There is one person in my world that can make me smile, regardless of how much pain or sadness I am feeling. There is one person in my world that defines what love truly is; unconditional, unwavering love. There is one person that can comfort me beyond belief by just sitting in the same room with me, not saying a word, but just knowing that he is present brings me joy and peace. This one person is my son, J.
Living in a hospital room, confined to only this unit and never leaving beyond the double glass doors that all of my visitors go in and out of all day, is challenging for someone like me. I thrive off of moving, keeping busy, never stopping and always looking forward to what's next. My dad used to say to me, over and over as a kid, and even as an adult, "SLOW DOWN!" I think he knows by now that I don't know what "slow" means. Unfortunately, this fabulous disease called cancer has forced me to slow down completely, almost to a dead halt. Pushing myself and moving forward is a passion of mine and when robbed of that, it has created a little cloud over my world and, at times, makes me downright frustrated.
This is where my "one person" comes into play, my J. I haven't seen him since last Saturday and, by last Sunday, I was already missing him. Imagine what five full days without seeing him or having him near does to me. It tears me up inside. Today was the end of his absence and seeing him walk through those double doors with my parents from "outside" into the BMT unit, instantly brought so much happiness to my heart, it's hard to put into words. I don't know what it is, but the bond between and mother and her son is something special.
J stayed with me all day. He walked laps with me, taking on the job of marking each lap on the dry erase board and he even found a way to write on the message board "Tara is Lame" without me noticing. When I finally discovered what he wrote, I just looked at him and he laughed; I laughed even harder. He's hilarious and sarcastic humor entertains me. It's exactly what I need here when my mind is filled with so many other serious thoughts. We ordered Detroit One Coney Island for dinner since they deliver to the hospital; large Greek salad, fries, a hot dog and an 18 piece wing ding dinner. Guess who ate what? So we watched Anchorman, ate dinner, watched the story on my transplant and bone marrow donation on WDIV together and just did what we normally would do any other night, chill.
Today my white blood cell count took a new record low, coming in below a 0.1, so my fatigue was pretty hard to fight throughout the day. Although I dozed off a couple times, I woke up and looked over and felt comforted upon seeing J sitting in the chair next to my bed. A couple of times he would ask, "Are you ok?" and, secretly, I wanted to cry just knowing that he loves and cares for me like he does. He is a 17 year old boy and acts like one, as he should, yet in so many ways, is matured beyond his years. When push comes to shove, he rises to the occasion and has my back. This is his summer vacation and he's spending it in the hospital, watching his mom go through chemo, a transplant and fight to be healthy enough to make it out of the hospital. Proud is a drastic understatement when it comes to how I feel about my son. He is simply the greatest human being alive and I do not know what I would do without him. I fight to live because I love living life, but I fight even harder because I love being a mom.
God has a plan, this I am sure. He gave me J and that was one of the best days of my life. Now I am getting a second chance at life and I vow not to waste one day that I am given. I swear to make the most of every minute this day forward. Today is a gift and that is why they call it the present. I love gifts and am thankful that one of them in my life is J.