Tuesday, January 25, 2011

eight months to the day.

May 24, 2010 we drove our little family of four home from the hospital. It was a sunny Monday afternoon, the start to a new week.

We were headed home to begin our new lives, to find our new normal.

We were scared.


We were overwhelmed.

We had just spent three sleepless nights at Medical City.

Crying, consoling, waiting, praying, holding, hugging, talking, meeting, questioning, Googling.

During that first stay, Jack had five tests, his port insertion surgery and his first chemo treatment.


Cut to yesterday, exactly eight months later.

We drove our little family of four home from the hospital, with an exhausted little boy who endured three scans over three hours.

And the results?


Clean scans! No evidence of tumor or metastasis. The doctor even said REMISSION.

We are so thankful for yesterday. God is good. Although, God would have still been good had we gotten not-so-good scan results, but we are so, so thankful for those good results.

Although this is HUGE, Jackson's journey is not over by any means. We are out of the treatment phase and we have moved onto the scanning phase. His next scans are in April, then July, then October. After that I think the plan is to scan twice a year.

The April scans will be pretty scary (really, they will all be scary, even 20 years from now) because that will be the first set of scans with a significant amount of time since stopping treatment. In April, we will be 90+ days out from treatment. Jack's last treatment was only 20 days ago. I think the April scans will be more indicative of what his body will do from here. I hope and pray that the April scans will say the exact same thing as the ones from yesterday.

With Jackson's type of cancer, the two main concerns are local recurrence and pulmonary recurrence. Statistics show that the first two years are the most risky as far as recurrence goes. After that, we worry less about recurrence and more about the long term effects of the treatments he received.

Here in a couple of weeks once his counts fully recover (they are still fairly low:700), we will begin the process of trying to be normal again. I look at it like re-entry into civilian life...kind of like soldiers that have been at war. There will be some stress and anxiety. We have been so conditioned to be cautious, to be over protective. It will be hard to revert back. We'll have to adjust and go slowly. I'm already nervous thinking about the germs at the grocery store! Although I can't wait to be normal like that again, it will be tough at times. Jackson hasn't been around other people regularly for eight months (except for hospital peeps), so it will be hard on him too. But, as always, he will bounce back fast I'm sure!

We have all been changed by this. I'm pretty sure that the change in us will continue to evolve. We are certain to come across situations or conversations or emotions that we would have reacted to differently eight months ago before Jackson was diagnosed. I don't think you can go through something like this and not be changed though.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers!! Please keep them coming! Specifically, please start praying now for his April scans, please pray for us as we adjust, please pray for his immune system to come back strong.


Could you please pray for this little guy? Here is his Momma's blog and here is his Facebook page. He is going through some pretty tough stuff, but he and his parents are so strong! He is incredibly precious and his little eyes just kill me.

We are so appreciative of your prayers, support and love. We are so thankful.

{Early morning, sleepy boy.}
After I took this picture Ryan said "You know, if our kids ever get famous they will wonder why people aren't taking their picture more. They'll think, my mom took more pictures when I was just sitting around." Whatever! Still snappin away!

{We'd already been there an hour.}

{Watching movies to pass the time in a very small, secluded room while the radioactive solution did its thing. It took about 45 minutes, then he was sedated for his PET. Ryan had to go in the waiting room with Brayden so that he would not be exposed to the radiation.}

{This is blurry, but it was when we were en route to the MRI. His PET and CT were done in a different part of the hospital. I stayed back as we were moving because I didn't want to see his eyes, which were taped shut.}

{We passed the time by coloring.}

{And napping.}

{Jack drinking apple juice and watching cartoons in recovery. He woke up a little wobbly and a little bossy but was happy in no time!}

{Happy, handsome boy! Eating in pj's, in public, at noon = awesome.}

{His daddy recently taught him how to give thumbs up.}

{Just heard "The scans are good!" Promptly stole Dr. G's stethoscope.}

{Thumbs up for good scans!}

{Dr. G is the one who sat us down that first day so it is very appropriate that he gave us the good scan news. Also, he gave Jack a little Hot Wheel that very first day and he did the same thing yesterday. I like little coincidences like that.}

{Jack asked for a monster for his special prize...? This is what Ryan found. We call him WolfMonster.}

{Happy, tired, relieved.}

This is one of my favorite verses. Inevitably, I will be anxious or nervous about the scans to come or Jackson's future, but this verse is a good reminder to think only of good things.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8



  1. YAY!! So thankful the report came back clear and remission is now talked about! My body actually relaxed when I read that because I know how wonderful those words are to hear. I'm in my 16th year of being cancer free and tests/bloodwork is always a dread and then relief when I find out everything is ok. Praying that the April scans will come back CLEAR and that y'all will have a sense of calmness as the scan day approaches.

  2. I am so, so glad to read that his scans were clear. Wonderful news! I will continue to keep little Jackson in my prayers. He sure is blessed to have such an awesome Mommy! :)

  3. Everything has changed for us. Maybe not for the best but not necessarily for the worst either just different, we will never be those people that we were 9 months ago.

    I am not sure that worry ever goes away. But I will continue to hope for good health for Jackson and for my little Monkey. They will out live us all, I am sure of it! XXOO

  4. So So Happy for you all! I know the only reason we met was because our children have cancer...but I'm so glad we did. You are an amazing mother and daughter of our Lord...thank you for sharing Jackson's journey. Prayers that Jackson remain cancer free will not cease!

  5. Such great news! I read this when you posted and wrote a comment and then had trouble posting the comment. Sometimes computers make me crazy! Rejoicing with you :):)



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