Thursday, July 8, 2010

Small Steps

The last week was a blur, an awful blur. I haven't felt like talking much or writing on this blog, which was a key place for me last time Dori faced blood cancer.

I'm almost forcing myself to write because I know it's good for me, which helps me give strong day-to-day support to Dori and my family. In tough times, this blog, along with running, prayer and friends, has bolstered me, helping me to stay positive and shun dark thoughts.

Kathryn and Will are in a much different place than three years ago. They're upset and disappointed, but handling it better than a few years ago, older and wiser. They seem to sense their approach has an impact on their Mom's state of mind, and their own. They are more than children to us now; they are emerging as part of our support structure. We love them more than words allow.

Will is talking about his Mom's cancer, a positive sign. Last time, he said very little. This past week, he asked good questions and vented a time or two. He is maturing into a young man before our eyes and has a terrific sense of humor. The other day in the car with Dori, I said, "Will, you're a gifted athlete, artist and musician, smart and funny, and you have lots of friends. What are you not good at?" Without hesitation, our vegetable-shunning son quipped, "Eating!"

Importantly, he has a best buddy and several good friends. His self-esteem is growing. Kathryn is 12 going on 22. She also has a good group of friends, girls and boys, and a best friend. She has surrounded herself with grounded kids, a source of pride for us. She has no problem venting or inquiring, a family tradition.

Dori is doing well. I know what makes her tick, and she knows how to monitor me. Situations like this, as many of you know, elevate emotions, fear and anxiety to unwanted levels. A week ago, we were both in shock, which was heightened by our friend Chuck Hendry's death. Deflation then replaced shock. Now, it's game on. Going to Vanderbilt yesterday was actually a relief for me ... I want to get on with it, not stew or wonder. So does Dori, hence her decision to check in to Vanderbilt today rather than wait.

Here's a great photo of Dori, which I took yesterday. I see hope in her smile, and as always, love.

The calls, letters and e-mails from our friends are greatly appreciated. We'll keep you posted on CaringBridge, which you can find linked to the left. And I'll be back here for reasons already discussed.

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