Over and over again I hear myself telling others how I am hopeful of Xavier's current treatment. I put on that positive attitude, smile and say it's going to be ok, it's just going to take time. I hear the words leave my mouth, but inside I don't believe them. It's a canned phrase now - you know the one people want to hear.
They don't want to hear me say life really sucks. The days are painful, literally, having to carry around a 70 pound boy and up and down stairs. The nights are even worse when the emotional pain comes pouring out of all the little cracks inside where we tried to tuck it away during the day. All the fears, all the anger, and all the exhaustion.
Three days ago Xavier said he forgets now what it even feels like to run. My now 7-year-old son who once took kickboxing and could keep up to his sister kicking a soccer ball around, hasn't been able to run since last July. Some days he can barely walk. It's devastating for me and I can't even imagine how he must feel. To have known what it was like to be a carefree kid and then to lose it all. To have experienced your independence and then lose it all.
It's so easy to get lost in the negative of this situation. The journey has been so long and this time around there has been little reprieve of his symptoms since August. My stamina for this is running out and I need a recharge. We have all lost our shit at least once now; felt like giving up and walking away.
But then God always has a way of giving you another perspective. That came in 3F cancer clinic. Week after week I see the same families, the same people, the same kids being hooked up for their weekly dose of chemo. But one in particular reminded me of Xavier when our journey just started.
She is only 18 months old. She has a beautiful smile and big happy blue eyes. She loves to say hi to everyone. This adorable baby is a foster child. Her parents gave her up after her cancer diagnosis. They walked away. Now her foster mom is there every week giving this beautiful little girl a chance at life.
When I heard her story the other day, my heart sank. How could someone walk away from their sick child like that? As much as I know the struggles of raising a sick child, I couldn't help but think of all the wonderful, loving experiences this journey has brought us.
Every hug is special. Every kiss goodnight is precious. We have learned how to love deeper, love stronger and ask for forgiveness. My heart would never have been as full as it is now. I see the beauty in the depth of understanding and breadth of feelings this journey has brought upon us. A blessing in disguise revealed by a random conversation with someone I had seen time and time again but never spoke to until that day I was done.
God's timing is impeccable!