Friday, August 7, 2009

The terrible somethings..


Sometimes as I rock my little Chunks-a-lot to sleep, I rest my hand on her hand, gently running my fingers through her hair as her eyes become heavy. As weird as it might sound, I often think about how there is something inside of her head; this tumor, this malignant mass of cells and it almost makes me nauseous just thinking about it. It drives me crazy to know that this tumor is just sitting in there, invading her precious little brain and I can't do anything about it. I can't see it, feel it or control it, yet I have to live with the fact that it could actually take her life. It really drives me crazy.

A few weeks ago, our little Chunky Monkey started displaying a change in personality. She became irritable, angry, had emotional meltdowns at the slightest provocation and we were concerned to say the least. We have been told countless times by her doctors to be on the look-out for any type of behavior or personality changes, as this could indicate tumor growth. The days seemed long and stressful as we tried to deal with her behavior and seemed to get nowhere. I felt torn as a mother. I know the correct way to discipline a child and I understand how important it is to implement strong rules and boundaries from a very young age, but how could I be firm with her when there is this awful chance that her behavior was completely out of her control? I went day to day, back and forth with my emotions, never really knowing how to respond to her outbursts and feeling a constant mix of frustration and compassion for her. Fortunately, she had an already scheduled MRI scan at St. Jude's set up for August 6th. I was somewhat relieved to know that at least by then I would have some answers as to what was going on with these changes we saw in her.

It's interesting how much lighter I felt when we got the results back from her MRI scan. My level of stress and frustration went from a 10 to a zero. She was fine, the tumor was stable, nothing had changed. I have never been more excited to admit that my little Chunk is going through the terrible two's!!! I kind of wondered if that's what was going on with her sudden "behavioral changes" but we just couldn't be sure. Now that I know she is only acting out for the simple fact that she is a toddler, it has become much easier to handle. I never thought I would look forward to dealing with these hard years again, especially after Talks-a-lot really put us through the ringer during his toddler years. But I find myself embracing these difficult days because they are absolutely and perfectly normal! Even today as she fell into one meltdown after another, I found myself smiling just a little bit each time. Not because it was funny, because (trust me) it wasn't, but because she is being the little 2 year old that she is supposed to be. She's mischievous, a little sneaky, emotional and opinionated and I love every bit of it. As long as she is healthy and that monster of a tumor within her stays asleep, then I can handle the rest. She may really put us through it some days but I'll still go to sleep each night with a smile on my face. Not because the day was easy, not because her attitude was pleasant, but simply because, in my opinion, everyday that is normal is nothing short of a miracle.

1 comment:

Rachel Garcia said...

oh girl.. thank you for this post.. wonderful on so many levels. First and foremost, chunks is doing great! The tumor is stable. Amazing. I know you guys are so thankful. Second, a reminder to me to appreciate the "normal" toddler madness. I know that if you can get through the last 13 months then it makes this toddler time a breeze. In comparison. You always have such an encouraging perspective for those of us living the life of "taking things for granted."

Again, I am so thankful that your sweet girl is doing well.