Saturday, December 31, 2011
Christmas stories 2011
We have had a lovely Christmas. Luke didn't end up getting a really big gift (I listened close when he sat on Santa's lap, "I want a servant to bring me a present every day!" And then he laughed at his joke he had probably been planning all night). But after he had opened his modest presents (mostly board games) he ran up to me and gave me a big hug. "You know what I wanted for Christmas, mom?" "What?" "Everything you gave me!"
You might notice from the above picture that we have a little Star Wars love over here. Here is one the nativities gracing our piano.
My kids had a great time buying each other presents. They do this with very different motives. We are lucky Luke spent any money on his brothers (he did find what he wanted first, and then made sure any other presents fit the remaining budget). Last year Luke decided he wasn't going to buy James and Sam anything. His brothers were shocked. James got an angry look on his face, "But Luke, that wouldn't be fair! We are buying you something!" Sam looked at both of them confused. "But Luke! Don't you want to see the look on their faces when they open your gift?"
I guess I don't write enough about Sam, but boy this kid has a big heart. Here is what I found in his book bag yesterday. I asked him what he was supposed to write on it, he said just what his Christmas wish was, toys, travel, etc.
I save everything he writes because his spelling is so creative. "I wish that nowon wod get canser. Because it wod help a lot of people."
Josh has never been able to surprise me with, or even(according to him) come up with just the right gift. I do love everything he gets me (mostly because he always includes a romantic card, and after 20 years he still finds new ways to say he loves me), but he is never satisfied with his gift, and usually, I have already found out about it (it's as easy as the google search history).
But this year he had a dream. The week before Christmas he dreamt he went to the jewelers and bought a string of pearls for $2,500. But he wasn't excited about it because he was so worried I would be mad about the price. He woke up and immediately started to retell the dream. Of course the whole time I'm beaming up at him in yesterday's smeared mascara, imagining him clasping the necklace around my neck under the Christmas tree lights, taking me by the shoulders, turning me around, pushing me away from him to have a good look. Eyes go from the pearls to my shining eyes, to the pearls, to my glossy lips, and those he cannot resist. Kissing me big on the mouth he whispers "They so perfectly suit you, darling!." But I snap out of my fantasy when I hear, "Well, you wouldn't wear pearls anyway." My eyebrows shoot up. "Would you?!" "Wouldn't wear pearls!!! Me?!! I've been dying for pearls since Matthew Cuthbert gave the most beautiful set to Anne Shirley in the upstairs room at Green Gables! And that was like...a hundred years ago!"
So yes, under the tree Christmas morning, I had a sting of pears. The perfect gift. Even if it wasn't a surprise. Stay tuned, Josh has now figured out to keep those kind of dreams to himself. 19 days till my birthday. But no pressure or anything Babe!
Christmas morning Josh and I had to speak in church, so I put them to use right away. Josh fumbled with the clasp, so I ended up getting it on, but he did give me a big, lusty kiss.
The truth is, I did get a surprise for Christmas. A HUGE one, that I hope doesn't come across as depressing. I got an email right before Christmas from the nurse at my oncologist's office. He said "Merry Christmas-your tumor tested positive for the BRAF mutation". WHAT??? When I researched my type of melanoma (spitzoid) the study I read said 2 of 17 or something like that of the spizoid melanomas had the mutation. And so I thought I certainly would fall into the larger category (why? I seem to always be in the small percentages). In all of melanoma there is about a 50% chance of having the mutation. Any way, I have read more articles that are saying it is not as rare as I thought in the spitzoid melanomas, and who cares?! I have that little mutation! What does that mean for me? They approved in 2011 a medication (zelboraf) that interferes with the signaling pathways of the cancer cell. It is not a cure, but a miraculous drug that can shrink melanoma tumors quickly and without chemo-like side effects. It is an awesome drug, extending life in half of the patients who are BRAF positive. Unfortunately, eventually the body finds a way around it, and the cancer comes back. Trust me, I never want to get to the point of using it. But I felt like someone just handed me months of extra life. And what could that be? An entire dream trip? An extra summer? Another holiday season with my babies? I cried when I opened the email and thanked God for the best surprise I've ever had.