We tried to make this week an exciting one for the children, before Adelaine’s big treatment. They all have had some great experiences so far. Tomorrow, a friend from Bowen’s school, Liam is coming over to play with the boys. On Sunday, Adelaine’s friend Ella came over from church and spent the day with us. She and Adelaine had so much fun. We had a tea party, played dress up, had a dance party and so much more. Bowen did feel confident enough in his manhood to join us as we sipped tea from fine china. However, he did find it necessary to come to the table dressed as a knight!

On Monday the children and I never left the house. The old Angela always had a project of some kind going on at home. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been cleaning out closets and rearranging furniture. It’s good to be back! Anyway, Adelaine’s room has been given a face lift, and now she has organization in her little world of make believe. We all spent part of the day organizing and playing with our once lost, newly found treasures. The children especially enjoyed me sitting on the floor and playing with them for hours on end, and I did too.

On Tuesday morning we went over to see our friends, the Bohlander’s. Kristen and I had a nice time visiting while the children all played together in their pool. Kristen saw Adelaine regularly at Bowen’s school and often gave him a ride, so she was there to see Adelaine nearly every day over this past year. It was therapeutic for me to hear her talk about all those days that I carried her to and from the car. And then we’d look over at her jumping, swimming and playing like a typical healthy three year old (with absolutely no fear of the water)! We both were amazed at how well she’s feeling, and how much energy she has.

Ok, get ready its brag time for mom…

Tuesday afternoon Mason had his evaluation for the gifted program. He fell in the 99.62nd percentile! The RAIS score range is: 110 to 119 – Above Average, 120 to129 – Moderately Above Average, 130 and above – Significantly Above Average! Our little smarty pants scored a 140, so we now have in writing that our Mason is Significantly Above Average, but we already knew that!!! Reviewing his score with the psychologist was the best! It’s always fun to hear other people tell you how great your children are, right? One of the questions he missed was: Bla is to Bla, as Conductor is to ______. Mason said Orchestra, but the correct answer was train! A brilliant answer, I thought! To celebrate his success we all had Mason’s favorite ice cream, Mint Chocolate Chip!!! Be forewarned, Bowen is being tested this summer too!

Now for our Wednesday with Doc…

Yesterday we arrived at the clinic around 9:30am and ended our day at the hospital around 4:30pm. In the car on the way there, Adelaine discussed with me that she wanted a sticky pricky (a finger prick to test her CBC), instead of having her port accessed! Much to her disappointment, they walked us into a private room, cluing her in as to what fate would unfold! Yes, the private room meant that a needle was inevitably going to pierce her chest and make her cry. Bowen distracted her by planning an escape route through the window, two stories high! He even had a plan as to what they’d do next, after they got the window open. Bowen would have scored very high on the Verbal Intelligence Index (VIX) portion of Mason’s gifted testing, Hugh! Anyway, she watched intently as he tried to get the window to open. I pretended to go right along with it. After all, whose side am I on, anyway? Incase anyone’s ever wondered why the windows at doctor’s offices and hospitals don’t open, well, with out a doudt, there are some patients at sometime or another who would make an escape attempt. Even if the only logical way down would have to involve a certain super hero such as Spider Man!

After lots of screaming and tears, her port was accessed and blood was drawn. Her counts came back really good, with an ANC of 2000, so she was good to get all her doses of chemo. Around 11:00 we headed over to the hospital. The next three hours were stressful and miserable because Adelaine was starving. Our 12:45 scheduled procedure was pushed back until 2:00. I spent over an hour in holding with Adelaine. Thank goodness Ashley came to be with the boys while they waited in Adelaine’s private room. She was such a blessing. She brought games to play, and they were delighted to see her. I knew she would come so I didn’t have to worry at all about the guys!

Except for the starving, and the delay,everything went well that afternoon. All the nurses at Short Stay know and love Adelaine. They all stopped in to say, “Hello”. Miss Pepper came in to see us to let us know that she’d be waiting for Adelaine after her procedure. Adelaine loves Miss Pepper, knowing that my baby will be delivered directly to her and will wake up to her familiar face is so comforting.

Once again, I suited up and went with Adelaine into the OR. She was very hungry and understandable irritable. As always she cried that she didn’t want to “breathe”, which means she didn’t want to wear the mask to be put under! She insisted on “the milk”, which is a milky white colored medicine that the doctor pushes through her port to put her to sleep. The milk works incredibly fast, in fact, with her mouth opened in protest, during her very first cry sitting on the table, she passed out cold. I sat in front of her and held her up as she instantly melted away. It really works like turning off a light switch. After all these times, I’m still amazed by it.

Next I sprinted down the hall to check on the boys, hoping that Ashley had arrived. Of course there she was playing a game of Operation Shrek (Ashley’s just awesome that way), with a full and happy Mason and Bowen! Good thing they weren’t playing Operation Pincess Cinderella, or I would have been a little freaked out!! Next, I went down stairs to unwind and ordered a bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt. It was then that I began to realize that the worst part of the day was clearly behind us now! Eating chocolate has a special affect on a woman’s brain, and creates positive thoughts and meditations, I felt like I was having a mini celebration or something. It was good, really good!

More VIP treatment followed as the nurse agreed to enter Adelaine into the hospital system so I could order her room service. As we were going into the OR she begged for some of her favorite food, (which can only be prepared by the All Children’s inside chef). Unfortunately the food wasn’t ready before Pepper brought her in, but she was thrilled to see Miss Ashley, and to be reunited with her family. She really enjoyed her cheese pizza, blue Jell-O, blue Icee, shredded cheese and raisons, once they arrived! Of course Miss Pepper had already given her a popsicle. The nurses and doctors at Short Stay are incredible, and I feel good about the care Adelaine gets while she is there. The anesthesiologists, even the nurses just walking down the hall, the people in holding and in recovery each are incredible and have so much compassion and love for the children. It feels like from the time we arrive, until the time we leave, we are carried through the entire process on wings of angels. God bless the skill and compassion each one of these special people possesses. I can only imagine how horrible the experience could be if they became calloused and their jobs mundane.

Yesterday evening when we got home, Adelaine did great. This evening, as the poisons work their way into her system, she is really starting to feel it. Because she has grown, and gained weight, the doctors have increased all the dosages of her medications, including those she got yesterday. The steroids and chemo are stronger than ever. Already she isn’t sleeping and has become quite pale. Her beautiful summer tan has gone away and her skin is turning pale and white. Hopefully by tomorrow she will start feeling better again. It would be interesting to get a reading on her ANC now, I’m sure it has dropped. She is really starting to look and feel the part of an oncology patient again. Here’s to Mona Vie, I’m hoping that it’s going to help her keep that beautiful hair that’s been growing in, and get her back on her feet soon!

Angela

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