Correction: The second photo is actually 8 months into treatments.
It's strange to see what a difference 8 months makes. I didn't realize how much Mason has changed until I put these two photos side-by-side. I can hardly believe that the boy on the left has grown into the boy on the right; stronger, faster, smarter--and at the same time, weaker and more delicate. He has grown from a little boy, blissfully unaware of the harder things in life, into a boy who can overcome anything. Mason is a kid who could fly if he wanted to.
Throughout all of this, the thing that has surprised me the most is how accepting Mason is of it all. He carries his battle scars proudly, and he loves to talk about his experiences. He is not ashamed of anything having to do with his cancer. Not that he should be. It is just very uplifting to see him talk to other children (or adults) who are curious, and explain anything they want to know about.
He still has days when he feels bad and days when he talks "bad" about his cancer (he is allowed to say words like "stupid," "idiot," and "poopy," only when talking about cancer). But overall, he accepts that it's a part of his life for now, and keeps doing whatever he would have done anyway. To him, cancer is not a reason to stop doing the things he loves. He refuses to let it hold him back. With this, he has taught me a very strong lesson. I have begun talking him places I wouldn't have dared take him only two months ago (like the zoo, church, and *gasp!* preschool). I've relaxed a little. I may regret it later, but then again, I will definitely regret not letting him really live his life during this time.
Besides, Mason isn't one to let someone like his mother hold him back from anything, either. ;)
Anyway, it's been a while (way too long) since I have taken a before and after picture, so I figured it was about time to do it.
I also got some pictures of his scars. They healed up quite nicely:
And some bloopers, for good measure: