“One Tough Cookie”


One Tough Cookie

Ryleigh finished her last round of chemotherapy yesterday. Because this is a protocol oncology is not familiar with they are not sure when her bone marrow will engraft. However, the nurses and doctors are amazed by her strength and how well she is managing through the pain and other yucky symptoms. She is maintaining her ability to eat which is good. Today she has requested PICKLES!! I have no idea how she will manage eating them with her mouth full of sores. Maybe the morphine is doing the trick! Ryleigh is sleeping lots but no one can fault her for that – I would probably sleep the whole time just to get through it faster.
Ryleigh’s counts are still low. She will need a blood transfusion today as her hemoglobin is low again. Her oncologist today told me that Ryleigh is doing remarkably well and in her opinion this treatment is the most difficult thing a body can go through. Ironically, so far, this has been the most predictable and less stressful hospital stay we have had in a while (hopefully I did not jinx it). There have been no surprises and we just have to wait for her blood counts to go up.

I know I have mentioned it before but adults need to watch and learn how children and youth deal with obstacle in their lives. The surface behaviours may seem annoying and difficult to deal with as adults. But mining deeper past Ryleigh’s snappy comments and frustrations I see coping strategies that show resilience and thoughtfulness. Ryleigh is great at dealing with the here and now — she has learned to shelve worries and anxieties that do not pertain to today or the near future. She manages by distracting herself from the worries by reading, playing games on her ipad, and of course sleeping. She is the essence of being mindful whatever the situation. I appreciate her willingness to show frustration and anger when times are tough. It seems that we frown upon these emotions in our society although they are important. I am learning from Ryleigh the truth behind all of our emotions and that being whole hearted means embracing all parts of who we are and how we feel. Keeping in mind of course that we do our best to not be mean spirited in our expression of these emotions.

So hopefully my posts will continue with few surprises and positive news.

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