It’s definitely been strange and wonderful at the same time to be back in Memphis and at St. Jude. Since it’s only been 12 weeks since we left, things still feel so fresh and familiar. So many memories came flooding back to this time last year. Caleb was just losing his hair from radiation, and going home felt so far away. To think about how far we’ve come in a year as we walk around the St. Jude campus gives me chills.
But nothing says “welcome back” like a 12 hour day of appointments. It wasn’t supposed to be this long of a day, but as we know this cancer journey is always full of twists and turns. We started the day at 9am with a blood draw and then a clinic appointment with his team of doctors at 10:30am. It has been fun to see everyone, but we immediately knew it was going to be a long day when we were told his platelets were too low to do his lumbar puncture (LP) today. They wanted to go ahead with the scheduled MRI but after that they wanted to give Caleb some platelets to get that count up. His LP was rescheduled for tomorrow morning. The MRI will tell us if his brain/spine are clean (with no tumor growth) and the LP will tell us if there are any cancerous cells in his spinal fluid. We will get results on both tomorrow afternoon.
Caleb did great in his MRI even though he didn’t “go to sleep” until 2pm. He couldn’t eat all morning because of the anesthesia, so in true Caleb fashion he woke up very hungry! By the time we walked into the recovery room he already had Goldfish crackers and orange juice that the nurse had gotten him. That was immediately followed by Cinnamon Toast Crunch, a fruit cup, and a chocolate bar. This kid!!! But he wakes up sweet and drowsy and he’s so funny so we don’t mind getting him whatever he wants to eat.
It’s been a long day but we are thankful to be here. Oddly we have missed this place in a lot of ways. I got to have my favorite lunch from Kay Kafe and Caleb played in his favorite playrooms. The “Happy Cart” also came around and spoiled Caleb with hot wheels toys, a dinosaur, and Legos. Thank goodness for that because it’s been a long night in the med room and those toys have kept him entertained.
I miss Tyler so much but he’s at home having a great time with Grandpa and Grebbie. It’s strange not having our family here together though. Several times today I caught myself looking at the clock to see if it was time to pick Tyler up from school, and it’s strange not having our apartment to go back to. It’s almost like I just pop back into our old life being here. I’m sure that will change as time passes, but 12 weeks isn’t very long so I still feel like there hasn’t been much separation from our life here and our life at home.
We will be back tomorrow morning for his LP, MRI results, and a physical therapy appointment later in the day. Then Thursday is packed full with psychology, speech, occupational therapy, neurology, and audiology appointments. Then we fly home Friday.
Naturally I’m nervous about results tomorrow, but I feel as calm as I can about everything. There are always signs from God that things will be ok. When we left Tampa we saw a rainbow as we were taking off, we saw the most beautiful sunset as we came down through the clouds into Memphis, and today I saw a lady bug on our van. I went to the van after lunch to take a nap (ha ha!) and when I woke up I rolled over and there was a lady bug on the window. I snapped a quick pic and immediately the nurse from MRI called to tell me that Caleb did great and was in recovery. There are no coincidences. I took this as a good sign that everything is going to be ok.
It’s been a long day so that’s all for now. I will update everyone after we get results tomorrow!