I am relaxing at home tonight. Nothing makes you appreciate home like being at the hospital for all most two weeks. Mallorie is still in the hospital and even though I am enjoying the comforts of home, it just doesn’t feel the same. And it won’t until all of us are here.
I sit at my favorite spot on the couch and have been reflecting on how my life is different. I can’t help but think I am a mom divided. When I am at the hospital, I miss my family. When I am at home, I miss Mallorie. Over the past two weeks I have been on this emotional roller coaster of ups and downs. And all I want to do is get off this unpredictable ride.
Most of the time I do ok, but on Saturday I woke up feeling like I had hit the wall. I looked over at Mallorie as she was sleeping and felt this feeling of resentment and frustration. You are probably thinking, how on earth could you look at your daughter and have those feelings? Honestly, I don’t know. All I do know is I wanted her to WANT to get better. I felt like she was being selfish because she wasn’t doing all the things she needed to get out of the hospital. I mean, didn’t she care about her brothers and sisters? Didn’t she realize we are missing work and spending money on gas and food? Why doesn’t she want to be in her own bed? Is she really going to let this cancer win?
When she woke up from sleeping, I didn’t really want to talk to her. I just wanted to go home. I was short in my conversations. I knew if she said something that struck me wrong I was going to explode. I tried to keep my distance in our small room. Over and over again I would ask her to eat and drink, praying so hard she would say yes, but she didn’t. She just found excuses not to. My heart was aching to be with Rob, Madison and Logan. And at the same time it was breaking because I felt Mallorie was giving up. I was torn. How much more could I take?
Racking my brain over and over again, trying to figure out why she is resistant to eating and drinking, I found no answers. What happened to my spunky, upbeat girl? Then I realized, not once have I asked her if she is ok? Not once have I asked her how she felt about having cancer. Not once have I sat her down and said – let’s talk. I have been living like cancer is not part of our lives. She is not the selfish one, I am.
So on Monday evening, while one of our dear friends was visiting us, I was laying next to Mallorie on her bed. The three of us were having a nice conversation. I was rubbing Mallorie’s back, just like I did when she was a toddler. I told her sincerely I am here if she needed to talk. I also asked her how she felt about having cancer. She really didn’t open up, but at least I finally told her I am willing to listen. That night she ate a bit better. She was taken off all her IV medicine and nutrients. It was like she was free. Were things starting to look up? I didn’t want to get my hopes up.
That brings us to today. It was a great night sleep because she wasn’t hooked up to the IV pole, so there was no beeping and alarms going off every hour. I got her up early and asked her what she wanted for breakfast. To my surprise she responded with biscuits and gravy. Again, not wanting to get excited I went down to the cafeteria to get her what she requested. By the time I came back to her room, she had eaten half a bowl of oatmeal and drank almost all her juice. I could not help but grow more excited. I placed her breakfast in front of her and within ten minutes, it was devoured. Yes, devoured! I took the empty container and started running up and down the hall showing everyone Mallorie’s accomplishment. It was like showing off your toddler taking their first steps. I was one proud mama.
After I came back in the room, from looking like a psycho, Mallorie started telling me the things I could go ahead and take home. She told me she missed her old life and didn’t want to be sick anymore. She said she felt like cancer was slowing her down. I responded by telling her that the only thing that was slowing her down was herself. Her response was given with authority and confidence, yet simple. “I’m ready.”
I had to leave to pick up Logan from school. I fell asleep when we got home, but when I woke up I had a text from her that said she had drank a total of 17 ounces this afternoon and ate almost all her lunch. My heart was filled with joy. She also said that tomorrow if she continues to do well we are going home on Thursday. I finally can see the light at the end of this tunnel.
Thank you for your prayers and support.