We told CJ he had his chemotherapy and spinal tap appointment yesterday to prepare him for today and it basically ruined two days for him instead of one. The closer the day drew to a close and the closer the appointment drew near, the more he sulked. He did not want to go. Understandable! We tried to reassure him. We reasoned that it was Thursday instead of his usual Friday appointment and that would allow for him to have a longer weekend and recoup in time for his first Flag Football game this Saturday. We told him he would get to see the nurses he has not seen in so long and maybe some of the kids. None of that seemed to work.
When it came time to put CJ's numbing creme on his port before we left the house so he would be good and numb when they accessed him for chemo he really became uncooperative. He complained about the tape and how much it itches. So we used press-n-seal instead and he complained about that. I wish I could say I gently came along side my son, reassured him, and prayed with him. But I didn't! Instead I told him, "Fine! Go without the creme and see how that goes over when it is time to access you." He scowled at me.
"It itches!" he whined.
"No it doesn't!" I countered.
"How would you know?" he challenged.
And that was it.....I ripped open the press and seal and start sticking it all over my chest as well. His eyes revealed his pleasure at that even though his scowl remained.
It is so difficult having a child you feel sorry for because they have to endure all of this and yet you can not allow disrespect or disobedience because you are still training them. It's easy to think that since they have cancer they get a free pass on attitude and disrespect and responsibility but it doesn't work that way unless we want to pay a huge price later. I have actually had other cancer moms warn me, "Whatever you do, don't stop training them! We created a monster and now that it is over we don't know what to do." I certainly don't want to create a monster and yet I certainly don't want to have to spank my child right before heading out the door to chemotherapy.
I know...I know...you all probably think we are crazy or at the very least, cruel. My mom will be calling to let me have it before she even finishes reading this post. Just so you know mom, it was daddy who almost had to do the correcting. Lucky for CJ, Daddy's a lot more patient than me. I am gald to say that instead of spanking, we resorted to reminding CJ about some of the kids we have met recently, like little Andrew! I told CJ to consider what Andrew and his family would give to be ABLE to go to chemotherapy and have a fighting chance against this disease. Then I reminded him of 9 year old Truman who just had his leg amputated in an effort to save his life. What would he give for chemotherapy to be enough to eradicate his cancer? I know comparing others problems doesn't eliminate our own, but it does help put things in perspective a little sometimes. After thinking about these other children, CJ seemed to soften a bit. Plus I think he liked the idea that I had tape all over my chest too.
Anyway, once CJ and I got under way things eased up and within about 10 minutes I could see more than just the back of his head. He did well with his nurse and the port access and the spinal tap. It was a long day but Chris brought our other three kids up to the hospital and that was nice. It was good for all the kids to be there again. This has become so much a routine in our lives that I worry they will minimize the significance of it all. Being there surrounded by all the kids that are struggling and fighting this disease really helps keep things in perspective for us.
CJ is doing well and not reacting too badly to the chemo. He did well with the spinal tap. He got the itchy face he always has to deal with and a headache which is common after a spinal, but other than that he seems okay. His CBC (blood counts) were in a fair range so he is not increasing his meds or decreasing them at this time. He is at about 75% dosing. They like to try to work them up to 100% dosing while keeping the counts in a good range but for now we will hold where we are. Today he starts his monthly steroid regiment and that should help boost his counts a bit as well as his appetite!
Thank you for all the prayers and we ask that you continue to pray for his continued healing.
We also want to ask a favor. Would you please take one minute to Vote for CJ on the C.O.L.E. Foundation website. (See link below.) They are having a Christmas Cash Giveaway to the kid with cancer that gets the most votes before December 15th. So hurry and get your vote in and spread the word to all your friends. It is very easy to do. Just enter your email address (they only allow one vote per email and this is how they keep track of who votes) and select CJ George from the long list of cancer kids. I must warn you the list is a little depressing to see but it is a reality. All these kids are fighting cancer. I am sure it will be great for whoever wins but we would love CJ to see how many people support him and vote for him.
Thank you again for your prayers and support. Keep praying for CJ's continued physical battle and the spiritual one as well. The enemy wants this boy my friends. I can tell you that boldly and confidently as his mother. He has tried to destroy him in more ways than one but we are not going to give up or give him a foothold in his life. Thankfully, the enemy is no match for the One we serve.
'I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword
and my hand will destroy them.'
But you blew with your breath,
and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead
in the mighty waters.
"Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ?
Who is like you—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
You stretched out your right hand
and the earth swallowed them.
In your unfailing love you will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling."