Late night talks….

I was thrilled to exit our house on Sunday for a visit to Laguna Beach. I was even happier to walk along the beach and not be around the major crowds. As it was my first exit, I was exhausted and slept too much of the Labor day away. We did manage to get in a few talks about middle school and reminding Alex that all the 6th graders are new at this. What I didn’t expect is the late night talks of what was really on Alex’s mind. He always reminds me that his 6th grade “brain is not what other 6th grade brains think about”…I usually take this as his big thoughts about what he has seen on the cruise only to have the reality of the situation once again brought to the surface. The conversation started with, “when I am 40, you will be how old…when I am 20, you will be how old…” All of this really was asking, “will you be okay Mom?”. After this back and forth and a few mention of the 90 year old relatives he had met, he proceeded with, “do you know anyone who has survived your exact same cancers?”. I am never good at these questions and trying to remain positive and my good cheerleader self responded that I will do everything I can to be here for him. He didn’t really like that answer and answered himself, “so, you don’t know anyone who survived your cancers?”. As my chemo brain was still not fully thinking, I tried to change the subject only to get him increasingly frustrated. This is when I usually call Jim to the rescue to put into words what Alex is thinking and to allow him to vent his feelings without having me cry in front of him.  This worked for about 5 minutes. Then, Alex walked into our room and said, “I cannot stop crying because I am so worried about you.” It is all completely understood as we are all feeling the same way, but we are adults and choose to focus on the positive and the small baby steps. So, while most of the 6th graders are thinking about friends, new school, where to find the classes, Alex has a different focus. This is why it takes a village. This is why our every day is so different. So much unknown exists for the middle school student, but with Alex the unknown is greater. Our goal is always to maintain as much “normalcy” as possible while always focusing on the positive. This new chemo trio does not help this goal as Alex cannot help but to see me in bed.  With school starting, this new routine may be helpful for the avoidance of seeing mom in bed for a week. We will take baby steps in so many ways and I will continue to focus on day by day. Tomorrow is again another blood test…and the first day of middle school for Alex. Thinking positive thoughts for both!


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