Our day at MDA began with a BANG. When I say "BANG," I mean the NPO Monster reared its ugly head at 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning. In case you are wondering, NPO means "nothing by mouth." James was to have no food or drink since 8:00 p.m. (when he went to bed) the night before. He can have a measly 2 oz. of clear liquid 3-4 hours before a procedure. Not really enough to quench one's thirst. Anyway, the NPO Monster was in such form that around 5:15 a.m., I asked Joy, "Do you think it's too early to head to hospital."
We promptly arrived at 7:00 a.m. to get James accessed and to get blood drawn to see if his counts were sufficient for the Lumbar Puncture (LP). Unfortunately, James' port decided to close the door and not one drop of blood would come, and we were informed that anesthesia needed to have their monthly consult with us. Remember...NPO Monster. As we were deliberating what to do regarding James' port, we went to anesthesia with our precious NPO Monster. James cried, wailed, and screamed. Just to expedite the process, I walked around with him for all staffers to enjoy the surround sound quality of a NPO Monster. The Physician Assistant that was processing us said, "You just want me to go ahead and sign off on this?" "YES!" Ultimately, James had to be stuck in the arm for a blood draw. This involved three adults restraining him while another attempted to access his tiny little veins. While this was painful for James (and more for parents), the Pedi-staff at MDA is amazing and were able to access him quickly. His blood counts were great, which allowed us to move ahead with his LP. More importantly, Dr. Wells noted that James counts would likely sustain long enough for us to spend Christmas with family. Praise God! James recovered wonderfully from the LP and were were admitted to the floor for our overnight stay. Thus, the NPO Monster was soothed with food and drink just three hours later than expected and our James returned in all of his glory.
After being admitted to the floor, I had to see clients in the early evening time and James was back to his smiley, laughing self. He watched an Elmo Movie (early Christmas from Nana) approximately 376 times. He seemed to have a pretty good appetite and had so much joy well into the evening. As we started to wind down for the evening, James cried for about 45 minutes, resulting in our current trend of him sleeping on Mommy or Daddy's chest. He was congested, which led to him sleeping on Dad's chest while Dad leaned back at a 45 degree angle. James got some good sleep...Dad didn't. IT WAS WORTH IT! Our smiley James was back in action on Thursday. We watched Elmo another 284 times, got to see some children play instruments and sing Christmas songs, participate in a party on the Pediatric floor (Pedi-dome), and have James enjoy in some free play in the Child-Life room - all the while tethered to an IV. James was given his last dose of IV Chemo around 2:15 p.m. on Thursday and we arrived home around 5:00 p.m. Thursday night. Whew! James is so amazing. He underwent a LP, had two IV chemos, one oral chemo, one IV antibiotic, a needle stick in his arm, and a partridge in a pear tree. What a warrior.
Friday arrived and James has maintained his smiley self. It had been some time since we had seen a glimmer of the real James - God's timing is always perfect. We have received many blessings today from friends and family alike. Our hearts are full of gratitude. Thank you for being so faithful with prayer, words of encouragement, and love.