Tyson's Brave Battalion

Tyson's Brave Battalion
Things don't go wrong and break your heart so you can become bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.” ~Samuel Johnson

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Come What May and Love It ... Induction

PICS: I spent most of my first month of treatment (induction)on the couch, Grandpa brought over a baby goose for me to hold, I loved spending time with daddy while he was here, and by the middle of May my steroid chubs were really starting to show (in the swing with Merin)

(This was written in mom's facebook notes May 11th 2011)
One of my favorite quotes?..."Come what may, and Love it." ~ Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, an LDS apostle
I'm not sure why I am writing this, it is extremely personal, and I should be sleeping. The house is completely quiet and I already took my contacts out so I am squinting at the screen, but thoughts keep swirling around in my head and I feel like I should write them down so they stop swirling. Every night I climb into bed with my heart leaping in my throat, that excited feeling you get when you think about Christmas morning or something...I get it every night. I have just talked to Brady on skype, and have peeked at each of my kids, put blankets on the ones who have already kicked theirs off and I feel happiness and sometimes I feel guilty that we have so much when there seems to be sadness and heartache all around us. People tell me all the time that i am amazing. I'm not sure what to say when people say that. I don't think there is anything amazing about me. I'm just a regular person with pet peeves, fears, weaknesses, quirks, zits, and bad habits (and yes I still bite my nails, they are super sanitized nails now since they get hand sanitized about 100 times a day, but I still bite em). I'm pretty shy and get tongue tied in social situations, but other than that I don't think I am much different from anybody else. When I was in college I took an institute class from my dad and he taught a concept that has directed my life ever since. He said, "Pain comes, misery is optional". I guess when people say that I am amazing it is in reference to how I react to certain situations. I do have a gift of quiet calmness and it takes a lot to get me upset. That isn't something I created, it is a gift, a personality trait given to me by my Creator, so I take no credit for it. I have learned some lessons that have added to my calmness the most of which is that Heavenly Father is in charge and so if you are willing to accept that then you realize that there isn't a whole lot worth getting upset about. If you follow Him you have peace.
Sometimes I have to learn that lesson over again. :)About a year ago I about drove myself crazy thinking about my husbands upcoming deployment and fearing that this time he wasn't going to come back alive. In everything that went through my head, two contigencies would come up, the one where Brady was alive, and the one where he wasn't. Many of my thoughts were consumed with what life would be like, what people would say to me, what I would say to them. I prayed (begged, pleaded) every night that Brady would come back alive...even though deep down I knew I couldn't really pray for that. You see, I knew that I was never going to really have peace of mind until I prayed for peace with whatever the Lord had in store for me. But I didn't want to admit to Heavenly Father that I would be ok if Brady didn't come back. So I kept pleading, and the thoughts kept haunting me. That was a hard one for me to ummm how do you put it, give up?When I finally got on my knees and said 'please give me the peace and the strength to deal with whatever happens' I received the peace I needed. I still don't know if Brady is coming back alive...sure hope he is :) but I know that whatever Heavenly Father has in store for us I can handle it because of the peace He gives me. Learning that lesson, and feeling that peace is the main thing that prepared me for Tyson's diagnosis of leukemia. Doesn't mean I didn't cry, doesn't mean I wasn't sad for my little buddy. It means I knew that no matter what happens it is in the Lord's hands, and it's ok. That's not the only way I was prepared for this, just the main one. I know the Lord is involved in the details of our lives...if we invite Him to be involved.
There are many little things I have thought of that helped me handle those first few days without totally freaking out. My bff from childhood and I have reconnected through facebook and even though she doesn't live close, we have uncanny similiarities in the way we raise our kids and our kids have a great time with each other when we do get together...She now has seven kids and spent several days at primary children's with one of her kids, they were released from the hospital a few days before Tyson was admitted. As we prayed and fasted and thought about her I thought about her other kids and wondered how I would handle being at the hospital 24/7 with one kid with the other kids somewhere else. I thought a lot about that and thought of my parents, family, and neighbors and knew they would be taken care of if something like that happened..I had no idea of course that it was indeed about to happen. When Brady left last fall, I moved all of the kids' beds downstairs so they would all be near me at night. Four of them sleep in the 'family room' and two of them sleep in another little room. I'm glad we already had that arrangement because now I can help Tyson in the night (he wakes up several times a night to tell me what he wants for breakfast, that's because of the steroids he's on right now, yes he gained almost three pounds in one week) and I can also get up with Merin when she needs me, help Emily with her nightmares (she has them more often when Brady is gone), and help Ryan back into bed when he sleepwalks :) (I'll thank you to not mention that to him as he would be pretty embarrassed and is not one who likes to attract that kind of attention to himself.) In fact I'm not really sure how I would feel about you talking to me or my kids about any of this, I think I would rather pretend you hadn't read it. :) Why do you share it then, you ask? I have felt like I should ever since I started posting stuff on here, I don't know, maybe if you read this and then hold your kids a little more, pray a little more, or treat your spouse(if you are lucky enough to have one) with a little more kindness then maybe it will do some good in the world. My theory on that is, if you treat your spouse like a super hero, then he will do his darndest to be your super hero. If you put him down and treat him like he is an idiot, he won't try to be your super hero for very long. my that was random wasn't it? I was also prepared to handle the medical things they were doing to Tyson because in February Brenna had surgery on her arm..I can't tell you how stressed out and nervous I was for that. And in March Emily had her tonsils taken out...again, less nervous and stressed out because now i knew a little bit about what to expect but still nervous. And so those recent experiences made it so that I could send my little buddy off to surgery and feel ok about that. I was comforted by the thoughts from the recent LDS conference that there are angels in the hospital helping the kiddies. I also potty trained Tyson in February...and we got rid of his pacifiers for good in April. Simple little things, but pacifiers would have been little germ petrie dishes, and potty trained, well lets just say I'm glad I'm not putting on purple gloves and changing chemo contaminated diapers all day. I am so grateful Brady was able to come home and we could get things settled and worked out before he left again. His job is difficult and it is not easy to say goodbye to him and miss him for so long, but the benefits we receive from this sacrifice make it possible for us to not have to worry about how to pay for Tyson's medical care and travel which is huge when you are treating a child with cancer. I don't think we are particularly special or that our trials are any huger than anybody else. They might be a little more public than some, but everybody has stuff to deal with. I can't express my thoughts as well as Elder Wirthlin did in his talk:
'the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt.'
'Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.
“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”2 The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to be successful. If we do our part, He will step in.
He who descended below all things will come to our aid. He will comfort and uphold us. He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress. He will make weak things become strong.3' You can read his whole talk on LDS.org if you are interested. It's called 'Come What May, and Love It'.
I am lifted by all of the kind thoughts, prayers, and well wishes of all of you and appreciate your understanding of his immune suppressed state.
So what now? We take one day at a time. I only leave the house if I need to, and that's ok cause this is a temporary thing, and cause I like being home better than anywhere else anyway. Tyson, and the other kids too are feeling a little insecure and need me and each other, so I am spending as much time as I can giving loves and paying attention. Tyson likes to be held a lot, so in between those times I get other stuff done. I like folding laundry and mowing the lawn, those things give me some 'me' time to spend with just my thoughts which I like. The house is cleaner, and so are my hands and everyone else's hands who come to our house. They are big on hand-washing at PCMC, every time you go in a room or out of a room you use handsanitizer. I am a little more patient than I usually would be with Tyson's mood swings and frequent long and loud crying cause I know a lot of that comes from the steriods. My mom and dad watch the kids while we go to Utah or other places cause they know how to keep Merin happy and secure feeling, and we have similar parenting styles and temperament. The kids can't have friends over (in the house) right now, but that is also temporary and will get better when his neutrophil counts rise. The kids(except for Ty) still do all of their normal activities, scouts, piano, school, church, and tumbling. Me? I am doing really good. I miss Brady. I know it sounds wierd but I am extremely thankful that Tyson has the type of cancer that he has, the treatment is long, but not as rigorous as some others, and the outlook is good. I am extremely independent and enjoy doing projects by myself but I also understand my limits and if I can't get something done I don't worry about it. I'm not the type to overdo things-I like things simple and so I keep it that way. I'm not saying everyone should be like that..just explaining why I am doing fine. So life goes on, and it is good, and we are very blessed. I know the initial reaction to something like this is to 'do' something and we appreciate the offers and will keep you all in mind...so far we have the help we need and are doing really really well. Thanks for your prayers. Amy

1 comment:

  1. Ok....so pretend I didn't read this, he he. But truly. Thanks so much for sharing. I can't wait to look up the talk and read the whole thing again from Elder Wirthlin. Thanks for the reminder of how important God's plan is and that even though we don't know "why" sometimes, we know it is his plan. Thanks Amy....you're great!