It is exactly 2 years to the day that we walked into Children’s Minneapolis hematology/Oncology specialty Clinic with a five year old boy who was in such pain he couldn’t walk. There had been complaints about knee pain here and there..the night before he had run around at Michael’s lacrosse game and the next morning all John could do was crawl. When we left for the clinic we packed a small bag and knew we weren’t coming home that night without even saying it to each other. We were too scared to say it. We didn’t come home that night. We there for the next 20 days.
This is when we first met Dr. Walrus/Rawwas and his/John’s nurse Cindy. This is when we learned we were in deep. I will never forget that appointment. My mom, Jon, John and me in that room. The examination, being told that something was felt near John’s spleen. Holding John with his legs wrapped around my waist and his little arms around my neck as I carried him from the clinic,across the skywalk and up to the 7th floor. Clinging to my son….numb and nauseous with fear.
Today…today is wonderful! Today I saw my son in his first grade classroom interacting with his friends. Today I saw him stick his tongue out at me in the hall of school. Today I took him to hockey and watched him skate his little heart out. Today I listened to him cheer on the Gophers Men’s basketball team and The MN WILD and read Z is for Zamboni.
Yes, John has fought hard along the way, shown strength beyond his years, and endured the unimaginable…but today I focus on the many blessings that have wrapped around our family like a blanket of love. The wonderful nurses, doctors…all of the Children’s staff. They educated us, listened to us, made us feel like we were part of their team, and cheered us on when we needed it most. Our families that dropped everything to walk this journey with us. Our friends and neighbors, our colleagues, the Hastings schools, the hockey and lacrosse clubs,Our Saviors and Pastor Doug, acquaintances and even strangers, Team John shirts, Mikko bracelets, The beauty school, the donations, Mini-sticks for Mikko, Light the Lamp for Mikko, the gifts, the cards, the meals….our amazing community! All of you pulled us through and gave us the strength and courage to keep on keeping on. We are blessed to have your support and cheering our little guy on. We are forever grateful.
John is doing so well, but his journey with Neuroblastoma isn’t over and we still would like your prayers. Please keep John in your prayers. Prayers for NED (No Evidence of Disease) to stay put and those cancer cells to stay away. Prayers for scans that are around the corner at the end of April, prayers for no or minimal late-term effects. Prayers for John Joseph to continue to thrive!
Two years ago I never dreamed today would be like this. Today is a gift.
Love, Hope and Blessings,