Brinley went to clinic last Thursday for her SECOND TO LAST injection of chemo. It went great, we talked about what to expect off treatment, she got her chemo, ANC was 4000 and we were out in time for pre-school! Although I am not excited about her counts being so high, they will not be increasing her chemo this month.

She had a dance planned out for her doctor, but got shy once the time came to perform. So the oncologist told her if she did her dance for him, he would do one for her. Well, she did it, and I was holding him to his promise. So we got a little break dancing from Dr. Fluchel, and it was the highlight of the visit! Now THAT'S what I call a good doctor! A grown man dancing for his 4 year old patient, love it!!

That night I got to go meet some cancer mom's at the hospital. We went to the cafeteria and one of the mom's brought in pizza (REALLY good pizza) and we just sat and got to know each other for a couple hours. A couple of the mom's had their kids in-patient and were able to slip away for some adult time. It was wonderful, and there is a bond between cancer mom's that I could never describe. I guess because we just know, without even having to say it, we know what it's like. One of them, Chelsea, shared this on her blog and I loved it, not sure who wrote it:

I belong to a special group of women
My friends and I have an amazing bond.
We never wanted to be in this group,
Yet we are in, for life.
Maybe we have met, maybe we haven’t,
Yet our love for each other is boundless.
We know the pain the other one feels,
And we share our victories small or huge.
Words like chemo, IV, Zofran , bald heads
Are always parts of our conversations,
As well as roidrage, tears, and meltdowns…
We always know where the closest puke bucket is,
We can hold it in one hand and if necessary,
Swallow the sandwich the other hand was holding.
We can drive to the hospital ,
Park in the dark parking garage
Make our way thru the halls of the hospital
And to the appropriate floor,
Settle in a room, turn the TV on,
Give instructions to the head nurse,
Silence loud beeping IV pumps,
Direct a wagon AND an IV pole
To the playroom without hitting anything
Make our way back to the correct room
And all this, mind you, With our eyes closed at any given time.
We know how to draw blood from lines
Sticking out of little kids chests.
We can hold them down with one hand ,
While a nasogastric tube is inserted in their little nose,
And be on the phone with their dads at the same time.
We can live for days on hospital food,
And on maybe only one meal a day .
We know the names of up to 20 different drugs,
Their purpose, dosage and time to be taken.
We are always on call, 24 hours a day,
Seven days a week.
We are used to not always looking our best,
Hard to do with only a few hours of sleep .
Make up , hair styling, skirts are words of the past.
We have become addicted to texting ,
hospital, clinic, home, wherever…
We talk sometimes at all hours of the night ,
We know we can count on someone to be up.
Then for one of us , the world stops .
She has to walk away, broken.
This job is over .
The job is over, but the fight is on.
Remember , I said we were in this forever.
We are friends, sisters, temporary nurses,
We are each others rock, each others punching bag,
We listen, we vent, we cry, we laugh together.
We share our lives and our deaths
We share our pain and our victories.
We are strong, but not by choice,
Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose,
But never are we defeated.
We are not nurses
We are not doctors,
We are cancer moms…

I loved them right away. They are beautiful, compassionate, caring women I am privileged to be a part of.

Now, we are just trying to get through chemo week, but it has been much better than last month. She feels quite sick in the evenings, but the daytimes have been okay. She had to miss the LLS Light the Night Walk, and her favorite mascot from the Lemonade Stand, Grizzbee was there. He sent me a very nice text after the event saying that he had thought about Brinley when he was invited to come to the walk, and had been looking for her hoping she was there. When he found out she was sick, he said to give her a hug, and you should have seen the smile on her face when I told her that!!

She is a trooper, and has done this way too many times these past two years. I started video taping a little of what she goes through. I don't know why, other than I feel like I will be glad I did it someday. Someday we will look back on this and I just want to have as much of it as I can. There is almost a weird fondness, that is the wrong word, but it is an emotion I haven't a word for, that I feel about these chemo rounds. Like there is some kind of bond formed during the hardest times of life, between those suffering through it, and that bond is being strengthened during those moments. So when I say fondness, it is that bond I am talking about that brings a "fondness" to my heart. I recently saw a mother and teenage daughter embrace tearfully during a last chemo visit, and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Two women, mother and daughter, one going through it, the other wishing she could have taken her place, bonded through the tears, heartache, and despair in a way that can only happen with those things. There IS beauty in this journey, amidst the heartache. I see it every day.