Sunday, July 3, 2011

Elmo At Last

The other day, my mom and I took Katelyn to Sesame Place. We arrived at 3:30, when some families were already leaving, and stayed until 8:30. It was my happiest afternoon in the past three months, and it wouldn't have happened without my mom's help.

The daily arsenic treatments seem to be having a cumulative effect on me. Recently, I've been more tired and nauseated. It took me two days to recover from our afternoon at "Elmo Street," as Katelyn calls it. But it was well worth it. Even though it was exhausting for me, I refused to let cancer steal a happy day from my daughter. Every moment I'm with her, I try my best to be a regular mom, because that's what she deserves.

Three weeks into my hospital stay, Katelyn had stopped asking for me at home. No one had shared this heartbreaking development with me during those tough days. I've only been told about it recently, as a point of comparison to how she acts now.

Now, it is as if I'd never been absent. Katelyn calls for me when she wakes in the morning. She gives me lots of kisses, "big hugs," and even back massages. And she says, "Mommy so funny," even when I'm not intentionally trying to be funny.

She might remember visiting me in the hospital. We know she remembers Mommy's "machine" (IV stand) that said, "beep beep." At a recent doctor's visit for her, she pointed at an EKG monitor and said, "Issa's machine." Occassionally she'll panic when she doesn't know where I am in the house, but that could be a normal toddler reaction. When I think about her having missed her mother for all those days, my heart constricts. But it is over, and I pray it will never happen again.