So we were all pumped to have our 2nd child, Hershey, back home. Bryan called me after picking her up from my sister's the day after we got back alerting me, "She is NOT happy with me." We helped rescue Hershey almost 2 years ago to the day. She's our adorable Chocolate Lab and learned quickly after joining our house, she is the princess. After leaving her suddenly without explanation and returning 11 days later, she was less than pleased with us. We had her an appt to get groomed before coming home so she'd be all clean for Brayden. I guess once they pulled up in the driveway, Hershey was done pouting. Seeing her run through the door, it was like slow-mo, seeing her ears flap, Brayden running toward her! I just kept hearing that old song play in my head, "Reunited, and it feels so good!" Okay, so maybe it was a different theme, but seeing Hershey and Brayden finally back together again was awesome. The family was all back home. We got lots of hugs and love and definitely a little attitude from Hershey, but I think we've made it up to her in the last couple of days now.
Things are definitely starting to hit home that we're in Isolation. We found out days 10-20 are the most critical for this stage of treatment in terms of hazards with developing secondary infection. We're on Day 11. To say we're being cautious is an under-statement. But Brayden keeps amazing us with his energy. He's gotten to visit a lot on the phone and everyone that hears him can't believe he's really fighting this. He sounds just like himself; so cheery, smiley, and goofy as ever.
Going to his school Friday afternoon was more difficult than I thought. First, the staff and Administration is amazing. It's an answer to prayer that he'll be able to stay enrolled and won't have to miss much in terms of delaying his education. We're all so thankful that even though we'll be doing a lot of work from home, hopefully Brayden can start back in January 2010 (that sounds like forever) in the 4th grade and see all his classmates again. His teacher is AWESOME! All of his teachers at ACA have been. We're so blessed with her and her heart for Brayden. Being there, though, and seeing the desks and all the activity was so hard knowing he's missing it! Reality kind of set in a little more for me towards the end of the visit. But we know it's just another thing and what's most important is his health and recovery.
All three of us have definitely felt God with us more than ever in the last rough 2 weeks. I've referred to His little 'God Hugs' I feel like He sends our way. Friday was a nice little rainy spring day. It was quiet in the morning and I heard something. The momma bird we had watched before Little Rock was so busy making her nest under the awning on our front porch. I had almost forgotten about it until I heard little tiny baby chirps! I ran to get Brayden and even though we couldn't see them, hearing them was so neat! The momma bird and Hershey still aren't friends, but they're trying to find ways to co-exist. Then, Bryan spotted a HUGE turtle under his truck, probably trying to escape the floods in our yard! When we had a break in the rain, Brayden masked up and we took a quick field trip to the driveway to check it out! It really looked like his turtle so we had to run in and, from a distance, make sure his turtle hadn't escaped! Those were definitely our God hugs for the day and were such beautiful reminders of his awesome creation.
We've gotten some special deliveries lately and wanted to send more thanks! Thanks to Gracie, Trish, Ken, and Logan for the hi through the door! Thanks for taking care of our mail while we were gone and Brayden LOVES his Build-A-Bear! Gracie, he's already decided his bear is his Little Rock chemo buddy! You did such a great job picking it out! Thanks to Uncle John, Aunt Johanna, Johnathan, Kristin, Jordan and Joel for the care package! He loved it all and couldn't get through everything quick enough. I have his lion right by his bed, too. Thanks to Uncle Danny for the awesome bat and hat from the U of A Razorback Baseball Team! WOW! We've loved our visits to the games over the years and can't wait until we can go back again. Thanks to all for the cards and continued prayers, love and support.
I take a million pictures and those first few days, didn't even think of it. But I have many to share. I thought I'd share a few with everyone and will try to share more as we continue on our journey together.
Brayden being tough during chemo 4/29 with sweet Jennifer.
Brayden's Gifts from all his classmates at ACA while still in ICU.
Thank you to Granny's Quilts for his sweet and soft Scooby-Do Blanket. These are Grandmothers with grandkids who are also fighting cancer who make these from our neighboring metropolis of Pea Ridge! We felt a little piece of home when given this at the hospital. Thank you!!
Brayden & Hershey: Reunited
Gracie's gift to Brayden: Champ Jones. How cool that the proceeds help with cancer research!!