9:45 PM (Randall posting): As Susan suggested, it's been a quiet, normal weekend for us. It's certainly quieter than normal with Elisabeth at Oma's (pretty amazing, given how quiet Elisabeth is around most people, I know). Several people have commented on how much energy Sophie has. She clearly is feeling stronger than she has in a long time. I'll be curious to see how her counts are tomorrow afternoon. Surely by now her counts have rebounded and she's ready to begin the next phase of treatment.
Since our little friend Macie passed away, I have been acutely aware of how Sophie looks, how she's feeling, if she seems tired, etc. At this point, it's clear to us that the leukemia is no longer as serious a threat, but she is still vulnerable. Our desire to return to some sense of "normal" sometimes allows us to ignore or deny (?) the seriousness of Sophie's situation and her treatment. We have indeed been blessed that she has done so well, and we have every expectation that she will continue to do well and thrive, but I wonder if we will ever feel completely unthreatened by death or disease again.
I imagine that everyone who has ever battled cancer knows that it can recur, or pop up again somewhere else. Even when the prognosis is good (which it is for Sophie), there is always some nagging possibility that somewhere down the line the other shoe will drop, that something unexpected will happen. We never dwell on those possibilities, we rarely acknowledge them unless, like now, we feel like we must. This is the reality of our situation, and the reality of the situation for many, many other families.
I don't mean to sound down or morbid, because generally speaking I think we're optimistic and hopeful and not at all overwhelmed or overcome by our situation. There is, however, a nagging sense of dread, that quickly and easily pops up and begs to be dealt with, particularly when we've had a bad day, or when our defenses are down (or blown away).