I Interrupt This Blog….

I Interrupt this blog to bring the most amazingly wonderful Proud Momma news!!! 

Buckle up…an entire post sans Cancer!! 

Adam has been accepted to the University of Rochester’s class of 2021 AND awarded a FULL SCHOLARSHIP!!

Yesterday morning, right before Adam left for school, he recieved notification from U of R to check his portal for the financial aid letter. He had found out last week he was accepted but he was waiting to receive the financial aid package. 

When we looked at the letter, me peering over his shoulder in true helicopter form, neither of us said a word. We just read it and re-read it. I asked him if this was correct….they didn’t make a mistake, right? No…we were reading it correctly. 

Words escape me. Adam has worked SO hard for this. This year especially. Senior year is supposed to be fun but Adam has what I would say is his most rigorous course load (4 AP/Honors classes), he enrolled in a two night a week EMT certification class and he works part-time at a Dr. Office as a File Clerk. The boy is BUSY.

This scholarship is such a gift. Adam will be able to enter Medical School with out the added burden of undergrad student loans. 

We meet with representatives from the University of Rochester on Friday to confirm Adam’s acceptance and lock in his spot before he leaves for Italy! 

Yes! Eight days in Italy with his High School! Adam will actually be at the Vatican on Easter Sunday. I know he’s going to have the best time. 

So, this post is for you Son. I am so, so proud of what you have accomplished so far and I know that there are so many great things in your future. You have the ability to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself and I am confident that you will be successful in the Medical specialty you choose for yourself.

I love you Adam. You will always be my Adam Banana, My Lil Pup no matter how old or grown-up you get. You’ll always be my baby boy.

A Very Special Day

Today was a very special day.

As parents we ‘check of’ the various milestones our children reach and make mental notes of those that have yet to come. When you have a terminal illness you find yourself playing a kind of ‘beat the clock’ between yourself and these milestones. Hoping that you’ll still be around to see all of them just as you would if you weren’t sick. Except the milestones become that much more bittersweet. (Will that one be the last? Will I be well enough to see the next one??)

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Today was one of those milestones and not only was I there for it but I felt good. I felt like every Mother should on this day: full of excitement, anticipation and a stomach full of knots.

Today, my Son took his road test to get his Drivers License.

He was SO nervous. He made me wake him extra early so he could get in a few extra parallel parking practices. He didn’t need it but I indulged him.

As I watched him drive away for the test, I flashed back to when I let go of his two-wheeler and he rode his bike without falling. He was doing it and I was here to watch just like before.

The whole test took 7 minutes but it was the longest 7 minutes of my life and I’m betting it felt a whole lot longer for him. While I waited for the DMV Rep to finish the paperwork I caught my Son’s eye and he gave me the ‘nod’ that told me he passed. It was all I could do to hold in the tears.

After all the phone calls and text messages were made telling the good news, I let Adam drop me off home and allowed him to drive to school and work…..alone. He earned this victory drive. I did make him promise me to let me know he made it safely to school since I wasn’t riding shotgun.

Fifteen minutes later I recieved this text message:

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Oh, how I love my sarcastic smarty pants child.

My Son the Doctor

Ever since my son was 7 yrs old he had a love of computers. He discovered YouTube and found that he could watch courses taught by MIT professors. He took notes. He was facinated. He taught himself programs like C++, Java and Unix. We were always at the library checking out books on Application Development or Web Development. I was happy he found something that he liked and was good at.

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As my son got older he began to get savvier in his knowledge and his network of friends. He began doing projects for different people and was being generously compensated for it. He was updating websites, creating ‘universe’s’ for games and developing online stores.

His technology experience was also well known at school and was often asked by teachers to help when there was an issue with a computer or smart board. If you asked anyone, they’d tell you HE was the IT Department.

When Adam was 10, he discovered a free local computer magazine. He took it upon himself to contact the publisher and ask if he could write an article for the magazine. The publisher wrote back that he could with my permission. Adam excitedly wrote an excellent article about a program created by MIT designed to get kids interested in programming. I still have about 50 copies of the magazine.

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Last February, Adam started working for a well known General Practitioner after school. Adam was very impressed with the Dr and took a shine to him.  The Dr was aware of Adam’s strong technical ability and had helped with a few projects the Dr has asked him to help with.

This past September when Adam started his Junior year, he decided that he wanted to pursue Medicine instead of Computer Science. In making this change he added a third Advanced Placement class to his schedule.

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Today when he was at work he told the Dr that he is going to go Pre Med and asked him for his advice. Adam told me the Dr was very pleased and told him he was welcome to shadow him with seeing patients. He also gave Adam other great advice that Adam plans to pursue.

I’m so overwhelmed. I always knew my son was exceptionally smart but it never occurred to me that he would want to become a doctor some day. Thinking about it brings tears because I can’t say if I’ll be here to see him reach this goal. Right now, I’m just trying to make sure I’m here to see him graduate from High School. I would give anything to see him graduate from medical school but the likelihood is slim. I’m not being negative, I’m being realistic.

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But how amazing??  My son…the Doctor!!!

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A Letter to My Son

Dear Son,

You just turned 16.

It seems like I blinked and you went from a curious toddler to a handsome, bright young man with such a bright future within your grasp. I so excited for you and can’t wait to see what path you choose for yourself. I’m confident you’ll choose wisely.

There is so much I want to tell you but I know how much you hate ‘mushy’ letters. This will not be one of those. This includes important things to remember for when you choose a partner to share your life with.

You’re probably shaking your head at me because of how things didn’t work out with your Father. I may not seem like the best person to be doling out advice but I have a very unique perspective that I didn’t have before.

Obviously, you’ll want someone who loves and respects you. You’ll want someone that you can laugh with and share memories with. Everyone does. You’ll also want someone who drives you a little bit crazy with the particular way they do things. It’s OK. It will remind you of why you fell in love in the first place.

You’ll want someone who shares some of your interests. It’s OK if there are some differences. If you both liked all the same things life would be boring.

Now pay attention because this is important. This is something few are told and even less consider when choosing a partner…ready?

Be very, very certain that if your partner or you ever have a significant health issue that both of you will be committed to each other. That you’ll support each other emotionally because that’s so important. Neither of you can ‘check out’ emotionally because things get scary. Be sure that you’ll both dig your heels in and support one another. Don’t be so selfish that your feelings become more important than her’s regardless of who is ill.

If one of you has a medical issue, there may be days of moodiness or frustration or anger. You’ll both have to be strong enough to not take it personally. Believe me…it will be hard; maybe even harder than the illness itself.  But if you can’t do this, your relationship won’t survive.

You both may have to do difficult things for the other person, like administer shots or learn how to give nutrition thru a feeding tube.

You’ll have to understand that there may be days where one of you may be in pain or nauseated to the point where leaving the house just isn’t an option. Don’t harbor resentment. This isn’t being done “on purpose”.

You or your partner may talk about difficult topics like death or end of life decisions. You both may not want to talk about it but the conversations need to happen. Neither of you can shut down on the other.

I don’t mean to be depressing but  these are things I never considered. I always thought it never could happen to me. But as you know it did. Learn from my life.  Be thankful you have this to learn from.

I pray every night that you will be spared from having any significant illness and I pray whoever you share your life with will always be healthy. That neither of you will have to be a caretaker to the other. I want only the best for you in all things.

So, for now, tuck this letter away in a safe place and when the time comes and you’re considering marriage, pull this back out and read it again. Really read it.

Love you to the Moon and back,
Mom
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