Tuesday, January 18, 2011


So, before I get into today, just a couple quick notes I want to share with everyone:

1) Mom's name is FLYNNE. I know she can't see when it's misspelled, but it drives me batty

2) PLEASE make sure that if you visit the hospital, you wash your hands frequently. Hospitals have crazy weird germs in them and Mom's immune system isn't the strongest in the world. Please either use the hand sanitizer that is everywhere in the hospital or wash your hands in the sink when visiting. This is for your protection, too!

Okay, now on to today. Mom continues to amaze us all. Despite the lack of sleep last night, Mom spent today strong. Her limbs have lost considerable strength since being admitted to the hospital; when I was there, she couldn't bring her knees up towards her chest to get out of bed. Sometimes she could use her arm strength to help her knees up, but if she wanted to get them all the way up, she needed help. Today, she was bringing her knees to her chest using only her leg and core muscles. And she was doing reps of this. As in, up and down and up again. And this wasn't even her physical therapy session. This was after her physical therapy session, where she walked out of her room, down the hall farther than she's gone before, and back.

I have a confession to make. I used to think that every good day or every good sign was the eye of the storm. I thought that it was the result of her picking something to succeed in, focusing all her energy into having that one victory and then she'd have nothing left. When I was in the hospital for those first two weeks, I watched her deteriorate quickly. I watched her lose her sight in three days, watched her lose her balance and lower body strength. I listened to her voice slow and change pitch, I watched her head get shaved and her hair fall out. I watched as she struggled to swallow, then cornered the oncologist in the hallway and demanded to know if she was going to asphyxiate. I watched her take one step forward and two steps back and I clung to my theory of her going out in a ball of fire and energy, having one shining day of strength before going downhill fast. I was terrified to celebrate the good days or the strong moments because I thought they meant something bad just around the bend. I was wrong. And I'm finally comfortable now to admit it. I am not afraid that a day like today, stronger than she's been since the diagnosis, more self-sufficient than ever, means tomorrow will be terrible. Okay, I'm a little afraid, but I'm not carrying my phone with me into the bathroom anymore. My heart doesn't sink every time I get a text message or an email.

She continues to eat well, to maintain her sense of humor. Friends and family have been showering her with delicious meals, poetry and laughter, hats and scarves, and paper cranes. Dad went back to work today for a few hours, so she spent some nice time with girlfriends and really enjoyed herself. Ross continues to search for ways to study at the hospital. We've created a new version of normal life that everyone in her life was so graciously accommodated. Dad keeps saying how impressed he is with how many people constantly show up for her (and for him). I keep telling him: you reap what you sow.


  1. Aynsley:

    Your Mom is the only FLYNNE I've ever known - and there is only ONE! As you (and we all) say, she's amazing! I wouldn't think anyone would disagree with your thoughts about worrying about the good days and what they really meant about the future - the truth is, they mean just what they mean (they're good days - and they're a heck of a lot better than bad days) - and the good days should all be celebrated. We all pray for more and more good days!

    We're getting closer to your Mom's bday (please don't forget to tell her that it means she's ANOTHER year older than me AGAIN) and your trip back to Seattle. I'm happy for you that you've been able to be in New York - and that you'll be traveling back to see your family (hope/wish Gary was going with you). Enjoy!!

    Let's continue to look forward to the GOOD days!!

    Love, Me

  2. Aynsley, sorry about misspelling Flynne. That was me not paying too close attention to details.
    So glad that she's getting so strong and doing exercises on her own incentive!
    I hope that every day is one step forward.

  3. Flynne,
    Thinking of you constantly,
    Cherie Klein