To echo the words of a hymn I love, "There is Sunshine in my Soul Today". I just had to write about my happy, normal few hours with Tara.
Tara is now off on Tuesdays, and often we have tried to get together and work on projects or cook, or other things for a few hours in the afternoon before Tara teaches piano at 2:45. Many times Stephanie and baby Katelyn have been able to join us, which is an extra treat and she and Tara have been working on Christmas tree skirts together. Anyway, last night on my calendar, Tara put a recurring event, "Play with Tara!" and it NEVER has an end date. She meant to put 12 pm; but put 12 am which was a little funny. That event totally made me smile so big! Do you know how many Tuesdays that Tara spent sick??? At doctor's?? So many that I told her today (when I was so happy) that I'm just not used to having these hours of "good time" with Tara yet - the newness hasn't worn off. It was 2 1/2 years on and off of being sick, so the good times are still a novelty. I still relish them and appreciate every minute of them. I hope I always will. So, today wasn't exactly a huge deal to most people, we put together a small little box for Jerod for Valentine's Day, mailed it, went to visit Stephanie and Brigham and deliver some little Valentine's gifts for him, then went grocery shopping, and got dinner ready for "my Joshua". And at the end for just a few 15 minutes, she actually sewed and acted like she wanted to! Maybe that was just for my benefit:) Trying to finish that crazy tree skirt! Here's another rare event - Tara handled cooked chicken and was successful at shredding it. It's been a long time since she could smell or cook meat - and it was still a little weird for her, but she did it! She now cooks meals for herself and Josh now and then; which is a big step in the prolonged chemotherapy / treatment world! Maybe next week we can actually make bread!:) Sunday at church someone told me they saw Tara roller blading! Woo hoo!! Tara did say that she got tired and had to hang on to Josh to finish; but hey, she was roller blading! The more and more I am around, the more and more I realize Tara is a walking miracle and I am thankful every single day for that.
The past 2 months most Tuesdays have been spent driving to an acupuncturist's office and back - it's usually about a 2 1/2 hour deal. We went because of the pain in Tara's legs which was due to chemotherapy and those IV antibiotics. Anyway, our Dr. Luo told us that he couldn't guarantee that he could help Tara with her leg pain because he has better success when someone comes in closer to the finish of their chemotherapy, and it had been almost a year since Tara finished her chemo. I appreciated his honesty - he is an internist as well as acupuncture, which I like very much. Anyway, we decided to give it a try anyway and proceeded through the 10 treatments. I emailed some family members and asked them to pray that Tara's body would be receptive to the treatments. Tara started keeping track for the Dr how often her legs hurt and she observed that they hurt daily; many times they hurt so badly she couldn't sit down and she would have to move around, rub them, or whatever and still the pain would be there. We were afraid she would have to live with leg pain the rest of her life - (her father in law who went through chemo years ago deals with it always as well). Anyway, at about treatment #5, Tara said her legs only hurt 2 times in the past 5 days, and then by the end of the treatments, there was only one spot on her heal that wasn't responding, so he did 2 more treatments and SHE'S ALL BETTER!!! Unbelievable! I guess there's a reason Chinese acupuncture has been around for thousands of years. Dr. Luo said he would never not do chemo and radiation; but acupuncture has its place for some things - it helped Tara! So, hooray for no more leg pain! Anyway, we don't spend Tuesdays going there, either, so we're a little free. I say little because there is always that scan ever coming, ever reminding us that we live in a brain tumor world. Tara did have another seizure which is troublesome - probably because she had the flu and was dehydrated, then had a seizure. So, NO MORE FLU! So, that totals 3 seizures in a 12 month period which means a little more seizure medicine and a little more tiredness. So, now the only residual effect of Tara's treatment is her stomach hurts often; but it doesn't stop her and she will eat and has actually gained weight which is awesome!
It's been a rather heavy 2 months in the brain tumor world and it was nice to try to enjoy the sunshine today. Our hearts have been pretty heavy. Our GBM friend, David Baker passed away 2 weeks ago and Tara just had to go to CA for the funeral. He was an amazing man and the funeral was a spiritual experience. Tara thought she might regret it someday if she didn't go. My heart breaks for that family who has to live on without him. Life just isn't fair; but I guess that's what we signed up for just by living in this world. He was taken home early in my not so humble opinion and he will be greatly missed. Also, since December 22nd our friend, Chuck Buckhannon has not been the same and that's really hard as well. He has been in the hospital since the 22nd; but did come home finally last week; but he hasn't recovered yet from a stroke he had while in the hospital, so life is tough at that house as well. Our hearts hurt for all of them!!
I will try to post pictures later..... love you all! Enjoy the sunshine!