We thought that we would only have about one week at home before the radiation started; we didn't realize how long the planning for the radiation would take. Now we have 3 more weeks at home before we start the daily treatments, and we start running again. Although it is a bit worrisome that the tumour will be allowed more time to regrow, the extra time at home is just what we need.
The first week at home was tough - we were all 'decompressing', and there were lots of pent-up emotions to work out. That caught me off-guard - I was looking forward to getting to relax so I could process what had happened. I guess I should have realized that the kids all had emotions to process, too. It was interesting though, to see again how different each child is. One refused to talk about Kol's illness - another needed an in depth discussion. One child's worry/stress manifested as stomach ailments, another had headaches; all were whiny, and some were suddenly more clingy. Everyone's emotions were close to the surface. Annika just wanted to be held all of the time.
It seems that we were in some kind of "break down" vortex that first week at home, too. Everything but the dishwasher worked fine before Kol's surgery, but when we got home from the hospital, it seems like everything broke down. Our microwave stopped working - the timer would run, but it didn't heat - and then it mysteriously started working again. Our car wouldn't start one day, but the next time we tried it, it started fine, The clothes washer stopped working, but it was a quick fix. The "hot element" warning light on our stove started going on and off at random intervals - and was apparently on most of the time we were away, when the stove wasn't being used at all. The air conditioner in our van works at random intervals, and the breaker in the garage flipped off on its own while we were gone. The 'bubbler' in the aquarium stopped working, and even the Wii was doing strange things. And it wasn't just electrical things; our shingles, which we thought had another year or two left, started to leak, and will be replaced this year instead of next like we had planned (too much rain and wind, I guess). Almost everything is fine now, but it was a strange few days. At least the fridge worked.
The second week was much better. Emotions have stabilized and we're starting to develop our new normal. Kol is feeling good; he probably feels better now than he has for months. He is still weak on his right side, but his energy is back, he participates in games and activities with the girls more than he has for months, and the 'fog' that he seemed to have when we talked to him is gone. It is wonderful to see. The change before was so gradual, we didn't really notice how much he was withdrawing - and we just thought he was an introvert like his dad, and preferred to read rather than run (he still prefers to read, but he's not as much of a bookworm as we thought.) He went swimming at grandma's pool one night (without submerging his head - he has to wait a few more days for the 38 stitches on his head to heal) and he swam for longer than he ever did last year - and he participated in all of the games the girls played, too.
Another bonus of waiting longer is that we have more time to build up Kolbjorn's health. We've been using this time to do as much as we can to strengthen Kol's immune system and body in preparation for the next phase. We've totally cut out most sweeteners in Kol's diet - no sugar, aspartame, or splenda. He can have naturally sweet foods like fruits, as well as limited amounts of stevia - a herbal sweetener. We've also been trying to only use good fats (coconut, fish and flax) and eat more fish, legumes and raw foods. He likes smoothies, so I've been 'spiking' them with things like broccoli, avocado, spinach, seeds, omega 3 oil, acidophilus, and a vitamin/mineral supplement. He's started taking Juice Plus, and we have some supplements from the naturopath for kidney/liver cleansing and for gutt/stomach support. We had been doing some of these things for a while, but we've (I've) been lazier the last few months. Now, I just need to find good recipes that meet all these requirements. I'm also looking into juicing, and we're thinking about buying a good juicer.
We'll probably be spending a few days at the lake to re-charge some more before the radiation starts. More calm. It should be wonderful.