9:45 PM (Randall posting): In the movie "Parenthood" (with Steve Martin), the main character eventually compares family life with riding a roller coaster--scary as you-know-what some times, but thrilling and worth the ride when all is said and done. With that mental image before us, our family's little roller coaster is clicking up a long, long hill tonight. Elisabeth and I are packed to head to Albuquerque early in the morning, Susan and Sophie are packed to head to Chapel Hill early in the morning. We're hoping that sometime near 6:00am tomorrow, we'll all be heading up the interstate to our respective destinations (airport and clinic).
Over the past two weeks as Sophie's treatments have been on hold and my schoolwork has been finished (except for that nagging incomplete), our life has been pretty stable, although Susan's job has been unusually demanding. Perfect timing, I suppose. Now that Sophie's protocol is resuming, everything seems to be shifting in gear once again. Although there is relief that the waiting is over, there is anxiety over all the drugs and possible side effects, and how this will impact our lives, especially with half our family halfway across the country this week. Fortunately, Sophie has responded well to the treatments thus far, and she is not getting new drugs in this phase of treatment.
The reality is, though, that Sophie is the center of our family's life right now, and what she needs determines everything else. In some ways, there is a comfort in that. We know we're doing all the right things for her so that she can get well. We know that our lives, our jobs, our schoolwork can suddenly become less important (and what a lesson that is!). And, we know that the odds are really, really good that we will look back on these 2 1/2 years and see them differently than we see them now, forgetting the anxiety, the upset, and the not-knowing, and simply remembering fondly the ride.