In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And now, back to our regularly scheduled potty training...

I vowed to myself that I would spend the day organizing my desk.  My threshhold for clutter has finally been reached and I can't stand it anymore!!  But this darn computer! sitting right in the middle of it all...calling me....taunting me...  I'm afraid I have succumbed to its power. 

But, now that I'm here...

I am trying to move on with regular life.  Now that the atypical difficult things have been completed, ie. chemo, radiation, blood transfusions, etc., it is time to move on to the typical difficult things, i.e. potty training, bed time routines, and discipline. ahh!

The potty training, which I started last March, and then put on a very high shelf, still needs to be done.  I am hoping it will be easier now that he is almost a year older.  But I'm not sure.  He hasn't shown much personal interest.  However,  he is hearing quite a bit of brotherly peer pressure, things like,"you stink" "you're smelly" and the kicker, "you're a baby."    I was encouraged this morning by his statement, "Black ninjas don't poop  their pants."  To which I replied, "No.  No, I'm sure they don't."  So I am bribing him with chocolate, and trying to remember to bring him to the toilet, so that one day, he can grow up to be a proper black ninja.

Bed time.  (Sigh.)  I'm not sure what to do, because I am conflicted.  We used to have the sleep routine down.  I would put him in his bed, he would play a little, sing a little, and then fall asleep on his own, in his own bed.  Needless to say, that pattern was disrupted.  By everything.  By hospitals.  By pain.  By late night cartoons in the hospital, while in pain.  By my need to have him near me.  By his fear of being alone.  So this will probably be more of a process.  But last night the process included him jumping on the bed, teasing the dogs, squeezing the dogs, pulling my arm (while I was trying to read a book), getting up and down off of the bed, and frustrating me.  So I need to come up with a better solution.  When he was younger, I was able to let him cry, without feeling horrible.  That is harder now. 

Discipline.  I am so thankful to report that Andrew's cheeks are pink again.  His hair follicles are starting to burst forth little buds, and he is regaining all of his former energy.  He has a grand interest in a game which I call, "cause and effect," which includes dumping sugar to see how far it spreads, throwing ceramic bowls to see what happens, and dumping electronic toys in water to see if they still work later (nope).  I am realizing how much his energy truly was compromised by the chemo, even though I may not have noticed it before.  Once again, I think eventually, I will be able to let him cry and not "give in" to make him happy, but that coddling habit did start to grow, and now I need to re-work things.  My kitchen floor is a MESS!

I still have lots and lots of thoughts floating through my head.  I am trying to get used to this new phase of life in which I have to balance living for the day (carpe diem!), grieving the past 8 mos, and hoping for/fearing the future.  I still find myself crying at night, but I am so relieved to wake up and see his smiling, pink-cheeked, potential black ninja face.

And now, back to my disaster of a desk.  UGH!


  1. wow. Sounds like a challenge. Black ninjas are too cute for our own good sometimes!

  2. Ahhh... nothing makes a mommy happier than a really bad little ninja! ;) It must do your heart good, though, to see that he's so much better now that he CAN be bad. I try to be grateful that my little one can frustrate me so much, because that means he's here and well and that we have this time.

    For the rest, it will all fall into place, sooner or later. And things may not be the same. And that's okay. You've journeyed to a place that has changed you both. That book I'm reading, Raising Your Spirited Child, might be helpful. It doesn't throw out all the traditional methods, just adds a few more for special circumstances and special personalities. Who knows -- they might work! I know that Evan is a normal child, but sometimes he's so precocious that I feel like my head is spinning and this book has helped me see that not all children need all the same things. Anyways, off my soapbox now.

    Take care. Hugs and prayers!

  3. "Black ninjas don't poop their pants" lol...

    As for the sugar on the floor I can relate. Elijah did that once and placed Buzz and Woody in the middle of it all. When I asked, he told me it was snow. Curiosity is great (and messy)...

    That's awesome that Andrew's pink cheeks, hair and energy are all coming back! I hope your peaceful nights come back too...

  4. love your post!
    I know how hard it is to get pink cheeks again, see my hair grow and have the energy to do something, and I AM potty trained :-)!

    Thanks for the great story it brightened my day...


  5. One thing and one day at a time my friend! It will all fall into place one of these days.

  6. Good luck with that desk! Isn't blogging much more fun?!? I am so happy to hear that Andrew is doing better. Good enough to dump out sugar :D I was just thinking of you last night, thinking that I hadn't checked in for so long. Hang in there with all the day to day stuff. My 3 1/2 year refuses to go near the potty. Grr..... Soon enough..... (hopefully!)

  7. I would want to snuggle my baby for all he was worth, too. Every night. For a long, long time. But, alas, all black ninjas must grow up. Here's hoping you soon find the right balance between his need to grow, your need to protect, and the comfort you still both need from each other.

  8. It's wonderful to hear that Andrew has so much energy. I guess he's making up for all the trouble that he didn't get into earlier!

    Good luck with potty training. Up until now that has been one of my least favorite things about parenting, but now I'm thinking that teaching them to drive is even worse!

  9. I still have the coddling thing going on here. Our pediatrician actually sat me down the other day and told me to let go of the guilt and worry. HA! Easier said than done!

    Good luck with the potty training and the cleaning. Two of my least favorite things in the world! Yet they both need to be done here too. ;-)

  10. Heheh! The "cause and effect" game sounds like great fun for him, but disaster for you! :P

  11. Julie, I'm so stinkin' happy about this post I can't stand it!!! I remember meeting your thru You Capture before the whole situation with Andrew. It was just like ... bam! Everything changed. And now here you are, a year later, and you're back in the trenches of potty training and "regular" life. I am SO HAPPY for you! (And I'm kind of dying at "black ninjas don't poop their pants." - LOL!!!) I tried "don't pee on Dora's head, k?" We're still working on it. So happy for you guys!! ♥♥


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