We went down on Tuesday morning and the check-in process went smoothly. Since Travis has been having some slight irritation issues with the incision area of his port, we had to get approval to go ahead and access to be able to do the infusion. There was some hesitation and double checking but the final decision was that the nurses felt they could access him carefully (thanks Ellie) and the vascular surgeon felt that there would be no problem accessing him since there does not seem to be an underlying infection (thanks Dr. Saenz). So, it was access away and we were very happy about that. It just seemed inconceivable that we could come all this way, battling counts up and down, only to be turned away by the port but luckily and thankfully, our mission was a go!
Once we were all checked into our room, there was a parade of police officers who went down Children’s Way in front of the hospital. Then they spread out throughout the floors of the hospital to deliver a little holiday cheer to the kids. Two officers came to our room and brought some stuffed animals for Travis and Tyler. Wow!
Since we always try to make things feel a little more like home, we then proceeded to decorate the room with our normal decorations (soccer jerseys, etc) and then spruced things up with some Christmas decorations and lights. Lynne and Travis say to Go Big or Go Home so we usually Go Big since Going Home isn’t quite an option yet. By the way, Rady Children’s Hospital really goes all out with their decorations too. Travis’ soccer team had all decorated ornaments with words of inspiration and gave him what they called a “Tree of Hope” which was prominently displayed in our room. All of the nurses and staff who came by loved the decorations and especially the tree. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such great people. Thanks to the Diaz family for organizing and the whole team for thinking of Travis in such a special way!
The chemo infusions on Day 1, 2 and 3 all went smoothly again like last round and Travis seemed to tolerate them well. He was able to eat something at every meal and did not experience the nausea like in rounds 1 and 2. Thank God! When things go well, being in the hospital is not all that bad because they actually have a lot of things for the kids to do. In addition to working on his school work, we were able to enjoy the Play Room, the Classroom, and the Garden/Playground. They all help the time go by faster and we get a little exercise by having to drag along his IV pole everywhere we go. On our last day, many of the nurses and staff came in and sang an “End of Chemo” song for Travis. They presented him with a poster that they all signed and then he was able to ring the bell. Done! Yeah!
We made it home on Friday afternoon and Cisco was glad to see all of us. In addition to their visit down at the hospital, we had a great dinner provided by the Garman family which was perfect timing and very delicious. Thank you and Cheyanne also for the great Lego set. You guys are awesome friends!
We had kind of a quiet weekend of rest and recuperation. It was nice to sleep in our own beds without anyone waking us up every couple of hours to go to the bathroom or take vitals. We did manage to make it out Saturday night driving around for an hour or so to see all of the Christmas lights. It is such a magical time of year!
On Monday, we worked on some more school work and Travis’ teacher, Mrs. Mills, stopped by in the evening to catch us up on many things. She also delivered presents for Travis from the kids in the class. All of the books are so tailored to Travis’ interests and will keep him busy for some time. Wow! What a special group of people we have in our lives!
On Tuesday, we had our appointment down at Rady Children’s Hospital for lab work and the final chemo boost. Travis’ counts are OK for now but expecting to drop at any time before coming back up so we will have them checked again on Friday. At this point, 6 rounds of chemo treatments are officially done! Wow…it is so hard to believe and hasn’t quite sunk in yet. We are sure it will hit us at some point when we get our heads out of the clouds and have some time to reflect.
Travis’ Christmas Wish has come true and his Chemotherapy is DONE before Christmas. Yeah! We have been so very blessed!
Tony and Lynne