Kindness and Gratitude
I don’t want it to be Monday and I REALLY don’t want it be the start of a week where Ana has to undergo another surgery to remove another tumor. But that’s where we’re at, so I’m going to try to focus on the acts of kindness – large and small – that keep coming from those of you, our critical support system.
For example, when I mentioned to my friend Elizabeth Mitchell that I wanted to buy a recliner for Ana so she’d be more comfortable after surgery (and maybe it would help her sleep if she wasn’t comfortable in her bed), Liz called a local furniture store – Wiedy Furniture Center and told them about Ana. They offered to sell us a recliner at cost – which was a substantial discount from the retail price. We picked it up on Sunday and now it will be waiting for Ana when she gets home from the hospital. Here’s a picture of Emily hogging it from yesterday.
We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog post for a word about Wiedy Furniture Center. If you live in the Hudson Valley, shop there – they have an insanely large selection of gorgeous furniture and they’re local. They have a history of supporting St. Jude – and they didn’t hesitate to help us out when we needed it. Wiedy Furniture Center…when you need to actually sit in the couch before you buy it and talk to a human being face to face.
Okay, back to kindness and Gratitude…Liz also arranged two outings for the kids in Ana’s class in the past week (it can be difficult for the kids to get together because we all live so far apart – so it takes real effort to create opportunities for them to be able to hang out). It was a great way for Ana to get out of the house and see her friends before she’s once again stuck in the hospital.
I’m also grateful for the many Facebook, blog messages, text messages and emails containing words of support and the promise of help, should we need it. We may need it – and it’s good to know that you’re out there, as always, with hands outstretched.
I’m grateful for my mother-in-law who will be watching Emily for us on Tuesday night and Wednesday so that we don’t have to drag her along to the hospital. (Thank you, Janne!)
I’m grateful for the kindess that I’ve been shown on Inspire – the online cancer support group that I joined about a month ago. It’s a heartbreaking place to spend any amount of time, but people are generous with their support and love – even of total strangers – even when they’re sick and scared themselves (or taking care of someone who is sick and scared).
I don’t have any details about what to expect on Wednesday, so I emailed Dr. Middlesworth, Ana’s newest surgeon, and asked him for the basics (how long will she be in the hospital (roughtly)?, will she need to go to the PICU or straight to the floor? How much pain is typical for this type of surgery?) He emailed me first thing this morning and said he’d get back to me after he reviewed the results of her last scan (he was on vacation last week). This is another small act of kindness that I’m grateful for – a surgeon that responds first thing in the morning to the email of a worried parent. I’ll update the blog with the details of Ana’s surgery when I have them. We still don’t know what time she’ll go into surgery on Wednesday. We’ll get a call from the hospital tomorrow at the end of the day with the details.
One final note of gratitude. I’m grateful for the last minute shopping trip to Target I had with Ana yesterday, where we picked out some supplies to ease the hospital stay (slippers, sweaters, comfortable shorts for her to sleep in). She’s facing this surgery as she does every one – with bravery and fierce determination. She doesn’t even know how strong she is (and would probably roll her eyes if I tried to tell her that).