Friday, March 27, 2009

Our Little Steel Magnolia

The other night, I watched the movie Steel Magnolias. For many reasons that movie has always been one of my favorites, probably because I have many amazing southern women in my life that remind me of some of the characters and many of the lines in that movie are hysterical. Those of you raised by a southern woman know what I talking about. However, in watching it again the other night I was struck with how much the role of Julia Roberts reminds me of Jenelle, which of course would make me Sally Field, the mother who vigilantly fights for her daughter every minute of her life.

Julia's character Shelby suffered from Diabetes and even though she tries to stay on top of her health, her body often gets the best of her. Her struggle to try to live a normal life with marriage, children and work remind me of Jenelle's everyday struggles. Jenelle has struggled to accomplish so many amazing and unexpected things even though her brain tries to slow her down. And each time I think of how Jenelle has overcome the odds, I am reminded that she is a special gift and that things could change in an instant. Like Shelby says in the movie, "I'd rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a life time of nothing special." With Jenelle, we have had more than our share of 30 minutes of wonderful, and I feel so blessed for that gift.

I didn't mean to get too deep with that movie analogy, but wanted to share what I was thinking. Jenelle seems to be doing really well since we increased her seizure medication. She has been a happy little girl of late and is using her hands to play with toys. Also, she is doing more exploring of the house and is finding her way down the hall to her room to play with her toys there. Last Sunday, she made her way to her room and I caught her napping in the sunlight with a toy in her hand. She is very happy right now, and we are enjoying every minute. We are grateful for these moments with Jenelle where she has seizure control and is able to explore her world and enjoy 30 minutes of wonderful.

As for me, I am still home and am starting to worry that I made the wrong decision in not wanting a hospital admission. Last night I started to run a low grade fever, and I've had a sore throat for three days. The sore throat could be a side effect of the chemo (remember chemo attacks all living cells) but I've had a runny "clear" nose to go with. I spoke to Dr. Territo this morning and she gave me the go ahead to start oral antibiotics. She was not too concerned with my symptoms, and told me that the antibiotics should take care of it over the weekend. If not, I am to call her on Monday, or go to the ER if things get much worse. Her exact orders were to stay in bed and drink lots of fluids. That I can handle, and I have to trust her comfort level with this plan.

As for my Mom, she has been moved to a rehabilitation center where she will stay for 2 weeks. Her heart tests were fine and they found some fluid on her lungs, so it is possible she had walking pneumonia, and the shortness of breath caused her fall. Turns out she broke not just her tail bone, but the bone that protects all of the nerve endings in the spinal cord. It's no wonder she has been in so much pain.

So that is our update for now. Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers. Please send prayers that the antibiotics start working and that I can continue to stay in the comfort of home during this chemo recovery. We're in the home stretch now and I can hardly wait to be done with all this IV chemo stuff.

Thanks again - I'll keep you posted! KCA!


Army of Mom said...

Sorry to hear you're not feeling great. But, glad to hear that Jenelle is doing well.

Steel Magnolias is the movie I go to when I need a good cry. We used to laugh about it because I'd wait until everyone was gone or in bed and I'd watch it alone and weep out loud to cleanse myself of all that was building up.

And, I think it is funny that you picture Jenelle as Shelby. As a childhood cancer survivor (and with all the many afflictions I've had growing up and in my adult life) I always identified with the Shelby character and always associated my mom with the Sally Field character. She was always trying to run my life and tell me what to do and I've always just wanted to live my life to its fullest regardless of how much time I have. :)

You're a blessing to Jenelle as much as she is to you.

God bless you Kelly. Keep on KCA!

Mer said...

Steel Magnolias is one of my all time favorite movies!!! Our only copy is one that we recorded ourselves on a VHS tape years and years and years ago and it's so warped can hardly play anymore. LOL. Maybe I will put that on my birthday list. Oh wait... I don't make birthday lists. :) Oh well.

As for staying home instead of at the hospital - I know my own personality and I would *have* to be at the hospital in order to take it easy and rest in bed, etc. I know I wouldn't do it - even with low grade fever, sore throat, etc. Sigh. I make a terrible patient. I'd have to go to the hospital just so I wouldn't kick into "MOM" mode all the time. Then again I have a husband that isn't quite as capable as yours. Maybe that would help. ;)

Love when you update!

Gators_Rule said...

Having grown up in the South, I can relate to the movie. I swear the Shirley MacLaine character was my next door neighbor! That movie contained some of the best female characters.

Jenelle is so lucky to have you as her mother. It sure sounds like the luck in the relationship goes both ways. I'm so glad I met up with you guys the last time I was there. I'm just sad that we won't be able to see each other this time.


Anonymous said...

Prayers ongoing. Hope you are just right after the weekend.

Sincere thanks on the update on Jenelle. Ahhhh! Seizure-free minutes are absolutely wonderful. And when they stretch into hours...playing with toys and sleep in the sunshine!

The good news is, your Mom is getting care. Sounds like the correct kind of care.

-To the curb, Cancer!


Anonymous said...

So happy for Jenelle and you that her seizures are being controlled. It is night and day on how they feel and wonderful to see how active and how many milestones they accomplish.
Continuing to pray for you Kelly and your daughter. Thanks for sharing you and your daughter's journeys. Praying that the antibiotics helped and you are feeling better and fever free. There are so many infections and viruses going around right now, it has been a hard winter for this.

It is funny you mentioned Steel Magnolias.....I was watching it last week and again Sunday and I think we can all relate to someone in the movie. This movie has to be one of my top 3 favorites and I bring it out at least every couple months and I still cry and laugh at the same spots, as if it was the first time I saw it. Thanks for the reminder.

Take care and God Bless. You have a lot of people praying for you and your family! KCA.