One year ago, we were just getting out of the hospital, due to another PICU stay because of another mystery infection caused by low blood counts. We were waiting, impatiently, for a surgeon to plan time to root around in The Boy's abdomen, hunting for second relapse tumor. We were angry, frustrated, and exhausted. I had been in Pittsburgh for nearly two weeks and been at the hospital for that entire time, more or less.
There isn't an aspect of our lives that isn't better at this point. The Boy is in remission and out of treatment, and he's growing and learning and wonderful. He's talking very well, despite chemo-related hearing loss, and his intelligence and sense of humor is disproportionate for his age. Younger Bro is growing nicely and developing normally, even if he's far too canny and perceptive and creative for a kid his age.
This is the third year that I haven't really had much of a Christmas at home: no decorations, no tree, no carols at home. (I did listen to lots of Christmas music, but it was at work and in the car.) On the other hand, thanks to my brother coming in from California, we had a very nice Christmas with my entire family (save for one sister-in-law and their youngest child, who's dealing with some issues of his own). The boys got some very nice presents and had a great time.
Again, when I look at what we were facing a year ago, and when I look at our life right now... there's no comparison. It's astonishing. I honestly feel like a very different person, albeit one that has aged a hell of a lot more than one year. I'm still immature in many ways, but mostly in fun ones at this point. I'd still like a full-time job, but I'll take what I can get at this point.
I mean, look what I have: two beautiful, healthy sons; a gorgeous, vivacious, talented wife; a place to live and food to eat thanks to her family; my father's support and love; and new friends in my new home. I have a great temp job with really, really cool coworkers / supervisors, where I'm doing interesting stuff and learning to do more than that. And, I have lots of technology to keep me occupied.
Thank G-d for 2010. It was a crappy year, for the most part; but it helped us turn the corner. A miracle occurred with The Boy's surgery at the beginning; a second miracle helped us end his treatment. We've had steadily building good luck, hopefully cashing in on some of the bad karma we've burnt since 2008. I'll be glad to see it go, but I'm sure thankful for what it gave us.
May 2011 bring fewer hospital visits, fewer doctor's visits, fewer filial conflicts, more hugs and snuggles and songs and dancing and games and climbing and tackling Daddy.