As of Wednesday this week, Caleb has reached his final week of radiation treatments! As I shared yesterday, Christina is in Tampa enjoying a well deserved break so you guys are stuck with me again today. I am a little behind this week so today’s blog will cover Wednesday and Thursday. Caleb had a jam packed Friday full of appointments starting at 7am, I started writing this at 8:30am this morning and now it’s 1:12am on Saturday and I am finally finishing up! (more on Friday’s events later in a blog later).
I cannot believe we have been here since September 16, completed 2 weeks of assessments and prep, been to just over 200 appointments for various assessments, doctors, etc, etc and now have completed 27 of his 30 radiation treatments. As we started this journey we were immediately drawn to the “superhero” nickname for how awesome he handled the initial surgery and recovery. However since then he has proven that he is a real life superhero in every way. He has endured more than most of us will in our entire lives and he has been amazing (even surprising the doctors on many days, including Wednesday).
With Christina in Tampa and me normally working during the day, Grebbie and Grandpa continued to step in for us on Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately Caleb’s schedule this week continued to be a tough one. His “sleepy appointments” were at 12:30 every day this week which really makes for some tough days, but Grebbie and Grandpa did an awesome job! Both days were pretty much the same so they were able to keep a nice little routine. With Tyler required to be to school by 7:55 and me starting work at 8 etc day, Grebbie and Grandpa’s days started pretty early. They picked up both Tyler and Caleb around 7:30 each day (in the freezing cold, coldest days of the year so far!). On Wednesday they dropped Tyler off at 7:45 and then headed into St. Jude. Caleb meets with the Radiation Oncologist on Wednesday’s and luckily that meeting was prior to his treatment. They both got to hear a little more about his treatment and as always Caleb passed all their regular tests, even impressing them a little with how well he has handled all the treatments. They also let us know there is a good chance he could continue to be nauseous for a few weeks after treatment is complete, so they refilled his Zofran (medicine to battle the nausea). After that they had a couple hour gap before his treatment, however as you can see I think he was enjoying himself with Grebbie and Grandpa!
After treatment, Caleb talked them into a new tradition, going to the Kay Cafe to get a big popsicle before leaving. Caleb loves his popsicles after treatment and these are even bigger than the ones we had at home! Grebbie and Grandpa did a great job letting Caleb recover a little at St Jude, in fact the play areas at St. Jude are so good they ended up staying a while and playing more around the hospital as he was recovering. Since I had to work they kept Caleb entertained until it was time to go get Tyler. After picking up Tyler they all headed back to the apartment and decided they really wanted Happy Meal Store for dinner. So they picked me up and off to McDonalds we went. By the end of dinner they were both worn out (and so were Grebbie and Grandpa) so Grebbie and Grandpa dropped us back off at the apartment and headed to the hotel to rest up to do it all over again on Thursday. We FaceTimed with Mommy and off to bed!
Thursday was a much pretty much exactly the same as Wednesday (pretty much the way all our days work). Except tonight Tyler got the chance to sleep over at Grebbie and Grandpa’s hotel. As I mentioned, Caleb had a 7:00am appointment on Friday, so it was easier for them to handle Tyler and me to handle Caleb. So off they went to grab dinner and have a good night with them (which he did and even got to get up on Friday to an awesome hot breakfast at the hotel) while Caleb and I also had good night. Caleb loved the games at McDonalds near by and it was getting late already so I gave in again and let him get a happy meal (no judging). He had a blast playing the games and ate an awesome dinner. We also had to head to Kroger and get some items to help Tyler’s class put together Thanksgiving gift baskets for needy families. He was an awesome help in Kroger and even helped pull the wagon in and put the groceries away. So, one of the other downsides of late treatment appointments is Caleb’s entire day is thrown off and he has a lot of trouble falling asleep. So I let him stay up and play a little extra tonight after we got home. Not only did he play he was in a great mood and asked to “color some cards” that he saw sitting on my desk. I told him we could do something even better. Earlier in the week the kids asked what we were going to do with all the candy we had from Halloween and we told them we would keep some and find a place we might be able to donate some to people who may not get any candy. Well I found www.operationgratitude.com and realized it was the last day to get our candy in to the soldiers. So I explained to Caleb that there were people around the world helping keep us safe and it would be so great if we could send them some of our extra candy. He loved the idea and wanted to send them cards too (we had sent out a few thank you cards that he colored the previous week). I told him that was a great idea! He colored and drew out 4 thank you cards with markers and stickers, I added a little note to each and we sealed up the box! Even through everything he is dealing with he has such a good heart!
We finished packing up his requested snack of Pretzels, gummies, apple sauce and animal crackers and finally went to bed. After a day like that he was out in less than 2 mins!
As I said, Friday (yesterday now), began at 7:00am and was definitely one of the harder days we have faced. On top of all that it was the coldest day of the year so far with wind chills in the high 20s!