Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy 6-Month Anniversary, Cancer

Six months ago, today, we changed. It's a good kind of change in a way no one chooses. So we're celebrating. And nothing says celebration like spending a day with the doctors and nurses we love so much! So we did.

We started the day at the pediatrician's office for Soren's 4-year well check-up. Here's the conversation half way through the immunizations.

Nurse: At least he's holding still fairly well.
Me: Or his mother is really strong.

Soren cried and thrashed and I broke a sweat, but he's now 5 shots richer!

Next, we zipped off to William's biweekly clinic visit to check his blood counts. He had a blood transfusion on Friday so I thought we'd be in and out before school pick ups. Wrong. He is still neutropenic and he needed more blood. Yeah, the blood that takes 3 hours to infuse and managed to keep him at the hospital 9 hours on Friday. I didn't see that one coming. His bone marrow is pretty worn out from 8 rounds of chemo, his recovery time is slower, and the red blood cells are being zapped about as fast as they can replicate.

We headed up to the out-patient floor for blood and earned a private room due to neutropenic status. There are perks, sometimes. Luckily the blood only took a couple hours to prepare and just under 3 more to infuse. (Did I really start that last sentence with "luckily"?) I was kept busy trying to catch the ball that was dropped regarding the scheduling of all William's scans this week. It all got sorted out eventually, but it means we'll be heading to the hospital for appointments each day this week. I'm trying to keep my thinking cap in working order as I juggle schedules and a husband who has to be out of town for a few days.

On our way home, William suggested a stop at Jamba Juice. How could I refuse? It was a celebrating day! He's come a long way these past few months and downed an entire Peanut Butter Moo'd during the drive home; all 470 calories! I can't remember the last time he finished one off completely. I'm doing the calorie happy dance. (William's not allowed to dance with me because he can't afford to burn off any calories!)

I suppose I should admit that we didn't actually realize the significance of today's date until this evening. This is good. So Happy Anniversary! We've made it six months and we're still happy; thoroughly exhausted and anxious for the chapter after cancer, but happy. Cancer may still be a very real part of our existence right now, but we are still smiling, still full of faith, still hopeful, and still thankful for the understanding that there is purpose in all things.


  1. A good celebration, even though it was a bittersweet event. We are getting anxious to know when we can see everyone again--I'll be happy either way but want to minimize the days at work and maximize the days with boys. We've changed a bit here,too. For the better. The exercise of faith includes some activities we needed to improve upon. We love you all so much!

  2. what a wonderful thing to celebrate... what a wonderful boy and his parents to celebrate!!
    we love you're in our every prayer.

  3. It is wonderful to see Soren's radiant face. He has a strong spirit. I'm honored to be in his family. David J. Bennion

  4. Hey William and family. It's your werewolf friend and his family (Spencer and the Pihls). Emily has been tuned in to this blog, but tonight we signed up as followers. William, Julie and Ryan have all been inspirations to us during some hard times, so we are sorry to hear it is a tough week for you. Hang in there, and hopefully next week is better!

  5. Hi Julie and Ryan - Just catching up on your blog to hear about William's progress. You are all amazing and an inspiration to all who read and feel your wonderful spirits. We will continue to pray for William - that his progress will be good and you can put that darn old "C" word behind you soon.

    Love the Jones (of Midway, Utah - formerly Austin, Tx.)