Friday, October 28, 2011

We Can Do Hard Things

Here I am wide awake. It's almost 5 am. Tonight Robbie took over at Primary's so I could get a good nights sleep. Falling asleep is hard, and so is briefly waking up... all the sudden I remember again why I have this pit in my stomach and my jitters begin to rise. The worrisome thoughts overtake my mind and the tears begin to flow.

I lay next to my sweet four year old wondering how her little mind is processing what is going on. Sweet thing fell asleep with me snuggling her close as she cried because she wanted to watch more of her barbie movie... It was already 11, and I knew she needed her rest too, but my heart hurt as I knew she was also crying for other reasons.

So many people have commented on how much they admire my strength as we start this long road. My friends, that is not my strength. It is yours. Your prayers are like calming medicine to my soul. It is something I find hard to describe. When I feel consumed with anxiety and fear, the moment I say a simple prayer my breathing relaxes, my shaking hands stop, and it is as though I am warmed from the inside out. I know the only reason I am not crying in despair all day long is because of the numerous prayers being offered upon my family and I.
The Holy Ghost delivers them and I feel them, literally feel them.

Yesterday (Thursday) was a good day. Tenley did great throughout the night as her first dose of chemo ran through her little body. As the nurse hooked her up at 10 pm, I didn't know whether to burst into tears, or feel the gratitude of modern day medicine. Such mixed emotions with every single thing.

I want to document the Hard Things we have accomplished so far...

- Hearing the diagnosis.
Very hard... learning the unbelievable is happening to your helpless child was like a slow motion punch to the stomach, but we did it. Slowly, I am adapting to the cancer lingo. The doctors avoided that word along with the "L" word (leukemia) until they were certain. It is becoming easier to say.

- Surgery to receive her picc line (actually is called a Broviak line) as well as getting a spinal tap.
For the doctors this was no big deal, they do it all the time. For us it was a very big deal. It was surgery. The doctors and nurses were kind with their words. One nurse as she was describing the procedure said, "so she is just getting a line in..." She then corrected herself and said, "I am so sorry, it is not a just to you... I understand it is a big deal, and sometimes we forget that because we see it done all the time." As they gave Tenley some medicine to make her sleepy before they took her into the O.R., I told her to be brave and that even though Mommy and Daddy couldn't be with her, Grandpa and other angels would be right by her side. Brave she was... she did great and hasn't bothered with her new little cords.

- First round of chemo.
I stayed the night with her and she slept so well. The nurse had to add some new routines to checking her vitals. Eye drops, and diaper changes every 3-4 hours. As well as the regular checking her temperature, listening to her heart, and getting her blood pressure. Diaper changes are now a little more work.... gloves on, cotton balls added, ointment, and of course the diaper itself. I feel it has been such a blessing that she has been sleeping so well. She hasn't ever been the best sleeper, and I can usually count on her waking up once or twice a night for a bottle. Since being admitted that hasn't been the case. It could just be because she really is tired, but I know her angels are helping her get the rest she needs.

These three Hard Things I can now check of our list! I know we will have many more along the way, but through prayers, scriptures, love, laughter, and most importantly through Him...
We Can Do Hard Things.


Paige Hanks said...

Shawna: Paige Hanks and the Lisa Hawkins family are praying for you and your family, and especially your little one. Your mother is also in our prayers, and is such and amazing woman, with great strength,and wisdom. Love Lisa Hawkins

Megan said...

You are amazing and so is little Tenley!!! I am so glad you guys are hanging in there! You both ARE fighters! :)

Nordhoff Family said...

Shawna I just heard the news. I just read through your most recent posts and I am sitting here crying my eyes out thinking of what you are going through. You are an amazingly strong person and I admire you in so many ways. I will be thinking and praying for you constantly. If there is ever anything I can do for you please let me know. All my love.

We are the Mogles said...

oh shawna! i am so happy we are friends. i am sorry that cancer has brought us together as friends. as i have read through your few entries about Tenley, my heart breaks {all over} for you and your family. the title to this post "Hard Things" is so perfect. You are exactly right, you and your family can do hard things and you will throughout this cancer journey! Hang in there and continue to rely on our loving Heavenly Father. I promise you will feel his love....literally! I want you to know that my family will pray for your sweet daughter.
much love
from one cancer-fighting-cutie's momma to another,

Sadie said...

As I read this post it brought back so many feelings and emotions and I couldn't help but cry.I would love to come and meet you....but only if you are up for that. I know how overwhelming it all is. Just remember the process becomes more "normal" as time goes on and the first month is the hardest....hang in there!! You can do this :-) much love and prayers.....Sadie

Marnie said...

Oh Shawna, you are amazing. To think just a "few" years ago I was "teaching" you and now you are teaching me. Thank you. We (the Newmans, the Stallings and my family) are all praying very hard for you. I am so sorry you, sweet Tenley, and the rest of your family are going through this. I will check in with Lisa from time to time to see if I can help in any way. Love you!

Piano Mom said...

Oh boy, seeing the picture of Tenley only reminds me how Erin looked when she was first diagnosed. These first few weeks are so difficult, but I'm so impressed with your strength and the great support you are receiving from your friends and family. The greatest blessings will come from this trial, I can truly tell you that.

Much Love,
Jill (Erin's mom)