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School on Sunday

April 19, 2009

Isa is having trouble holding her pencil.

She has always had a light touch, but with this last batch of Vincristine she can’t press and hold much at all.  If she uses a crayon she can cover area lightly, but with the pencil her lines are wiggly and light. Children get behind and end up with “learning disabilities” from the treatments.

Physically they are weak and sick, not to mention affected by the drugs.

Emotionally they are all over the place, with the usual developmental stages and iatrogenic depression not to mention dealing with their parents stress.

Mentally, they get people who treat them like they suddenly became very stupid or regressed. 

Top it all off with a good dose of attitude and you’ve got my day.

Today we worked on tracing some letters, Isa’s were C & B or should I say Cc and Bb, which is how most books teach it. With the crayon she used to be able to stay in the lines quite well, but now she seemed to have a little difficulty. The pencil was quite hard for her as well. I noticed that her hand sort of shakes a little. 

We have three very simple rules in our house.

  1. Be Safe
  2. Be Respectful
  3. Follow Directions

These rules encompass so much that you don’t need any more, especially any of the “don’t” variety, such as Don’t write on the wall, because, that comes under being respectful…etc.

So, after the last two weeks where Isa was puny and tired, the blood transfusions and having only Vincristine on Thursday has left her with a little energy to burn. She of course still takes her naps and is by no means running around like she used to do. Her legs are still too weak to get her up and down and around quickly. But her mouth is in perfect working order, so she’s burning up the energy there.

Remember I did say developmental stages, she is three, so she is “i can do it myself.” Sometimes she actually can do it. Also, the medications and the weakness leave her with a slight three year old depression/anger energy. She still plays, she isn’t just hanging around all listless listening to The Smiths or something. 

Sometimes she shouts, like this evening when I put her second helping of pasta in front of her she screamed about not having any cheese on it. We were out I told her. But she broke out into a screaming fit. If she was healthy I’d put her in time-out for that because she broke rule number 2. And that is exactly what I did tonight. I told her that she is a survivor and would need to learn to behave just like the rest of us. 

Time-outs are fun anyway, aren’t they?  For several minutes she said, no and tried to move the chair, or got down off the chair, or screamed that her tummy hurt then got down to move the chair. Of course time-out can’t start until she is quiet. I finally let that slide a little bit, and started her three minutes anyway. Total time?  I have no idea, but I guarantee that is was closer to 10. This is all better than the 45 to 60 minutes we were doing back in September.  The combination of drugs, depression and feeling good has made her a little cranky, and maybe feeling good has her testing the limits again.

This is a good sign right?

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Deadra AKA Demie permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:04 pm

    P – I love your 3 simple family rules – perfect

    and I love the way you are mindful of treating Isa like a ‘normal’ kid – she is a normal kid, a normal kid who has cancer

    • April 21, 2009 8:15 pm

      You can make anything fit in those rules. The only good part of breaking the Be Safe rule, is saying “FLAG DOWN!” in a loud voice, and throwing my arm up and down.

  2. April 20, 2009 8:33 pm

    I am not sure to what you refer? Please be more specific.

  3. Anonymous permalink
    April 20, 2009 7:56 pm

    Did this just start?

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