Sunday, December 25, 2011

Another Christmas

It's Christmas Day...

The boys and I had Christmas with Granny Jane and Pop Jerry and some extended family on Friday.  Yesterday afternoon Trevor came in from Weatherford and he, I, Tanner, and Cearra all had our Christmas lunch and exchanged gifts.  Then last night I went out for a drink and a few laughs and unwound from the day.

Today I'm cooking and preparing for one more Christmas tonight and then things should settle down and I can start focusing on the new year.

Now then, on to the news... Tanner has moved out and is living with his girlfriend's family.  Their home is just about five miles from my house but his leaving is an adjustment for me - some good and some bad - but an adjustment all the same.

See, Tanner is a good "kid" but he's 19, going on 20, and it's not all easy being his mom - as it's not easy, I'm sure, for him to live and deal with his issues either. 

Having and raising children is not something to be taken lightly.  The capacity for a child to hurt his parents is overwhelming - and me and my boys have been through just about everything.  When you lay down your rules, as a parent, you have to abide by the consequences when your rules aren't respected.  So, with that said, it's been decided that Tanner is going to live with his girlfriend and her mom for a while and we'll see how things go. 

He's been gone since last week and I'm getting used to being on my own.  He came over for our family Christmas yesterday and told me he noticed that I had candles on the tub and I told him that yes, I've reclaimed my bathtub. I'm actually reclaiming my life.

When the boys dad and I divorced 12 years ago, it really threw my boys for a loop.  Trevor struggled tremendously and our family went through one overwhelming issue after another with him for many years.  Tanner saw it all and it was so hard on him and I always prayed that he wouldn't make the same mistakes, but, over time, he seemed to slip into some of the same bad behavior..  Then cancer... cancer.. cancer... entered his life and we endured that journey too - and are still fighting the battle for him to remain in remisison - but he's still a teenage boy with all the issues that entails.

As Dr. Albritton told me, there is no one more at risk than the young adult with cancer.  They have cancer and then they also have all the same issues as other young adults - and very, very often they fall through the cracks.  We are doing our best to make sure Tanner doesn't fall through the cracks. 

Next Thursday we have one last visit with Dr. A at Cook's Oncology and then he's being transitioned over to the adult practice at Texas Oncology. 

As much as I love Cook's and Dr. Albritton, I think it's going to be a good thing to move Tanner to the adult practice.  They have never treated a patient with Multiple Myeloma at Cook's and, quite often, don't seem to understand what Tanner is dealing with much of the time in regards to the spasms he has in his back and hip.

After Christmas at Granny Jane and Pop Jerry's on Friday, Tanner went to the mall with Cearra and her mom and later he texted me that he was going to stay in (at their house - I guess his new home right now) because his back was hurting.  Yesterday after we had our lunch and had opened our gifts, Cearra told me that while they were at the mall Tanner's back started spasming so badly he started crying and could hardly stand straight.  She said that it scared her to death.

Dr. A is so focused on Tanner not falling back into his pattern of addiction to the pain medications, sometimes his pain isn't dealt with at all.  She once told me, "He's going to have to deal with it because I'm not going to prescribe him pain medications".   I'm hoping at an adult practice, a treatment can be settled on that will ease his pain - while controling the chance of falling back into a pattern of addiction.

Like I said, it's not easy being being a parent.  Being a parent of a young adult with cancer is a far cry from "easy"... but I'm dealing.

He's texted or called every day since he's moved out and I'm becoming used to him not being here.  I'm slowly working on building a life for myself outside of taking care of my sons.

I can only do the best I can do - but I can't control anyone... Sometimes not even myself.  I'm working on accepting that things are the way they are and simply enjoy the moments that are good - and not worry about the bad until they actually arrive. 

Life is life... good and bad...  Enjoy the good while you can and try not to worry about the bad before it actually occurs.

So... Merry Christmas to us all.  Here comes a new year.

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return you will receive untold peace and happiness... Robert Muller


  1. Arghhhhh, Angie... yes, teens/young adults are a challenge in the oncology departments, and I'll be intending that this medical move gets Tanner a better treatment regimen... FYI, in my experience, anyone who is suffering REAL pain is not likely to become addicted to pain medication and it is very very important to give the patient the relief required to prevent other issues from developing. If you want to contact DELUDIA (a friend who has a blog about MM and dealing with these kinds of issues) you might find him a helpful resource.

    Anyhow, thinking of you as you begin a new year with your son slightly removed; I've also come to realize that distance between mother and son can be a good thing, too. Best wishes for you!

  2. I wanted to created a black tee shirt with white letters and a drawing of a stick figure looking completely whacked out that said, "I SURVIVED MY TEENAGERS!"

    Suffice to say. I get it, totally. And dealing with a husband with MM, that is somewhat young for having it, though not as young as Tanner, it's not all that different in trying to get him to comply! ARGH! In that regard I want another tee shirt that says, "It takes a Village to be married to my husband!"

  3. Thank you ladies. It's good to be reminded that I'm not the only one out there who has struggled with their teenagers. The fact that Tanner has cancer just adds to the worry.

    You're right that distance sometimes is helpful between a mother and son.

  4. Angie: I agree with Sandy ....regarding the addiction. Maybe the adult practice will suggest a Pain Management Specialist for Tanner. For him to be able to function, they have to be able to control his pain.

    Good luck with your new part of this journey. Empty nest syndrome isn't easy....and I'm sure it's much harder when your child has cancer.

  5. I wrote an article at The Beacon on a little known pain drug called Kadian. You can search it there. The main thing needed when dealing with chronic pain is a drug that delivers what is needed consistently without fluctuations that then require that up and down and break through meds. Check it out just in case it might work in a way that doesn't solicit taking more and self medicating. It's a tough spot to be in for sure.