Thursday December 29, 2011

Today marks one week since we left Memphis. We were unsure whether Shannon would even make it home, but here we are 7 days later and she's still with us.

Last night she showed her first signs of distress and finally said yes to some pain medication. 8 months since diagnosis and last night was the first time we used anything for pain. So a couple of small doses of morphine helped the lungs to relax and not work so hard to clear themselves. She slept soundly through the night last night in the leather recliner that kept her more upright and allowed her to breathe more easily. I suspect feeling relaxed is the best she can feel right now.

Yesterday brought a steady stream of visitors and a couple of them were really poignant, memory-filled visits. The most emotional point yesterday was a visit from our old neighbors, the Gushulaks. When we moved into this house on Shannon's second birthday, there were two little girls living just across the street. When Erin was born the following year, we had a foursome: Abby, a year older than Shannon, and Tessa, a year older than little E.

The pictures and stories we shared yesterday brought back so many of those early childhood memories. Your kids first best friends. The ones who spent hours playing school, drawing on the driveways with chalk, and selling really lousy lemonade to the neighbors. These girls show up in a lot of our home videos. Nikki was the mom I could call and say, "please take my kids for an hour because they are driving me crazy!" and she wouldn't question my skills as a mother. And vice versa. Our girls haven't spent as much time together since the Gushulaks moved from the neighborhood several years ago, but the memories came flooding back yesterday as Abby held Shannon's hand and cried.

Another day is upon us ...