It's been way too long since I have sat down and written an update. Our big race feels like we've finally come to a point where we get to try being a little more normal for awhile. Ainsley has completed the beginning of her treatment and now will move into the Maintenance Phase of therapy for the next two years. I often refer to her leukemia as a marathon or endurance race because it is truly a long process.
Two years of maintenance seems like an eternity and a flash of light at the same time. If I think of Ainsley's birth and when she turned two it was amazing. There were long and short moments of extreme happiness, tiredness, but most of all change. Change is the only constant that we can always rely upon, right? So what now?
Being at home since September has taught us that we can never take for granted the small and lovely little moments. I sometimes cringe when I go to the grocery store and the person next to me sneezes or coughs. Will I be bringing that germ home? Will she get sick again? How are her numbers this week? Are her immunities up? Will George bring home something from visiting with friends? Will Chris bring home something from working around the college all day? My mind has been a constant ebb and flow of worry and letting go. I learn to let many worries go and just be positive and wash my hands!
When people ask me how I stay so strong, I simply say that I have to. I have to be strong for my family and my daughter and son. They both are battling this extreme change in our lives. Strength is also gained by all the love and support that we receive. The notes of encouragement, the donations to help with living/travel/medical expenses, the hugs from strangers, the blood donations, and the overall community involvement with Ainsley's progress.
If I have learned one thing from this experience it is that people are good. I always am surprised when something good happens to us, but then I remember, people are good! Yes, there are rare people that make super bad decisions but in general, good people make the world lovely.
We are throwing Ainsley a belated Fifth Birthday/Moving into Maintenance Party here in Stillwater, OK. If you would like info please contact us. We would love to have you join us in this HUGE celebration and milestone.
Thank you all for everything but most of all thank you for helping us start the next leg of the race.