Some things are back to the way they were pre-sickness, and so that's great. Malorie has had a great week back home - she is eating healthy, full meals, which she didn't do for a long time. Her energy is back up to around where it was before she initially went downhill, and we see no deficiencies in her cognition, speech or mobility. She's has no issues with vomiting or constipation, and is completely off of her laxative that the doctors said she would likely need to keep her intestines moving. She is still a little bit ginger in her movements, slower than before, but I think that is just the recovery from her surgery. She is also still pretty sensitive around anyone other than her mother and me, and Mal has also gotten very demanding, which is something Rachel and I keep saying we will work on, but then we just give in to her. Mal's swelling along her incision where the tumor was is still worrisome to us, but the doctors say it is normal and will take another week to two weeks to go down. She and Micah are still two peas in a pod.
During the days, Rachel and I have resumed what I guess I would call "normal" activities. Rachel is back into parenting mode; teaching and playing and being a great wife and mother like always. I have gone back to work for the time being, and am filling my days with thoughts of airplanes and submarines. But then once the kids are in bed, the nights get a bit rough. We start to think about how difficult the next few weeks are going to be, and it gets tough to keep a positive outlook. The sadness and worry are palpable.
I think Rachel and I are both struggling with how to come to grips with the fact that Malorie may still have malignant cells growing in her body. We try our best to cast our anxiety to the heavens, but we still find ourselves dwelling on the upcoming scans to test for spinal tumors and cancer cells in Mal's cerebral-spinal fluid. We have both avoided calling family and friends because we get exhausted from talking about it...thinking about it...living it. Tonight, we realized that Mal will not be able to eat breakfast for 6 straight weeks during radiation, because she will be anesthetized daily. We have to figure out how we will feed Micah without Malorie wondering why she isn't allowed to eat or drink in the mornings. Breakfast is typically a minor detail. Now it feels overwhelming, sad, troublesome.
So, no, I guess things aren't normal, per se. Things are good right now, but they are good with an asterisk. It is like that summer day that is spent bracing for a terrible storm that is approaching. No matter how nice things are now, we know it will not remain for long, so we make the best of the situation. While we may feel average, like things are neither great nor terrible, we know there is still a fight looming. We are not back to normal. But I can't wait to say that we are once again normal... whatever that means.