December 3rd to 8th
This weekend Scott and I went to the cabin. We have redone the kitchen and it really looks good. We did plumbing, painting, electrical, carpentry and clean up. We brought Kathryn’s ipod with us and listened to her music while we worked. As I listened I couldn’t help but think about what Kathryn would be thinking about each song. How she might dance to the music or laugh at the words. How would she feel while hearing certain songs? What would she be thinking? I know that some of the songs were songs she had for me and others for Scott and one came on she specifically told me she had for Richard. These things I will never forget. Scott and I did a beautiful job making over the kitchen if I do say so myself.
I was also left a beautiful message on the last blog. Thank you!
My friend had called while I was at the cabin and left a message. She said that hearing Kathryn’s voice on the recording is like she is not gone at all. I agree. I guess that’s why it is and will be there forever as far as I’m concerned. I have called it just to hear her voice. I think Scott has too.
Scott was looking through some of his text messages from Kathryn. Those things are nice to go back to and read. I have done it too.
So much is going on in my head. Today (December 3rd) was the day we flew home from Houston. It just wouldn’t leave my mind today. For the first time this school year I had to walk out of the room to go hide my tears. While in the bathroom one of my students from a different period walked in the bathroom. She asked me if I was ok. She said, I know how you feel. I could only say, “You have no idea.” She understood. She knew not to take it the wrong way. She was good about not saying too much and knowing she could say just enough to help.
I couldn’t take the thought of Kathryn so excited to get home out of my mind. She was doing so well that day. She wanted to be herself and independent. She wanted to prove she could do things on her own and she did. She wanted so badly to get better and live. I wanted her to get better and live too. We all did!
I had to leave my 6th period class for a moment too. I found a paper Kathryn had written in my computer. She knew where she stood way back in 2010. She wrote about her cancer as a blessing but still knowing that she had a grade 4 brain tumor. How does one write in such a positive manor when your life may end by this disease you believe has brought so many blessings to your life. It did bless us, all of us in one way or another. We never took it as a negative but as an awareness. A disease that brought us together, gave us more friends and family. It made us aware of others. It made us open and feel more for others than ourselves. Yes, it gave us love to share and hope to give to others even when our own situation was at the end and still to this day we give to those less fortunate and share hope through our experience.
I looked at the photos on the wall in my classroom. Kathryn made our lives silly. She was the one that had us pose in silly ways. She was the thinker of silly ways to spice up life. I miss that.
After school I gave blood. I was greeted with a big cheer as I had reached the 6 gallon mark. I started donating at the first Relay for Life that I attended. So Kathryn’s cancer got me started. I hated needles and finally became brave probably after seeing my little 8 year old daughter being so brave each time she had to be poked. And she got poked a lot. We have the beanie babies to prove it. I bought her one after she would get a poke but only if she was good and cooperative. I think there was only one time she didn’t get one out of all those many many times. She made me a better person. She made me brave, she made me realize that I should and could give blood. It’s not so bad. The young man who set me up to give blood today was kind, gentle and soft spoken. He had a good sense of humor too. He is applying to nursing school and I hope he gets in. He will be a wonderful nurse. You can just tell that he has the compassion needed for that job.
Today I also read the Camp Goodtimes newletter. I didn’t know that my son had written an article for it. He wrote how camp gave him a place to share with other siblings. He also wrote how he and Kathryn loved camp and how they looked forward to camp each year and every day of the year because it became a big part of their lives. He wrote about how the camp family was there for us during Kathryn’s diagnoses and still to this day. He wrote about how it made him and Kathryn a team. Yes, they were a team for camp. There was a beautiful picture of the two of them too. There was also a picture of the holiday cruise that was a couple of weeks ago. It was a large group picture but in the middle being held up high was a panda bear. We all know that it was there for Kathryn. Yep, She will always be part of Camp Goodtimes.
Monday was an emotional day and I laid on the couch that night feeling sorry for myself. Tuesday was a much better day. Wednesday even better. I started my physical therapy for my knee and hip on Wednesday. While in the waiting room and man started a conversation with me. He was talking about his 21 year old daughter moving back home. She was changing colleges so she could move home and save money. He was kind of making it like it was a bad thing. All I could think is how I wish my Kathryn were moving home. I talked to him and told him to enjoy the time with his daughter. Before he knows it she will be out of the house for good. As he left that night I reminded him as he said good bye to enjoy his children each and every moment. I don’t think he was upset that his daughter was moving home just a bit surprised and talking like most parents would if their adult child moved back home. I know I would have never complained. I would have loved to have Richard and Kathryn live with me forever.
On Friday we had two Christmas parties to go to. The first one was for the Mary Bridge Hematology and Oncology departments. I was asked earlier for an 8 by 10 of Kathryn for the Angel table. I think Trinna knew I was having a hard time thinking about going to the clinic and dropping off the picture. She asked me If she could make a print of one of the pictures I had sent her and I said yes. It was actually a big relief. When we arrived at the clinic party we were greeted with hugs and love. It really felt good. While talking to Kathryn’s doctor’s wife she said their daughter Kate (Kathryn’s good friend) was planning on forming a relay team called Team Panda. I told her that this would be wonderful. I had already mentioned something like this to couple of her friends and they were ready to do it. I’m glad that she wants to do this. I didn’t know if I really wanted to head this up. I was happy to hear that one of her friends wanted to take this on. We also talked to a woman with a little girl with leukemia. It’s hard to believe that Kathryn was that little when she was first diagnosed. This party brought back memories of the first clinic Christmas party that we went to. How we had family photos taken with Mr. and Mrs. Claus each year for many years. It reminded me of all the other clinic parties and how many children and parents are affected by cancer. Mrs. Irwin also told me how she had lost a sibling when she was younger. She broke out with a terrible case of shingles from the stress. This is why I am concerned for Richard. I don’t want him to have to go through anything like that. I was also told that Kathryn’s good friend is facing cancer in her family. Her father was diagnosed with cancer for a second time. I hate this disease. This party also made me think of a little girl from way back that was so weak that she was in a wheel chair. My cousin Peggy had told us about megace to get Kathryn to eat. It worked and Kathryn stayed strong. After we used it they used it for this little girl and it helped her too. Kathryn was the first child to be given megace because we asked her doctor to use it. They continue to use it now. This party also reminded me of a family we met who had a son who had the same tumor Kathryn had when she was 8. His grew back and he died. The mother also died shortly after. Her heart just stopped. So cancer took her life too.
We then went to my staff party. My coworkers greeted me with friendly cheers and hugs. We had a good time there playing the gift exchange game and just talking with people. Scott said he was glad that I had a fun place to go after the clinic party. It was good but that night I was so mad at God. I layed in bed for a while talking to him in not such a nice way. I was really mad. I told him that he is said to be a loving God and one that looks out for us. I can’t imagine anyone who loves me allowing me to be so hurt. How could he allow so much pain? How could he take so much from us? I went on and on. I was so mad and maybe it was just confusion and hurt. But I talked to him for a while. I hope he was listening to know how I feel.
Today (Saturday) started off slow. We got to bed really late 1:30 or so and then the alarm went off at 5 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I did get the fall decorations down and put away. We also picked out a tree from the tree stand by our house. We told the guy about the tree growing last year. Yes, while we were at the hospital that crazy tree grew. On the 22nd of January that tree was still fresh. It was amazing! It waited for us to get home and celebrate Christmas. Maybe God was looking out for us after all. We were able to have a last Christmas together and see Kathryn smile and get excited about gifts. I also put up all of the lights on the bushes outside. Kathryn loved doing this. I was reminded of a picture of her in the tree putting up the lights. Scott had Christmas music playing while I decorated the bushes. I still have more to do. But it does look pretty good already.
I’ll make it. I keep telling myself that I can do this holiday season. I can do it. It is hard but life must go on. Kathryn would want me to enjoy her favorite holiday. I will do my best to make it all good. Scott is doing everything he can to help me through it and I’m so grateful. He is a good guy!
Love you all,