We kept things quiet for the week after coming home from surgery. Resting, watching movies and arts & crafts filled the day. By Wednesday, Julia was up for a few visitors and her friends Katie and Katherine came by for a short visit.
Thursday morning after dressing and coming downstairs, Julia asked if she could look at herself in a mirror. “Sure honey, there is a mirror in the hallway”. “No Mommy, I want a long mirror – I want to see my body.” We walked down the basement to look at the mirror on the sliding doors. Julia removed her shirt and slowly, carefully ran her fingers along each of her new incisions. “I hope these get lighter – I have enough scars for a little kid.”
It was so hard to watch her inspecting each scar, but I knew that she needed to do this – to take it all in, these last few horrible weeks, to try to understand, like we do, why…and then just as quickly Julia said “Okay, Mom, that’s enough, let’s go and have some fun”. Julia pulled her shirt back on, climbed the stairs, and I followed, again taking her lead.
That afternoon, Mrs. Daly, Julia’s teacher and Julia’s friend Jake came over after school. Julia made sure to give Mrs. Daly the big “Thank you ” card that she made for her classmates.
Julia has not had to take prescribed pain medications since Thursday night. She has been feeling a bit tired and at times we need to remind her she needs to rest. It is hard to believe that she had major surgery last week. She is doing amazingly well.
Julia had a busy weekend, starting with a visit from her friends Jake and Quinn after school on Friday – just hanging around and watching a movie. Then Aunt Suzy came for dinner and brought Julia’s favorite cupcakes.
Saturday morning brought a trip to the movies to see “Hotel Transylvania”. It was so good to hear her laugh and see her smile. Julia insisted on going to the store with us after the movies. I think she is tired of being in the house. Later in the afternoon, Bryn and her mother stopped over. The girls played and we even got to watch as they out on a fashion show.
Today brought church, Sunday school and a visit from Aunt Donna, Uncle Howard, and cousin Laura. Jake also stopped by to play for the afternoon. Julia worked on some of her homework today and said she would need to do a little extra each night this week to make sure she would catch up.
Tomorrow Julia will head back to school. She can’t wait to see all her friends. “I just want things to be normal Mom – I miss seeing my friends every day”.
On Thursday, Julia will have an appointment in the city with her radiologist, Dr. Tockner and have a simulation to prepare her for radiation treatments. These should begin the following Monday. She will also have a visit to the clinic for lab work before the radiation begins and a check up with her surgeon.
The next three weeks will be busy once again, filled with doctor appointments and radiation treatments. But, we will think back to Wednesday and the brief visit to the mirror, remembering to follow Julia’s lead and “go and have some fun.”