Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reunited, and it feels so good...

So...the reunion between Gage and me....not at all what I had pictured or hoped.  I went to the airport to meet him, my sister, and my brother-in-law.  Mikey went with me.  Ben, Sadie, and Dylan were still en route to Idaho.  My parents went to the airport, too.  When they came out of those doors and approached us, I saw Gage, I knelt down, and I gently said, "Gagie!" I opened my arms to have him run into them. 

And he ducked behind his uncle Chris and wouldn't look at me or touch me.

It was devastating.

I had a hat on, and we had FaceTimed so often that he had seen me bald and he had seen me with hats.  So it wasn't that.  He was just...weirded out.  Plus he had been up for a really long time and had flown for a really long time.  And he has autism.  Change, transition...these things are hard for him. 

I feel so guilty about this whole thing.  He's doing so much better than he was when he left, but sometimes I think, "Did this mess him up emotionally?  Is he going to have abandonment issues for the rest of his life because of me???"  But then he'll actually ask me, in a complete sentence, for something that he needs, and I think, "My sister did such a good job!  He has grown by leaps and bounds!!"  It's just so complex.

Anyways, it took him a few hours to warm up to me, and a few days, really, to get back to where we were when he left, but things have been great since then.  Right before we left - the passing of the child from the aunt to the mommy:

And no, my left pinky isn't deformed or broken.  I'm not sure what was happening there.

He did really well on the long drive to Oregon:

And he has settled in really well to our apartment.  He and Micah sleep on the third floor loft area.  It's a large room with the kids' Wii  and our computer all set up.  There's a couch up there....it's nice.  Because the kids all spend so much time up there, and Gage likes to be with them, he really loves having all of his toys and his bed there.

Micah is also thrilled to be reunited with his siblings.  He and Gage got along for about....a day...and then they got back to their incessant fighting.  Micah is jealous of Gage's toys.  Gage is jealous of Micah's toys.  Neither will share.  It's fun for me.  But honestly, I'm not bitter about being back in Referee Mode.  My family is together!!! 

We have dinner together at the table!  We play games!

We snuggle!  I can take care of things while Ben is at work!  He, Dylan, and Sadie are glad to have me back.

I have to take little rests throughout the day still.  I mean, it's only been two weeks since my last chemo.  The first day we were here, I worked most of the day to organize and unpack things, and I started feeling really gross and had to rest for quite awhile in the evening.  Yesterday, I tried to rest a little bit more, and only collapsed into a heap at about 7:00 p.m. instead of 4:00 p.m. :)  It will just take time, and I need to be patient with myself.  This reminds me so much of trying to recover from my hysterectomy.  The pain from the surgery didn't last long.  It was just the sheer exhaustion that I felt afterwards that killed me.  It was a good two months of major resting.  My oncologist in Idaho told me that it would take about six months to really get back to the stamina I had before this whole thing began.

Things are in the works for me to see my new oncologist soon.  I've had to make a lot of phone calls and jump through a lot of hoops and do all that crap you have to do when you get new insurance and move to a new state - finding a primary care physician, getting a referral from him, blah blah blah.  But my dad and I chose an oncologist here in Bend long before I got here; we chose a health plan that had her in its provider network.  I'm supposed to start radiation in two weeks, so hopefully we can get things going soon.

I got lost yesterday trying to find the bank.  Haha!  But it wasn't entirely unpleasant.  Bend is adorable.  Evergreen trees everywhere.  Cute little craftsman-style houses.  Mom-and-Pop stores galore.  I think I'll really like it here.

The apartment...well, it's drafty.  It hasn't really gotten very cold here yet until the last couple of days, so it's taken Ben and the older kids by surprise, as well.  It's -10 today, and our ground floor is frigid.  It has like five windows, and a really drafty front door, so I think that's our problem.  I'm trying to find all of our blankets (Ben hasn't completely unpacked from clear back in September), and when I do, I'm going to literally tack them against the windows to help keep the heat in. We won't have much natural light, but at least it won't be like 55 degrees in our living room and kitchen.  It's weird living in a townhouse again.  The last time I lived in a townhouse, I was in college.  Lots of stairs, but that's good for the ole' quads.

I tried to get the Two Littles enrolled in school before Christmas break, but I haven't completed that process yet.  I was so sick and didn't finish the forms for Micah in time, so he may start school a day late.  Ah well.  An inconvenience, not an emergency.  And I couldn't get the lady at the special preschool to call me back, and she is off work all this week, as well, so Gage will probably start school a day late, too.  It will be okay.  I'm doing my best.  I'm really trying to watch my mental health, which means not stressing myself out about things not being perfect from the get-go.  I'm unable to hit the ground running.  So I'm hitting the ground limping.  Literally. Because my dumb foot is still giving me trouble.  So I'll limp along and slowly get everything ship-shape, eventually.

Kay, Gage just pooped in his pull-up, pulled a poo berry out of it, and tried to hand it to me.  So I'm on diaper duty (And yes, I need to potty train him.  Don't judge.  And remember that mentally, he's a two-year-old.  Baby steps.  I keep telling him that, if he poops in the potty, he can have a little wooden birdhouse like Micah does.  Oh, boy, does he ever covet that birdhouse.  Yesterday, he ninja pooped in his diaper, snuck into the bathroom, put the poo berries from his pull-up in the toilet, then proceeded to show me that there was poop in the toilet.  The kid has autism, but he is smart.  I had seen him sneak into the bathroom, but I hadn't seen him sit on the potty, so I knew his game.  I gently told him that I had to see him actually do it.  He understood that I was on to him and wisely let it go.). 

See ya!


Mindy H. said...

I am so glad that you are all back together in a cute town! You have earned a lifetime supply of cuteness! I can't wait to read all about your Bend adventures. I am sure that your 2015 is going to be a wonderful year.

Jenny said...

I am so glad you are all back together. I hope everything falls into place. :)

Carrie said...

Kar! I LOVE reading about your being back with your family. I can't imagine how the experience of the past few months has given you a new perspective and lease on life. Somehow, through the craziness of life, it is the knowledge that God knows best that gets us through. I'm so glad you are back with your family and that your spirits and attitude about being in a new place seem so good! Keep your chin up!! Love you and Happy New Year!! Carrie

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