We survived Christmas on our own. I mentioned before that this is the first Christmas that I have not been in Michigan - in my life! It wasn't bad until Christmas Eve when we started thinking about everything that we were missing out on. We always get together with the Lansings over at Ryan's parent's house, have a feast and then watch a movie - a night of enjoying togetherness with family and friends. Christmas morning begins with breakfast over at my brother Chad's house followed by gifts and the afternoon wraps up with cousins and presents. This year was different...not bad just different. We have talked in years past about experiencing Christmas on our own - I think this year, a year without a choice, probably cured me of that desire.
The Sunday after Christmas we decided to brave taking Audrey to church, just for sacrament meeting. It wasn't an emotional experience for me until I saw the excited faces and even some tears. Then, I became emotional. I know that we have people around the country loving us and praying for us and it was so apparent in the faces we saw on Sunday morning. On a side note - Audrey was nuts during church and Nathan was in a mood and burst into tears a couple of time, though it was hectic, it was worth it.
After church we began our drive down to Jacksonville where we had several appointments and had everything set up to do Audrey's proton radiation therapy. This is an intense five week program where Audrey will receive radiation 30 times. We went in thinking that it was a 5 week program, but even if we do it five days a week it will take at least six weeks. We were also told to expect delays due to machinery malfunctions and if her blood counts are not good we will not be able to have treatment. I am really not looking forward to the time in Jacksonville. It is a long time to be away from home, having my family split apart and everything "normal" on pause. I am going to have a very hard time being away from Nathan. We have things set up so he can go to someones house every day from the time he is finished with school until Ryan picks him up after work. Ryan and Nathan are going to travel down on weekends but the drive is over 6 hours and it makes me feel terrible having them travel that distance for such a short period of time we are able to spend together.
Audrey and I are currently in the hospital receiving her third set of Chemotherapy. So far so good. We will be here until sometime on Sunday afternoon/evening. Ryan will be staying with her tomorrow night - it is always a nice break for me. The constant in and out of the medical staff is very taxing.