Thursday, July 29, 2010

Can any good come from bribing your child??

It's round 2, night 2 of chemo. He's 4. We have chemo nights. Chemo nights! How the hell did this happen? When did it become routine to have chemo nights? Anyway... I digress...

It's round 2, night 2 of chemo. Round 1 was a disaster. He took it the first 4 nights. Got horribly sick overnight on night 1 but nights 2-4 he was ok. Night 5, he didn't even absorb the chemo before he got sick. We repeated the dose again the next night. Same thing happened. Sick before he cold even absorb it.

I am a paranoid wreck this time around. I don't want my kid to get sick. I don't want to be the one giving him medicine that will make him be sick. But I don't want him to have cancer either. So I give him the medicine. And I make sure that he keeps it down. I give him Zofran and then a dose of Ativan. I laughed at them when they suggested that! Ativan? A narcotic? Seriously? He's 4! Then reality set in... I guess if I can give him chemo, I can give him a narcotic too, right? So I give it to him. It's supposed to calm him down and make him less anxious taking the chemo. I wish someone would give him that message. He seems to have missed that memo.

Round 2, night 1 was ok. He took 1ml of the chemo and wasn't handling it well. I knew we were in for another 'spitting it out' before absorbing it.

So, I went there. The place you SWEAR as a parent you are NEVER going to go. You know that absolutely NO good can come of it. That there is NO turning back once you go there. But I went there anyway. I did it. I bribed him. I told him that if he took his medicine and didn't 'spit it out' (as he so politely calls throwing up) I would give him a surprise. (Thankfully I had a DVD that I knew he wanted hidden in my bedroom) He looked at me funny but he took the chemo! He took it and he didn't spit it out!! I was so thrilled! We waited the 15 minute absorption time and I ran upstairs to get the DVD! He was SO excited. I knew at that moment why so many people frown on bribery... because, even though it tends to work... it becomes an expensive tool to get what you want.

But then I realized... in our case... a lot of good can come from bribery. If I bribe him to take the chemo and he takes it and if the chemo will keep him here with us longer then I'm all for bribing him with whatever he wants.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Not the meaning of life... but not too far off the mark

Life is not a competition. It isn't about whose problems are bigger. Or playing games of 'tit for tat'. Or looking past the good parts of your life to find the bad. Or purposely playing the part of a martyr.

Life is about learning. And teaching. And believing. And stopping to smell the roses. And being there for those you love. And friendship. And family. Life is about love.

Look past the nonsense. Not to be a cliche but really, don't sweat the small stuff. In the end, it's all small stuff. Where you live. Where you went to school. Where you work. Sure, it's important to have a home and a degree and a job... but what good is any of it if you aren't healthy & happy? If you don't have a family to share it with? A healthy child to hug at the end of the day? A friend to spend time with?

I have 3 children. I sweat the small stuff sometimes. The nonsense that plagues people every day. The lines in the grocery store being long, the price of gas, the messy house, the humidity of a hot summer NYC day... but just as I start to complain about the small stuff, I stop and remember... I have 3 children. They are all here with me. I can hug each one of them any time that I want and kiss each of them good night 100 times as they fall asleep. They are the loves of my life.

This is a blessing that comes from having a sick child. When I say a sick child, I don't mean a child with a cold or a 24-hour stomach bug but a SICK child. A child with a life-threatening disease. I know all too well that in one day your life can change. Whether it's the day that you receive the diagnosis, the day that the doctors give you a prognosis... or a day that I can't even think about happening but has happened to too many families that I know and care about. In one day life can change. Drastically. In a way that haunts your nightmares. And then would I really care about the length of the line at the grocery store? Not at all... I am willing to bet that I would be willing to wait in line on a hot summer day at a grocery store with no air conditioning with a full bladder for 4 hours and have to stop and spend $100 to fill my gas tank if it meant that I could go home to the messiest house in creation and hug all of my kids.

If you have your health. Your child's health. A loving & supportive family. Even one good friend... then maybe you have to admit that you don't have such a horrible life. That you shouldn't look past the good parts of your life to focus on the bad. Maybe the stuff you complain about isn't so big and you should concentrate on being grateful for what you have.

Just my thoughts for the day...