Scans snuck up on us quickly this time. The anxiety was still there, but not as bad as in the past. I don’t know if this is due to our boys’ hectic schedules keeping us preoccupied or due to the words of encouragement Dr. Rawwas shared with us at John’s last appointment…but scans didn’t weigh as heavily on our minds.
We headed up to Children’s Minneapolis on Wednesday afternoon. The hearing test had been cancelled at the last minute and that left John with just the injection of the MIBG scan. Once again he was such a brave boy about the pokes and IV. Jon and I can’t say enough about the technicians in radiology. They are always so nice and we’ve been there enough they know John well and he easily engages in conversation with them. John was scheduled for a CT scan the next day, but since he hadn’t eaten in 3 hours and they had an opening, they suggested we do it then (Wednesday). This would allow John to eat Thursday morning and to have just the 45 minute MIBG scan and then his appointment with Dr. Rawwas. Once the CT scan was done we were on our way back home.
Thursday morning we once again headed back up to Children’s. When we were checking in at the Welcome Desk “Dude” from the Star Studio stopped by to visit with us. It is always fun to see the Dude. You can’t help but smile when he is in your presence. John and I fast-walked raced to radiology (everything is a competition) and when we got there we were told John’s appointment would be 15 – 20 minutes late. More fast-walking….back to Star Studio to watch a little of Dude’s televised TV show. Fast- walked back to radiology and they were ready for us.
It is always the same routine: John picks out a movie to watch once the scan passes his head and he can turn it, he hops up on the table, a wedge is placed between his feet, his feet are taped together, the technician places his arms and head how they need to be, the scanner part of the machine is lowered so it sits almost touching his nose, I position my chair next to John – but with my back to the screen that displays his body as it is being scanned….and then it is time for the scan to begin.
I had decided that I was not going to look at the screen this time and I had even asked that the screen be turned off. Unintentionally it was left on. I had brought a book along to keep my mind busy, but at the very end I turned and peaked. To my very untrained eye it looked like a normal scan and I texted Jon my diagnosis. (He is always with us in spirit, but much elsewhere on the hospital grounds. We deal with scan day in our own way. If I need him, I know I can get him.)
Next we headed to lab for more blood draws and to hand over John’s first morning pee. We were then off to the Star Cafe for a little lunch before meeting with Dr. Rawwas for the results.
While eating lunch one of John’s nurses, Deb, from the 7th floor was walking through and stopped by to talk. Deb was one of the very first nurses we had during John’s diagnosis and first hospital stay (Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of bringing John home from that first hospital stay that lasted 20 days.) and she spent hours with us during those days educating us on our new normal and the care that would be required of us. It had been almost a year since we’ve seen her and of course I had to get a little teary-eyed. So much emotion…We are forever grateful to all of John’s nurses for they lovingly cared for our little guy through the darkest of days. It is the nurses that were in the trenches of cancer treatment day in and day out…Those 7th floor nurses will always have a very special place in my heart.
Finally it was time for our appointment with Dr. Rawwas. Cindy, John’s nurse came in first and talked with us and then Dr. Rawwas came in and told us right away that John’s scans were great. Yay! John had his examination and his counts are all good (Urine won’t be back for a few days.) I had a very good discussion with Dr. Rawwas. Jon is there listening, but he says little. Again….we deal in our own ways. Dr. Rawwas told us that we balance each other out.:) 12 weeks …and then scans again. Next regular appointment is May 22nd.
We got in the car to go home and I was hit with a wave of exhaustion. Obviously even if I try to tell myself I didn’t have scananxiety as much as before….it was there. These days are emotionally exhausting. Exhausting….but also exhilarating. There is such a sense of relief with the good news. I know that we are so very fortunate for John to being doing so well. We are blessed beyond words.
Life has been hectic and normal, which we are so grateful for. These 3 boys keep us running. Here is a glimpse into some of what we have been doing. Of course there has also been lacrosse and hockey thrown into the mix as well.
Thank you for your continued prayers for John!
Love, Hope and Blessings,