Sunday, August 18, 2013

Three Month Scans....

Zack and Angie,
One of our fav nurses
The time has come, Zack's three month scans. To most that means nothing, to us, it means constant anxiety as to whether "IT" has returned. I keep repeating Moms words, "it hasn't been there since the tumor was removed". Was I trying to convince myself or being positive or simply stating facts. It didn't matter, that was the only hope I could hang onto. 

We began at the SECU, childrens cancer center. This would be the first time the staff would see Zack since the end of treatment. Everyone is excited to see him and commenting on his growing hair and beard. They are thrilled to see how good he looks, how much color he has. He remarks that he has been working outside with his Dad almost every day, so with that comes the tan.  Angie questions him about his left shoulder which is severely bruised.  He laughs and says "me and one of my friends had a lickin contest, we called it a draw." Angie, who has always been a tell it like it is personality (which I love), yells at him and reminds him of everything he has just gone through. "You can't do that to your body, you have had a blood clot and this could cause another one!!! dummy!!!!" She then gives him a great big hug and tells him he better start taking care of himself or SHE will do it for him!! I explain that we did the very same thing after we saw this, but am glad she too is letting him have it! 

They draw his blood and notice that his liver counts are up. The doctor comes in and asks if he has been drinking? He replies with "just a couple of beers..then whispers and a little bit of shine."   She looks at me and I explain that if we tell our kids no, they are going to do it anyway, at least this way, he tells us what he is doing and we (hopefully) have a little bit of control.. Judge is you will.  She too has a teenager (Zack will be 18 in a couple of months) and understands this theory, however, she explains that the Chemo is still in his system and could have caused some damage to the liver, therefore he really shouldn't be drinking. Maybe a beer every now and then, but they really need to see his levels without alcohol. We both got more of an education, and having not realized this, he decides to be more responsible. She also explains the need to continue taking the Septra, which is an antibiotic. She explains that his immune system is still in healing mode and he is susceptible to pneumonia which could be life threatening. Back to reality!!! Just when you think you can breath again, there is still so much to learn of this diagnosis and  the cure. 

We leave there with his counts in good shape. We are expected at the Reuters Children Center for x-rays and MRI.
"play" MRI 
As we enter, there is new paperwork to fill out, new insurance information to present. It has been three months, but all the faces are familiar as is the building.  First the x-rays are done. This is to check his chest for any sign of the disease . Once those are completed, we move to another section for the MRI. There is an addition to the room, a small mock MRI where the table top moves and children can actually lay on it to see what it's like in preparation for their tests. Zack is called back. The nurse remembers us and quickly mentions he must stop growing or he won't fit on the equipment any more. Once I get settled into my chair, ipad on with a movie, I realize that this is more emotionally draining than expected. It doesn't take long before I'm sound asleep. I have read on my new friends support FB support page for Ewings this is not uncommon. You literally live from one set of scans to the next.  It takes about three hours for all the scans to finish. We finally get out and grab some lunch and head back home. Me for work and Zack to hang out with his friends. 

It was only a couple of hours later while still at work, when we received THE call!!! "Hey Sabrina, everything is crystal clear, no sign of scar tissue, cancer, nothing is showing up!!" Did I already know this? In my heart yes, but in my mind? I start to cry with relief. I call Zack, Frank, Mom and later in the day touch base with Moms best friend (Aunt) Lee. I have made it a point to call her during each milestone, as Lee has been another one of my strong supporters through my at times crazy life. Now, everyone knows the good news. We are all too aware (again) at the path this journey is taking us, as we live our "normal" life in between scans. 
Zack has begun College. He is going to the local Community College to study automotive and is so excited. He has been working (as usual) on his truck, my car and Franks trailer (as proof in pictures). He has attended so many bonfires and pool parties we lost count. 
Having had a great summer with his friends and ready for school. It hasn't taken him long to get back into the swing of life. So, as he starts his new schedule with school and trying to find a part time job, we take everything one day at a time. There are some days I don't even think about it, okay, so I still think about it every day, but maybe not every minute. I can actually go a couple of hours without thinking about it.

Now, when people ask how he is doing, I can gladly say "scans continue to be clear!!!" 

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