It never entered my mind when talking about chemo treatments that many are required to be given in the hospital. It was my naïve thoughts as to what it meant to go through chemo treatments. I had known several people who had chemo and their treatments were done as outpatient procedures in one day. When Dr. Fastenberg first was telling me everything that we had to do I went totally numb and could not process it all. I didn’t understand what he meant by in hospital chemo every 21 days. We had great plans to make trips and do things to make the chemo process fly by. Of course those plans were not to happen. The HYPER-CVAD chemo plan was so much more than my small mind was able to process. What would I have done different? Lots of things…I would have taken video and a bazillion photos of her journey. I would have worried less about the house and cooking and spent more time breaking the rules and letting Heather have fun during her time off. We would have snuck out of the hospital more to enjoy Dairy Queen blizzards and I would have found a mattress store to jump on the beds to the count of triskaidekaphobia. (The fear of the number 13)
It never entered my mind when I began planning for the Grand Duchess Survivor ball that that would really be her wedding I was planning. It seemed so normal to me to have a huge celebration to mark the end of chemo treatments. I was told by the hospital staff that my kind of celebration is not done by anyone they have ever heard of. I guess I think out the box. What would I have done different? Lots of things…I would have taken video from beginning to end of the event and gotten a photographer to take a bazillion photos, allowed Heather to invite anyone and everyone she knew even if it was going to be 1000 people and I would have had 100’s of flowers all around.
It never entered my mind when I planned the trip to Disneyland for Heather’s 21st birthday that this would be her last birthday and her last trip to Disneyland. It just seemed like the best place to celebrate a milestone birthday after such a tough year. We had lunch with the Princesses and had a personal Disney crew member show us around and get us on rides. We stayed at the Disneyland hotel and overall had a great time. The one thing that was done that I always wanted was the silhouette cut out of the three girls. Glad this time I made the girls go get this done. What would I have done different? Lots of things…I would have taken hours of video and a bazillion photos. I think I would have spent the huge amount of money to stay at the Grand Californian to give Heather the royal treatment. I would have bought anything and everything she wanted in the stores and yes even more stuffed Mickey and Minnie Mouses.
It never entered my mind when I was buying for Christmas in 2008 that it would be Heather’s last Christmas. I bought her several things from her list that she would make for me each year but nothing that really made the holiday stand out. The biggest thing I am thankful for is that I made dinner before we went to family’s house for dinner…Yes, I made a ham with all the trimmings. Looking back now that was very important that I was able to do that I did decide that year to put up the BIG tree. Heather helped me put the tree together and then put on the 1500 lights. It was great fun to do that with her. We also had a Christmas open house for Jenn and Heather’s church friends complete with lots of homemade goodies. What would I have done different? Lots of things…I would have taken more video and photos of every single moment and tried to find something super special to give her for Christmas.
It never entered my mind that on that Friday morning when Heather was more like herself that she had been in a long time that was the last lucid conversation I would have with her. I won’t say what our last conversation was about for it still makes me mad that so much time was spent talking about something. I would have held her and looked into her eyes and told her over and over again how much she meant to me and made sure she understood what I was saying…
It DID enter my mind right before she was placed on the vent that my last words to her and hers to me were I love you…I really didn’t have good feelings about what was happening.
Am I writing to tell you to spend everything you have on your kids and grandkids for birthdays and Christmas??? No I am not, but what I am saying is make sure you have no regrets later for the would of, could of, should of done or said something. Especially at this time of year I think it is important to remember our blessings and how fragile and precious life really is. Everything in your world can be changed in the blink of an eye…