It’s dark outside these mountain house windows once again. Too early for the always eager sun to outline those familiar hillsides covered in autumn. If you could see it at this wee hour, it would be beaming back all the bright colors of a Colorado fall; radiating yellows, oranges, and reds from the changing undergrowth. Stunning in its own right, but made much more prominent juxtaposed against the dark coniferous timber and those steep grey mountains; a genuine feast for the eyes. While the calendar just officially kicked over to the next season, Mother Nature has been gearing up for awhile around here. What you can see though, is that bright full moon, beaming overhead, not yet ready to relinquish its control over the night sky. An omnipresent reminder of our beautiful little daughter Emmy, who will happily tell you anytime she is asked where she is in fact from, “the MOON!” she exclaims with no shortage of delight. But of course…
One of the most appealing things about living in a place like this, aside from the obvious, is the rapid and extreme swings of seasonal change. We go from these hot, extremely dry summers (extra dry fire ban style this year), right into the eye-popping splendor of autumn, followed directly (often immediately) by a long, cold, and hopefully very snowy winter. There is very little “easing into things” around here. I think that most people who live here full time would agree that they like it best that way.
For us, there is a definite correlation between a long love of this rapid seasonal change and how we have approached the past couple of years. Keeping this mental baseline where change is the norm, eschewing the idea that just because you are stuck in a horrible second, a minute, a day, a week - doesn’t mean that rapid change isn’t often waiting right around the corner, expectant or not. This approach, while far from infallible, has kept us on a mental plane of total adaptability. Let us tell you from experience, that the ability to be mentally adaptable, rolling with the punches and the chaos, is of utmost importance on this often tumultuous journey of ours. You must be ready and willing to except rapid and unexpected change at a moments notice, because frankly, you don’t have a fucking choice. Fight it all you want, but swimming upstream in this sometimes raging river will do nothing except exhaust you both mentally and physically. So much so, that you are toast even as the journey is just beginning. When the current increases, the rapids pick up, and the waterfall can be heard raging over the rocks ahead, your best course of action is to release and go with that flow. Go with it, surrender to it, until you have a chance to side-swim to the safety of the calm eddy. This is where you regroup, check your gear, and mentally get right before you push back out into the current.
For the past few years, writing these posts has been our eddy. A chance to take a breath in calmer waters, spit out what we had swallowed, and prepare ourselves mentally for what the journey had in store ahead. It certainly didn’t start with that intent, as there is a pretty large learning curve with this whole process, but it sure turned into our salvation in short order. Lending us your ear while we poured it all out, the good, the bad and the ugly, means more to us than you’ll ever know. So thanks for taking the eddy with us. Even though it’s nice here, we’re ready to push back out into the current and take on what lies ahead - with gusto!
This morning we will head back down our well-worn path to Denver, back to Children’s Hospital for another set of scans, maybe the biggest to date. This set will mark six whole months out from any treatments for our little ladybug, who’s head is full of rapidly growing dirty-blonde hair. These scans are what we have been working for since she was diagnosed at just five months old. The six-month out scans are the ones that should tell us that either the current is going to mellow out and we will be paddling on glass moving forward or that there is yet another spectacular and uncharted waterfall that lies ahead.
While we are strapped and ready, that doesn’t mean that we are not racked with immeasurable amounts of nervous anxiety. That never seems to subside too much, always ready to build right back up as we approach these moments. We’ve gotten much better at controlling and channeling it, yet it remains. This is part of it though and just like swimming upstream, it seems often best to ride with it, until you can put eyes on that safe space to pull out of the murky waters. We will always worry about her and this thing will always be a part of our family’s life but perhaps after today, it won’t take up nearly the space it has occupied previously. We remain cautiously optimistic as always. Maybe a slightly more sanguine than in the past, simply because we see this incredible little lady each and everyday and she looks AMAZING. Her hair is growing, she’s full of that buoyant two-year old energy and that trademark sparkle in her big iridescent eyes is brighter than ever.
In either case, our gear is strapped, the paddles in hand, and we’re ready push off to what lies just around the bend. So jump in the boat with us friends, and lets go see where this river take us.
SAME DATE UPDATE:
After a day filled with early morning car pukes, delays, hangry nonsensical debates, anesthesia, screaming, bananas, multiple popsicles and some more waiting ...
Her scans came back CLEAR!
SO proud of our little warrior princess who is currently stuffing her face full of some hard earned French fries. Mommy and daddy are going to have a drink or three and try to remember how to breathe again.
As always, this is far from the end of this journey but damn ... the water sure is peaceful around this bend.
Lets float for awhile.