I am back with a long overdue update! We have been very busy around here, but thankfully life has been busy with mostly good times and few appointments at St. Jude over the last week. The first part of each Chemo cycle is usually like this. We are able to live life more normally, and then the second half of each cycle is where it gets a little harder. So Caleb has been soaking up every minute of fun that he got to have with Nana and his cousin Koral, while Tyler and I flew down to Tampa.
Last Friday, March 1st, marked the 8th day of Chemo Cycle 3. The first 7 days Caleb takes his oral chemo at home, so on that 8th day he has to go in for a blood draw to get his counts checked. His counts were very strong, but he did have to get a blood transfusion because his Hgb was just a little under where they would like it to be. So he spent most of the day at St. Jude for that.
Also at St. Jude that day, the music therapy department was giving away Ukulele’s. St. Jude is always doing amazing things, but this was extra cool! The boys love music and Tyler has actually been learning the Ukulele in his after school music class. The people at St. Jude were kind enough to give Caleb one to bring home to Tyler too. I just can’t wait to hear them making beautiful music together at home (ha ha ya right!). But in all seriousness I’m so thankful for all the amazing things St. Jude does and this was just another great example.
On that same day, Tyler and I flew home to Tampa. This is the first time Tyler has been home since early December. He could hardly contain his excitement from the moment we got to the airport, to the moment we arrived at the new house. We had several special things planned for the weekend, including my grandma’s 90th birthday, Tyler having a sleepover with Don and Myra, and me running the Skyway Bridge race for the second year in a row.
The weekend started with my grandma’s 90th birthday. We didn’t tell her that Tyler and I were coming in town. She thought my dad was picking her up to take her to lunch and then we surprised her with a party. 90 is a big deal so she deserved all the best! She was so happy to see Tyler and Tyler was so happy to see her. I just wish Caleb and James could have been there too, but I know we will all be together again soon.
The rest of that day Tyler got to go home and play in his own neighborhood! He rode bikes with the kids across the street and we went to the little park that is only one street over from our house. It always amazes me how quickly kids make friends. I can’t wait until we are living in our new house all the time! Just look at his smile!
That night Tyler had a sleepover with Don and Myra so that I could get up crazy early the next morning to drive to St Pete and run the Skyway 10k. I am so grateful for the special people in Tyler’s life. They took him to “Chicken Store” for dinner and then to the Strawberry Festival the next day to ride the rides and enjoy all the delicious food. This was so special to me because we have missed so many of our “regular traditions” these past few months. It was so awesome that Tyler didn’t have to miss out on the Strawberry Festival this year! And he came home loaded with prizes that he won playing the games!!!
And as for the Skyway 10k run, it was the most beautiful morning I could have ever asked for. The event raises money for military families, and there are always so many inspirational stories that you hear. And speaking of inspirational, this was my mom’s first ever 10k!!! When she puts her mind to something nothing can stop her. I’m so proud of her. A 10k is hard enough, but a 10k with a giant bridge in the middle is even crazier. I’m so proud of you mom!! It was a great event, and honestly I was just soaking in the beautiful Florida weather and water views that I miss so much!!
Tyler and I spent the rest of the weekend soaking in the time we had at our house. We got a visit from friends, and he was so excited to be home in his own room, and playing with all the toys he hasn’t seen in months. It was so nice to watch him get comfortable in his own house. We also broke in the pool!!! This was a big deal to me because I have been dreaming of swimming in this pool since we decided that we were putting one in, so it was a great moment. I only wish all 4 of us could have been there, but hopefully we’ll be making many memories there this summer!
Meanwhile back in Memphis, James, Koral, Caleb and Nana were making so many memories of their own. They played outside, cooked meals, baked Banana Bread, and even got in a Banana Pudding fight!! I am so thankful that they were able to make Caleb feel special so he wasn’t sad that Tyler and I went away. I am also so thankful for all their help in cooking delicious meals, doing laundry, and on and on. I am sad that they had to leave today, but I know we’ll see them soon.
As much as I loved being in Florida, I missed Caleb and James so I was so happy to get back to Memphis to see them. The boys definitely missed each other very much, and each got each other a little surprise to share when they got back home. I love seeing them grow closer all the time!
We have our next appointment Thursday, March 7th. I am pretty sure we are going to be admitted on Friday for our next inpatient stay where Caleb will receive round 3 of the high dose chemo. This is my least favorite part of each cycle. Being cooped up in a hospital room is no fun, followed by Caleb’s immune system tanking for the next 7-10 days after that. But, at least we are in round 3 and every day spent fighting this fight is another day closer to getting back home! I will update everyone again when we know for sure we are getting admitted. But at least Cycle 3 is well under way and we have officially passed our half way point in treatment!!