Number 10 feels like a big deal.
When I was 10 years old, I was in 4th grade. I remember on the first day of school I wore a yellow t-shirt with a red beaded butterfly on the front. I paired it with a pair of flared Shopko jeans I begged my mom to buy.
In addition to all the cute school clothes we picked out together, I couldn’t get these jeans out of my head. They were incredible.
A red belt was attached to them made of what I imagine were thousands of tiny red beads. Probably fifty strands of these tiny beads were woven together and fastened on the side with a red disco ball looking bead the size of a quarter. The ends of the strings swung freely at my side.
On the first day of school the beautiful belt broke in the grass during PE. Beads went everywhere and I was devastated. Mrs. Tullis grabbed a Ziploc and my entire class spent the hour picking up the tiny beads and putting them in the bag for me to take home.
My mom assured me we’d fix it.
The belt proved difficult to fix, but we made the best of it! I made bracelets, earrings, glued the beads to art projects, and much more.
I asked Jake if he remembered anything from 10th grade. He said, “Yes! That’s when you moved to Parowan.” That turned out to be a pretty big deal.
Yesterday was chemotherapy treatment number 10 and for some reason it felt like a big deal.
Jake’s numbers are still great. We spent the few treatment hours holding hands and watching the State Basketball Tournament play out for the Parowan Boys.
We sat in lucky chemo chair #13, and the boys won the game. My mom said the boys must have won to celebrate chemo #10. Our pet bird Loie even pooped on my sweat pants before we headed to the clinic. (I’ve heard birds pooping on you is good luck.)
One of our nurses this round was there at another big deal appointment, our first one.
She reminded us of that first appointment and how much better things are now. They really are.
That first appointment felt a little like 10 years old. I felt a little like I did when I was standing in the grass with an open Ziploc bag as people rushed around me to pick up tiny red beads.
Everyone assured me they’d fix him.
So, we make the best of it. We are so grateful for these past few months of our lives. We are grateful to our Heavenly Father for the miracles that have occurred, and for all those who have asked for them on our behalf.
One of the first things I loved about Jake was his smile. I always joked that he looked like an Orbit commercial. It is beautiful and no surprise to me that he still smiles all the time.
The end of our cancer journey is in sight. Jake’s smile is as beautiful and bright as ever. Parowan Basketball has a shot at a State Championship. Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.
My name is Maddie Townsend Topham and I am a happy wife!