Oops! I didn’t realize how much time has gone by since I last posted here.
It is just after midnight but for me it is still September 27th. On this gorgeous, sunny autumn day I took my beloved daughter to the airport and saw her off on her way to Ottawa. It was hard saying good-bye because her heart is torn; she wants to enjoy Ottawa but leaving her brother is difficult.
We did go to Florida for a week, we enjoyed it and returned last weekend. Then Mathew had a CT scan on the Monday, Kristen sorted through her stuff and packed for Ottawa and we were supposed to see the Oncologist on Friday. The appointment was changed at the last hour so then we switched over to preparing for Kristen’s departure.
It is easier to say good-bye to someone on a beautiful, sunny day. It is harder when the weather is crappy and your mood matches it. I drove Kristen and her university friend up to Fredericton; her friend we dropped off at his university and then continued on to the airport. It might seem strange for Kristen to fly out of a city that is 1-1/2 hours away but it had the best connection and arrival time in Ottawa. The drive up to Fredericton passed in the blink of an eye as we chatted and enjoyed the beautiful weather. For a moment it felt like I was just dropping her off at University the same as the last 4 years.
Except 4 years ago when John and I dropped our 17 year old daughter off at University for the first time I felt a punch to my stomach as we drove away. I was leaving her alone in the big, world and she seemed so young. Kristen was ready and enthusiastically threw herself into Freshman week and meeting new people. Within a week a few hiccups developed that were readily resolved and she settled into University Life with gusto. It was halfway through her degree that Mathew was diagnosed with cancer and she carried that with her during her final two years of her undergraduate degree.
I saw a lot of changes and maturing through the 4 years. She learned to manage exam anxiety and stress from Mathew’s cancer and subsequent treatment. We had ear for her whenever she needed it and watched her grow with confidence over time. She graduated not just with an University Degree with Distinction but also with experience in living and managing on her own. Although it was in a dormitory environment she still had to deal with a lot of situations encountered when you grow up and move on. I was grateful she chose Saint Thomas University in Fredericton, which was far enough away to give her the independence she sought but was close enough to visit and be there in case she needed us.
So Kristen is more than ready to spread her wings and fly off on her own adventure. She is going to an excellent city that has much better employment opportunities than here in New Brunswick. Our Nation’s capital is a vibrant, busy city with a very good bus transportation system and all kinds of work environments to explore. It is absolutely the right decision for her to go and to go now. I didn’t experience that kick to the gut when she left for University. Kristen is 21 and I think back to how I was at that age and know how she’s feeling.
I was just sad. Sad because I’m going to miss that wicked sense of humour, her beautiful smile and our chats. I’m going to miss her being around. I love the adult she is and I never want her to experience hardship, illness, bad news, sadness or anything of the like. Yet she needs to live those things in order to appreciate and gain wisdom and life experience. I am sad that Mathew’s illness casts an almost unbearable pall over her move; he is going to miss his sidekick ~ his sister, who looked out for him all those years in school when he couldn’t handle a situation that came up.
We did our job. We raised our daughter the best we could with the experience and know how that we drew upon. I love the adult she has become. I wistfully remember the little girl that she was and wonder where the years went. My children are 21 and 22…last time I remember they were 5 and 6!!
So the last week was bittersweet for us. I will blog about our trip to Florida and throw in some pictures we took but not today. It deserves a couple of posts just for that.
We did see the back surgeon before leaving for Florida and he is proposing to biopsy Mathew’s tumour again PLUS the vertebrae above and below the L3 vertebrae. He showed us the last MRI Mathew had, with that new machine with a higher resonance. The two vertebrae in question look different from the other vertebrae. The rest of his spine looked light and grayish but those two are white and brighter. Dr. Abraham doesn’t know if it is radiation damage changing their colour or if something else is going on. The only way to know is to biopsy it. Although the remaining tumour hasn’t changed size he wants to check it to see if there are any signs it is still active. Following that he will then make a recommendation, along with the thoracic surgeon, on the next step for treating Mathew. We also learned that if the lung nodule is removed from Mathew’s left lung the surgery this time will be much bigger. As we haven’t seen the thoracic surgeon yet, we’re not sure why it would be the larger and more invasive surgery.
Dr. Burnell might say something different at tomorrow’s appointment. We might walk out of there with different information and something else planned. We will get the results of last week’s CT scan and it will tell if the lung nodule has grown and if any more are now present.
I watched the lunar eclipse earlier which is why I am up so late. Now I must be off to bed for there are a few appointments tomorrow for Mathew. More later.