Monday, November 17, 2008

The Face of Courage





I wish I could be posting that everything is better.That everything has blown over and that everything was settling into a new, manageable norm.I wish I was posting that this is all one humongous nightmare and we have just woken up to find it all a dream and that life is just as it use to be.But not today folks.That would not be the true and accurate picture of the Needham's reality.Today found me facing the very stark reality of our lives and the lives of those around us as we continue to do battle with cancer.Today found all of my children,in their own ways, trying to live their lives as if nothing has changed when in fact, everything has changed.Today found me once again ticked off at the world.Not just for me.Not just for my family.My children.I am ticked off for others, like Zoey's new roommate.A little sweetheart that I have fallen in love with.A little sweet heart that has found her way into our world by chance or fate.You decide.She is the 4 year old daughter of Taylor's manager at In n Out.Yep,a great big world out there.A huge hospital and beside us,one curtain pull away is Taylor's boss's child.So strange.She won't be our neighbor for long however.I wish I could say she was heading home but unfortunately she has been diagnosed with Neuroblastoma and will head over to 4 West when a bed opens up.Sad state of affairs when ALL the beds are full of children with cancer.Today I wore my "Leukemia Sucks" t-shirt.Do you get the idea how very,very fitting and painfully true I believe that statement is tonight.As for Zoey.Pictures speak for themselves.She is the hero in this often sad tale but at the same time she is the one and only, that keeps smiling,keeps battling and keeps all the negative stuff at bay.She puts us all to shame,especially me, with her courageous coping skills.She leaves me tonight begging God to show me the way.I feel beaten and broken tonight and so uncertain of my ability to see this through with the grace and dignity that Zoey so deserves.Personally,for me,tonight is one of the darkest of the last three weeks.I feel lost,scared and alone.I feel shame,anger and down right despair.But when tomorrow comes,I will,wanting or unwanting,I will,get out of bed,put one foot in front of the other and face the day that lies before me.My disposition will perhaps not prove to be pretty but I will be present in the day.Like it or not.Keep Zoey close at heart and prayer as we have moved to yet another antibiotic for her g-tube site.The 4th one.The big guns have been brought out to ensure that things do not go bad ...quickly.With a white count of 0,things can and are a bit nerve wracking.Not that you would know it by looking at her.She is beauty and light and that should be enough.And on most days it is.Today though,I yearned to bring her outside.To go to the park.To pick up the boys.To spend time as a complete family.To just do those mundane,everyday things.Not happening.Not for awhile.So for now,I pray like crazy and have faith that this too shall pass.Sooner, than later, would be nice but I will settle with eventually.Wish I were filled with a lighthearted tone this evening but I am nothing, if not honest.Brutally often.Tonight thank you for tolerating the rant ......or breakdown,hard to say which one it was.But ..thank you nonetheless.Oh and some extra prayers for little Madison.Our roommate.Tough week they are about to embark on.They could sure use some extra prayers coming their way.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I know you don't know me, but I just wanted to say that I've stumbled upon your blog and am so moved by your beautiful little Zoey and all that she's going through at the moment. What a brave, sweet princess she is! I'll be praying for her and checking back to see how she's doing.

Lots of love,
Allie
(NSW, Australia)
rhemyella@hotmail.com

Mia hat eins mehr said...

Ah Heather, this one goes out to you. A big fat bear hug...and hug....and hug....and ok, ...one more..., hug. Here we go.

And now:
You will go through this. I know you have the power to, even if you feel weak. And you are more than allowed to feel so, really! There are always better days and sad days. But there will be one day, you will wake up and you are at home. All of you are.

So do they have someone to talk to in that hospital? Like is there a pastor or someone like that? Maybe it would help to talk to someone who is everyday in that hospital? To meet "our" pastor who christened Mia in hospital was a big help eventually, although I didn`t realize that during our stay in the hospital.

Slow and steady, everything will be fine. It just needs some time.

Love
Claudia

Mia hat eins mehr said...

....and not to forget: Zoey is really a doll. Love those pictures! Keep up posting them ;-)

Reagan Leigh said...

Oh Heather...I wish I were there. I wish there was something I could do. I don't blame you for being bitter and frustrated about the situation you are in. It's NOT fair. This baby has been through so much...it's not fair. But look at her. She's a ray of sunshine and she's going to help you get through this. Give me a call anytime...
Tera

Anonymous said...

Heather- I can not imagine what you are going through. But every dark tunnel has an end and you will get to yours ! Zoey will get your thorugh it. It is so hard to look into their innocent and unknowing faces and think anything bad. Her smile is the leight to show you the way. Have hope- beleive me I know it is hard! We are praying for you and the power of prayer will see you though.
The Kauffs

Anonymous said...

OK, Heather it's time to double the prayers and get down to business. We can't have you feeling this way. I pray for your light and for Mark's. And for Joe's and Jake's and the girls. For Madison. We'll have confidence that this antibiotic will clear up the g-tube area's inflamation. Zoey looks down right darling. I'll be thinking of you all day and pass on the need for healing and comfort for family. Love to you, Christi Harman

Jodi C said...

I am sending you and your family big hugs. Please remember that, just as there was light before you entered this dark time, there will be light again. It is just a matter of waiting out the storm. I so wish that I could lighten your load in some way. Please know we are sending up prayers for not only Zoey but for your whole family.

Jodi

Anonymous said...

Heather,
Always remember that it is in the darkest moments that we see the light. I can't say enough about how beautiful Zoey is and about how touched I am by her courage. Your posting today has me praying extra, extra hard for a solution for the whole family. Please, please know that I'm here. I love you and your family. I loved seeing Miss Zoey and meeting her for the first time. She's so mesmerizing and so loving. You're doing it, each and every day. You are moving forward. Christy Pinuelas

Ellen Hanson said...

HI Heather, let your friends know about resources for Neuroblastoma. www.lonliesthour.org www.nbhope.org There are many more. Best of luck with your little princess. I hope the infection clears up soon. God Bless, Love, Ellen~Sean's Mom
http://www.caringbridge.org/ma/seanhanson-NB stage 3 inter risk 9/03

kristyc said...

Heather- Zoey looks beautiful!! Such an amazing girl!! I just want to let you know that I think and pray for you and your family everyday. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. I am ready willing and able!! You are far stronger than you think at this moment. You have every right to your feelings. Many prayers today for you and also for Madison. You have a huge support system that is ready to carry you every step of the way...God Bless.

Rachel said...

Praying for you all. May this difficult time pass quickly with wonderful results.

Keep you chin up...you're doing an outstanding job@

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather - I only know you and Zoey through Shannon. I lead Sophie's Brownie troop and we are praying for you all. I sat and cried over yesterday's post and wanted to share with you something I read when my family recently went through tough times. It is in Psalm 145 & 146 - "The Lord lifts the burdens of those bent beneath their loads." You are not alone, just remember! Zoey is so beautiful, I can't wait to meet you both someday. Love, Laurie

Jeanette said...

I don't think that I can read any of your posts without tears. My heart goes out to you and Zoey and your family. You are so right. Cancer sucks! I check for your updates everyday and everyday I pray for you all. Zoey is so beautiful. Her smile is amazing! What a sweet spirit! You don't know it, but you and Zoey are gifts to us. You have persistent prayers in Texas!

Karen Owens said...

Praying for you all today! She looks as beautiful and stylish as ever :)

Carey said...

Oh Heather, I remember the crazy emotions. You've got good meds right? I think that carried me through on some days! ;) I remember about the same time, part way through round 1, feeling so pissed, like everyone else had gone on living, they were going on with their lives, ... without us. We were just stuck. You don't know what to expect, how it will all go, but you do know you don't get to go on with your "life as normal" ... someday though, you'll be on the other side before you know it.

Oh, and the park made me think ... I'm not sure where or how your hospital is set up, but ours had a park outside, and after Chelsea finished with the chemo infusions there would be a week or so before her counts would drop too drastically and they would let us take her outside to play for a little while. There were rules of course, wear a mask, her counts had to be over 500, and if there was construction around the hospital, then no. Anyways, just keep that in mind for next time.

Hugs and prayers from Kansas!
Carey

Kele said...

Feeling behind on my Zoey bloggin'. SHE is most certainly the face of courage and the most precious face at that!!