.

family party

We left happy, exhausted, encouraged and with pizza. I drove home to face The Sinking, quite aware that we had taken on more water than could be endured.  My daughter was swimming into my bladder.

So now I sit while my child wails that his book’s pages are wet from the aforementioned shower and listen to his lament. I await sleep- my beautiful Carpathia, very much picturing a string quartet playing “Nearer My God to Thee” as water consumes the vessel and people.

This ship will try again tomorrow, Hell or High Water. We are all taking on water but we shall remain Unsinkable. Nearer, my God, to Thee.