Friday was Pipers monthly clinic visit and for the first time since her diagnosis in September of 2009, I was only in Atlanta ONE time in a months time. ONCE. I almost got lost on the way to the clinic, it had been so long.
It has not been uncommon to be in Atlanta 2 or 3 times per week, and it has been a given that we would be there at least once but this, well this I can really dig.
Of course, a day at the clinic seems a million days rolled into one. A 10:00am appointment means finally leaving with the rest of Atlanta at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon but praise God for my mom (whom I roped into joining myself and Piper) and my best friend (who happily added Linley to her own girly group for the afternoon) who both rock my world and helped get me and the girls to the preplanned dinner date we had at 7:30.
Pipers counts look great, chemo went smoothly, IVIG was successful. Piper enjoyed the play kitchen, singing with the music therapist, eating pizza and doing a little coloring. I am always amazed at how very little this girl will sleep for me there at the clinic...she gets benedryl AND tylenol before beginning the IVIG infusion and STILL she only cat naps. Amazing.
I was reminded that we are beginning the countdown. Piper will finish her treatment in September of this year. I wont lie and say that the thought of finishing treatment is scarier than the thought of continuing. Relapse is always at the back of my mind and chemo always seems such a barrier...I fear for what her body will do on its own.
Like, seriously fear.
Unfortunately, since Pipers diagnosis I have struggled with insomnia. Both at home and away. Because I know this, I plan to keep myself especially busy the night before any clinic visit. Thursday night was no exception except Chad had to work so it was just me and the girls here overnight. I read, cleaned, watched mind numbing television and finally at 2:30 am I began to get droopy and wandered into the girls room for a final check. Just as I opened the door, Piper sits up in bed and smiles at me.
I melt. Like I always do.
And I brought her into my bed to cuddle for a minute but she just kept looking for her daddy so we called daddy at work and definitely surprised him. She was thrilled. Then she rolled over next to me, closed those sweet blue eyes and began to hum. I began to cry. It dawned on me as I was scratching her back and she was humming at me that I had not heard her hum herself to sleep since she was tiny. Remember that Piper dealt with temporary vocal paralysis when she was in the midst of the first few months of inpatient chemo? She did and it broke my heart because Piper came out of my womb humming herself to sleep and never picked it back up again when her voice regained its ability. So to hear her little self humming as her eyelids slowed their twitching and her hand rested under her chin just like my hand would itself once I fell asleep...well, I melted. And cried. And then did both all over again.
I am fearful of what this fall brings. Especially as I begin to see who my Piper is. I fear the possibility of what could be but when I experience moments like those, time seems to fall away and I am able, for a minute, to relish it without the stifling fear that seems to attack me at a moments notice. Thank God for those moments, indeed.