Sunday, August 9, 2009
NOT One of Our Favorite Places ....
The sun will not have been up long and the little love and I will be heading out. Just the two of us. Like countless times before. Destination: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. It has been almost 2 months since we have had to be there. We popped down once but that was of our own volition. Tomorrow, required. Blood check. First official follow up since chemo was completed. That means port access. Hate that. Zoey hates that more. Sad thing is, she probably has forgotten about that barbaric practice by now. Use to be she spotted the sterile tray a mile away. When your being jabbed by a 3/4 inch needle weekly you get good at honing your defensive tactile move. Tomorrow, she'll never see it coming. We will draw labs and wait. For me that means, deep breathing, constant pacing and the overall desire to hurl whatever breakfast I manged to get down. I could never explain the feeling of waiting for those labs. We have been doing it since long before diagnosis. Ever since birth when we knew that the ugly beast could be laying in wait. Never was good at those draws then and know for sure that for the next several years, it will be no better. Always Mondays too. Mondays are her oncologist's clinic days. Monday was the day, October the 27,2009 to be exact, that life for us, for Zoey, would take the turn that we always knew it could take but never could we be fully prepared for it. So,tomorrow I go. Me and Zoey. Always just the two of us. Mark usually is working. Friends and family have their own lives to attend to. Jessica was sweet enough to offer to go. Tomorrow is her only day off. Christi, Zoey's vision therapist and my friend also offered. Sweet of them both but I'll be fine. In some ways, weird as it sounds, I see the storm we just found our way through and I feel almost capable of anything. Strengthened and rallied by the fact we or rather Zoey, has at least made it this far. Does that mean that I am not still almost brought to my knees at the thought of hearing the words relapse or blasts? No, you bet I am and I would go down hard but there is just something about facing ones biggest fears and surviving past the initial blow that lends itself to empowerment. Tomorrow, we will manage, my little side kick and I. We walk the halls. People watch. Bound to run into familiar faces. The 5th floor tower is always packed. Day hospital, emergency clinic, treatment rooms, appointment rooms, playroom ... rooms filled with children in various stages of pediatric cancer battles. All unfair wars raging. Some victorious and some well, some just weighed down by a burden no child should ever, ever have to carry. I will never, ever, for as long as I live, be able to reconcile the incongruities of the word childhood and the images I watch play out before me on that floor. And the 5th floor, hey that is the lesser of two evils. The 4th floor, the one we called home for 7 months, that is a whole other deal. That floor is the the one I struggled and still struggle to this day, to find that 80/20 cure rate. It wasn't there. Probably still isn't today. That my friends I can tell you first a hand. Zoey and I will probably wander that way as well tomorrow at some point. We have friends there still journeying forward.Kai,Klein and Sarah, all in the BMT unit. And Justine, beginning round 4. We follow them. We pray for them. We want them out of there. Home where they belong. So we go. Tomorrow we begrudgingly go. Or at least I do because this child of mine she will go as she always does. Happy, joyful and most importantly with forgiveness. I don't know if I have made that peace yet. Hopefully one day. I will keep you posted on the events of the day. If all looks good, Zoey is scheduled to have her port removed on the 18th. What a day that will be. What a story to be told. Almost ten months in the making. Surreal in many regards.
Our weekend was great. Nothing too exciting. Just enjoying our time together. We went to dinner at our good friends house on Saturday night. That is where these pictures were taken. Thank you Rick, Deb and Eric,(missed you Lauren), for a perfect evening. It was just what the doctor ordered. We also managed to pack in a concert in the park, some swimming, some card game playing, and some school shopping. Everyone doing a little of this and a little of that. The week ahead is packed. Therapies almost daily. A few doctors appointments. A trip to the aquarium followed by a play date with the very darling Reid and his beautiful family. Another get together at the end of the week with Angel baby Luke's pregnant momma and his sister Gracie. We can't wait to see them. They are examples of blessings coming from the very place that I am dreading heading to tomorrow. Morning will be here before I know it so I better wind this up. I know in many, many ways, we have, Zoey has, passed through what appears to be once again the worst of the latest storm and as true as that is, she still needs, we still need the love, support and prayers of those of you that continue to follow our journey. We derived such strength from you all. Those of you that make yourself known and those that we have no idea your even there. Actually ... we feel you and we thank you and we remained humbled and grateful as ever.