Monday, May 27, 2013

and the winner is....UPDATED.... EVEN MORE!!!

ZACHARIAH ISAIAH KENSINGER FISHER!!! Who as of Tuesday, May 22, 2013, 6 pm was declared crystal clear of cancer!! Following a few days of extensive testing, there are no signs of cancer anywhere in his body. I will not use the word remission, and if previously explained, my apologies. I can't say it enough. Remission to me gives this permission to return and WE DO NOT!!!

We had already received the all clear from the MRI and bone scan, however. as I'm still learning, five tests can show and all clear and BOOM!!! One scan can show a problem. A new and very dear friend's husband is battling his fifth time with Ewings Sarcoma, he just got the all clear on his scans and then an MRI showed several small tumors, so "you" never know.

OKAY..... My internet crashed right in the middle of writing and nothing was saved so.... three times is a charm, thus this delay (it just got repaired with a new internet box!! YAY)

Tuesday was all too familiar for us. We started the morning out with an EKG and Electrocardiogram.  It was actually quite humorous. With Zack still being "underage" we go to the Pediatric Unit. The nurse who is all of 5" 1" has Zack stand on the scale, no problem, she then looks him up and down and looks at the stadiometer ( yes I looked that up!), she says "okay, make it easy on me, how tall are you really?" Zack responds with a grin, 6'5"." "Oh my...." We are let down the hall and around a corner to a dark room with a children's size table where his feet hang over about two feet. Without even thinking another nurse walks in, says hello and turns the DVD player on with a cartoon. Zack and I look at each other and start to laugh. The technician arrives and completes both tests. Already anxious and knowing that she really can't tell me until the Doctor reviews everything, I ask if everything looks okay, she assures me she doesn't see anything that "jumps out" at her. 

Our next appointment is for the CT and PET scans. Zack hasn't been able to eat since midnight, so he is now the anxious one, only because he is so hungry. We arrive at the lower level of the Cancer Center where they insert an IV into his arm for the contrast part of the tests. I found myself entering the elevator to the second floor. This is "home" to me. I know the people, the couches are comfortable and the sun shines in through the big windows. I walk into the great room and Carol looks at me, then at her appointment book. She is confused, but I immediately tell her that Zack is downstairs for the scans and I needed to be home while he was having that done. She knew what I meant and told me to make myself comfortable. It was a slow day for them, so only a few parents came in with their children, all looking pale without hair, but in great moods, eager to run to the art section and start to paint with the social worker who had been eagerly awaiting their arrival.  I had asked Carol if she could just tell Karen, our social worker and now friend, that I was there, I wasn't in need of anything, I just wanted to give her a hug and say hi! She came out and we ended up talking for over an hour. We talked a little about Zack's treatment ending and what to expect, but mostly we just talked about life and how the past year has changed us all for the better.

I shared that I'm just now feeling like I can breath, but it's still not over for me. I keep looking at the three month "mark" and his port being removed. I talk about how far we have come, spiritually and emotionally. We joke about my joining Weight Watchers and I tell her so many people are offering excuses because of the past year, when the truth is... I have been heavy for a very long time. But, finally I want to get healthy and feel better in every way, so.....  Right about the time we finish our conversations Zack texts me and tells me he is at the car. He doesn't want to come upstairs and who can blame him. To me it is a sanctuary where the people cared for him so well, to him, it is where the people stuck him with needles, and kept telling him "you must return for blood and platelets", one of his least favorite things to do. Karen and I hug goodbye and Zack and I are on our way to eat. By this time is is 4 pm and he is starving!  Rhonda and Peter join us for a nice relaxing dinner and bringing something home for Frank, we are home by 7 pm. On the way home, Zack tells me that he has decided to join the local Rescue Squad. Garret is a member and tells him that they really need more young people and he thinks Zack would be great. Zack doesn't want to be a fireman, but to help people in some capacity. Of course we are thrilled, that's what you hope your child will do, help others, though I do think a big part of it is carrying the radio and "maybe" getting to drive faster? Whatever the reason he is moving forward.

Frank has been sitting on the front porch when we arrive home. It was still very light outside and  all of a sudden I hear a "man scream". I don't know how to describe it, but he got my attention. A raccoon had come onto the porch, was eating out of the  bird feeder and looked right at Frank as if to tell him "this is MY porch." Unfortunately, our neighbors had advised us that there could be a rabid one in the area, so we had to trap it. 

Wednesday and Thursday, Zack was anywhere and everywhere. It is as if he is making up for lost time and every now and then we have to reel him back in so he doesn't get overly tired.  He went to Blue Ridge Community College to sign up for Fall classes (Automotive) and was told where to apply and to return to meet with an administrator on the following Tuesday. He is nervous and yet eager to move on with his life. In the evenings he has a bonfire to go to at a friends house. He has been hanging out with new and old friends and having a great time, still trying to push coming later and later, but home at whatever time we give him. 

Wednesday evening, we met with Make a Wish. Two very nice ladies came to the house and filled out tons of paperwork. Zack was already prepared with a list of items he wanted done to his truck, two tone paint job, new stereo, wheels, etc..... The women were very impressed that he had it all prepared and he said "are you kidding, I'm so excited I can't stand it!" We aren't sure what (if anything) they can do, but we were advised they can make it look nicer, but not make any engine repairs.  His backup wish (they require that in the event the first wish can't be done) is to have his tuition paid at Nashville Auto Diesel School, in Tennessee. His plans are to go there after his two years here in Brevard. 

Frank left on Thursday for a much needed and planned "Guys fishing trip."  He left shortly after work and by the time I was done with work, Zack had already texted me and said he was at yet another bonfire with friends. That night I told him he could stay out until midnight, but he ended up returning at 11:30 very tired. He is smart enough to know when he needs his rest and tonight was just that night.  Hearing that Frank had arrived safely at his destination, three hours away (sorry I forget the name) and Zack tucked safe in his bed, I finally was able to go to sleep. 

Friday I had a scheduled physical  (part of my taking care of myself) and later in the day drove to Asheville to the Red Cross to donate promised platelets. On my way to Asheville I called my dear friend Sue and we met for a quick lunch. We had such a nice time catching up on everything and being able to be spontaneous is a new "high" for me. I never could do this when I had my panic attacks (and Sue remembers that well), so ever little impromptu visit is a blessing.  I didn't feel like going all the way to Asheville again, I was tired and wanted to sit home and nest some more, but there is a drive in me to help that is stronger than ever. When I think about how many units of blood and platelets Zack needed, what if there wasn't a supply. Someone out there made the trip and took the three hours out of their day to donate, who am I not to do so as well. Zack kept in touch and was home most of the day resting. He was feeling well, but since being out late a couple of days already this week, decided to stay home and chill. We had an invitation from Shawn and Floyd (sister and brother in law) to come to their house for dinner. I teased and said it was a "pity" dinner, since Frank was gone. Zack agreed to meet me there, since I was coming from another direction. He shows up with Drake, who we explained was more than welcome, but it taught Zack to always ask first when going to someone else' house (just in case they didn't have enough food). This angered Zack as he is very protective of his friends, but once we explained the why's (I thought we taught him that years ago!! Yikes!!!) he understood. He later told me that he is so used to us feeding whomever he brings home, he thought is was okay. I told him, home is different and left it at that. We still had a great visit, it was nice to sit and catch up with them as well.  We seem to be able to finally take some time to see our family and friends again. 

It took a couple of days for "us" to trap the raccoon and with Frank out of town Zack took charge. I have never been one to like doing anything like this, so it was a new experience for me, but Zack had talked with his friends who handle this kind of situation and he took care of everything in a humane way. He saw me on the porch crying and came up to console me. The raccoon's are not so bold to come on our porch, this has never happened and not to be frightened away is not good at all.  We have too many little children and animals running loose. 

Saturday, Zack was going to hang out with his friends, so I went to pick up Mom and go to the local Main Street Show "Garden Jubilee". We went out for lunch, then to Steinmart to see my "sister" who used to be Moms manager, then off to walk on Main and see all the cool garden plants, instruments and gadgets. Luckily,  we both left without anything, but a good time. I received a call from my brother, Bobby, late in the evening and he shared that he drove several blocks away from the house. He is working so hard to overcome his agoraphobia and as he was sharing his experience with me (he hasn't gone further than one block in over a year), I started to cry with happiness! We are all ready for positive changes and eager for them to come. 

It is now Sunday, I am excited to stay home, nest a little more and just chill. I get a text from Sue who offers to take me and two other friends to see Reba McEntire in Cherokee. (about an hour and a half away). She has an extra ticket from a friend that couldn't' go.  Another opportunity for me to be spontaneous! Of course, I check and make sure Zack has somewhere to go as I will be late when returning home. He wants to stay at Drakes and said "get out, go have fun!!" The concert was wonderful! I felt so spoiled, being driven there, having a great dinner at Harrah's Casino and the seats were ground level where you could see her every expression. I still was constantly thinking about Zack, how he loves Reba, should I get a t-shirt or CD, is he okay, then there is Frank, is he okay, having fun? I get a text from Frank during dinner simply saying "done with fishing, having dinner now!" I text him back saying "having dinner with Sue at Harrahs and getting ready to see Reba." He later tells me he had no idea where I was, how I got there and who Reba was, but decided he would find out once he returned home. He never knows what he is going to get with me, and that makes life interesting to say the least. Zack texts me with an answer to my question, can I please have a cd? So, once the show was finished, I see the young star who opened for Reba and asked for an autographed photo for Zack (she is gorgeous and you never know, could be famous one day). I tell her (like I do everyone I meet) of Zacks journey of survival, she gives me a great big hug and tells me to share that with him. She signed the photo, "Zack, Congratulations!"

It is now Monday. Memorial Day. Zack is still at Drakes and since we opened the office for half a day, I am out the door by 6:30 am. To say I am a flake this morning is an understatement. I have been running around since Friday and not sure whether I'm coming or going. I thrive on routine and this weekend was anything but! I am anxious and talk to Nancy who helps to ground me again. She remembers all too well the feelings I am going through. "You have been in fight or flight mode and now it's time to tell yourself to stop and breathe." How many times have I been told that and "forget." Nancy shows me a breathing technique for when I do feel anxious and for the rest of the afternoon I am practicing. It has worked beautifully. Once again, I feel grounded and being Taurus I really need to stay that way.  I am home by 1 pm, and my amazing computer repair man came out to repair our internet, (another reason I've stopped breathing properly!) It turns out both of my internet boxes were fried during the last storm, so he replaces two with one and voila! we are again online! Zack is home doing his chores, not very happily I might add, but he does them anyway. By 3 pm Frank is home and my family is once again under one roof. Everyone had a great weekend. Frank shows pictures of his catches, the waterfalls they climbed and after eating dinner falls sound asleep on the couch exhausted!  I tease him and say "YOU went on vacation and YOUR tired?" It never stops!! Women and Men and their differences, but it does make for an interesting life at times! Zack is now on his computer filling out forms to bring in to the college tomorrow. Life IS moving on and it is great!!!!

PS. My bff Nancy lost her Aunt today and will miss her terribly. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts!! She has been an amazing support for many years and I would love to send some loving energy her way.

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