Can

Can’t

Can

Candor

Cancer

It’s been one hell of a week. I did the absolute best I could to follow my marathon training plan but as of today I fell 7 miles short of my scheduled mileage. Tomorrow morning I am running the Bridge of Flowers 10K for the second year in a row. The race begins and ends on the Bridge of Flowers in lovely Shelburne Falls, MA. My time last year was 1:07:36. Now, as always, I maintain that I am not seriously concerned about my time, but what is the point of training and running as often as I do if not to improve ever so slightly. I would love to finish in any amount of time under last year’s time. The kicker of this race is that mile two is all uphill…it is a seriously steep incline the entire mile. I will be repeating over and over in my head as I climb the small mountain, “I think I can, I think I can.”

My son has enjoyed a huge accomplishment this week. The training wheels have come off! It took a total of three rides at the college track before he was starting, stopping and turning entirely on his own. I listened to him bemoan more than a few times, “I can’t do it.” That doesn’t fly in my house. All day long I listen to people make excuses for why they aren’t following their dreams, working at a job they enjoy, making themselves healthier, etc. I hear a lot of “I can’t.” If you think you can’t then you can’t. I refuse to feel sorry for people who have the means to make positive changes and choose not to. So I really do try to instill in my son the notion that he absolutely CAN do anything he sets his mind to.

Yes he CAN!

I care what people think about me; probably way too much. I am the first person to point out my flaws along with the short comings of my own child. My husband and I are doing the absolute best we can to raise a polite, respectful, friendly little boy. The other day a friend offered some unsolicited advice when she noted that in her opinion Carlos has been very hyperactive lately and had I considered that he might have ADD or ADHD, better known as Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. While her candor did not surprise me, I instantly felt as though I had been punched in the stomach. I’m hyper aware of my son’s behavior. I pounce on him as soon as he exhibits anything less than acceptable behavior. Is he active? Yes. Hyperactive? sometimes. Is he able to pay attention? Yes. This friend explained that if I got it diagnosed early it would save the trouble that her oldest daughter went through as a teenager.

Needless to say I called the pediatrician’s office and was able to get an appointment for Wednesday. I didn’t want my friend to think I wasn’t concerned about my son’s behavior. The pediatrician did a thorough assessment of Carlos. He asked me question after question as well. The doctor was witness to Carlos’ behavior in a small office with not much to do for over an hour. The pediatrician’s diagnosis: Carlos is a healthy, normal four year old. “His behavior is actually better than most kids his age.” I’ve always been one of those people that others feel as though they can speak candidly to. I appreciate my friend’s concern, I do, but it stings.

Lastly, my grandmother is finally home from the hospital. She was discharged tonight. On Wednesday the results from her biopsy showed cancer of the colon. Sadly she was informed of this while lying in a hospital bed alone. The oncologist disregarded the request of my mother and my aunt to allow them to be present when the results came in. I arrived shortly after my grandmother received the news. She was calm and accepting. She insisted that she wasn’t scared or upset. She adamantly refuses to even consider chemotherapy or radiation. As she says, “I’m almost 85 years old. I’ve lived a good life.” There is no indication that her days are numbered. We’ll know more when we meet with the oncologist. As a nurse I respect my grandmother’s wishes 100%. As her granddaughter I also respect her wishes. Her attitude is tremendously positive. She is a fighter and I know that she is in no way giving up. She just doesn’t want to spend her days going to and from doctors appointments and treatments while growing weak, sickly and tired. She is of sound mind and has the right to make this decision. No matter what we can support her, care for her and love her.

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