Monday, October 18, 2010

On The Mend

So you'd think (at least I think) after as many treks to the hospital as we make on a regular basis, the things we take to the hospital would be automatic, second nature---kinda like loading all your children in the car. Okay, so perhaps we're not always perfect....

I brought the boys to the hospital Sunday afternoon to visit and to switch out hospital duty with Ryan. It was crazy and loud and somehow the boys are always suddenly hungry when we get here. They raid the refrigerator of soda, juice, popsicles, ice cream cups, saltines, and graham crackers. I suppose I'd feel more guilty if William ate more and if the boys actually visited often. Both seldom happen. After the boys all left and I settled in, I realized I forgot my Harry Potter book (I'm trying to catch up with William), my hair brush (not my fault---little helpers played in my bag), and my laptop. Gasp. That's practically an appendage. However, the weaning process is going well since the introduction of my new phone into the family. But it's nice to be reunited nonetheless.

William is still in the hospital and it looks like Tuesday or Wednesday he should head home. His immune system has not started to recover: ANC still 0. I went back through all our lab results over the past 4 1/2 months and double checked the recovery trends. I was sure he was off-trend, but discovered he typically recovers on day 9 or 10. Today is day 9, so he's still within the norm. A day or two extra, given he's completed 6 rounds, would not be too unexpected. I'm such a nerd! Fortunately, we're getting several of the scheduled scans out of the way while we're still inpatient status.

The mouth sores seem to be on the mend as he's been eating a bit more. But I don't want to exaggerate here, it's more like grazing and it makes me hungry just agonizing over the speed and quantity of his eating. He still needs to swish with a numbing cocktail and have a dose of morphine each time he eats. He also seems to be on the mend because he's chatting up a storm. (Our day nurse received quite the explanation and demonstration of Angry Birds!) Another sign of healing is William's eyelashes and eyebrows. If you look closely, he has eyelash and eyebrow stubble! It's the simple milestones we relish!

Ryan and I escaped Saturday night for a very, very needed date. A HUGE thank you to two fun boys from church and their mother for having a game night with William at the hospital and a great neighbor girl who was willing at the last minute to watch the other boys so Ryan and I could go out to dinner and triple our caloric intake for the day! It was a much needed ending to a stressful day and after a good cathartic cry.

The boys all seem to be doing well considering what their world has become. Sometimes it seems like the younger ones have no idea that our lives have been turned upside down. That's our general objective. We want to protect and nurture, while understanding they are smart and perceptive. It is obvious they feel the strains too sometimes. The other night while saying family prayers, William said, "Please bless that our life won't be so hard anymore." My eyes welled up with tears and Ryan and I stole a glance at each other; the kind of glance that pulls at the heart and makes you take a deep breath and push pause while you hurry and take them in your arms.

I am curious to see the ways our family is strengthened through this journey. It may take years for me to be able to go back and read what I have written. I skimmed over some older entries recently and it was too hard to revisit some of the events and emotions. One day I hope my children will read this journal and find comfort, understanding, peace, faith, guidance, counsel, patience, hope, acceptance, kindness, answers . . . and above all, a knowledge of the love their parents and Heavenly Father have for each of them. I love you, William. I love you, Clark. I love you, Cameron. I love you, Nathan. I love you, Soren.


  1. Julie, the boys will most definitely learn all those things from your journal -- those qualities and your testimony come through loud and clear. I so admire the way you and Ryan are handling all this. From my point of view on the sidelines, the boys seem to be doing very well, indeed! They are happy and energetic and the same as they've always been. This experience will bring all of you blessings, I am sure! Love you tons!!

  2. I think Will's chattiness is a sure sign he's feeling better. And getting eyelashes back is a bonus! We're so glad you and Ryan had time to be together. Hope it can happen again sooner than later. And that you and your computer have been reunited is great news too. We've been wondering if Will were still in the hospital--but it sounds that you've gotten some other medical tasks taken care of in the meantime. We love you, Julie- as well as all the boys.