Well, yesterday was a GREAT day for scans. Praise the Lord they all came back clean as a whistle. I was so proud of Clayton as he was able to do his MRI WITHOUT sedation. To understand this, imagine a busy 7 year old boy laying completely still for 50 minutes. While he was able to listen to music, the machine is still incredibly loud...So loud that I was required to wear ear plugs while I sat in the room with him. It makes sounds similar to a fire alarm going off in a high rise building, then suddenly switches to the awful sound the tv makes during a Public Broadcast Announcement. But my son was so amazing and brave. I'm constantly in awe of what he is able to do. I guess having had such a busy week with him, it surprised me. Busy meaning.... HE was so busy jumping around the house playing and misbehaving.. just like any 7 year old boy. It reminded me that he really is capable of being still!
While I was thrilled about his scans being clean, and honestly nothing can take that excitement away... I was so disappointed to learn that his ANC, that's basically his white count, was so low that he couldnt do his chemo treatment. It's so sad because it pushes us back another week. In chemo language, this is like repeating week 24 over because on his chart, he has not completed the protocol for week 24. Of course, Clayton was THRILLED to leave with no chemo. In fact, as Chad told Clayton about his scans showing NO cancer, he practically jumped out of his seat proclaiming... " Does that mean I'm DONE????" Bless his heart, and Daddy's for having to say " I'm afraid not, Buddy". Six more treatments. UGGHHH... I know it will come to an end, but I hate what these treatments are doing to his bone marrow and his body. I'm so discouraged that his counts are continuing to be dangerously low. So, we will try again on Monday and if they are still low Monday, we'll try again Friday. This is the first week of school and terrible timing for big chemo, but Hey... is there ever GOOD timing for Chemo.. NO WAY.. Right now because of delays it looks like we'll be done the 2nd week of December. I am praying that Clayton's best Christmas gift will be NO chemo and a fresh start to a new year.
Today I was thinking about how this journey with Clayton has changed us as a family. Sadly , it hasn't done what I pictured it doing. I had visions of the six of us sitting around the couches holding hands praying for Clayton... I had thoughts of my kids appreciating things and moments more, I had moments where I dreamt of my kids saying only nice things to one another, playing fun board games and laughing all friendly.... Well, NOT SO all the time..Just this week I've heard, "Shut up, Stupid"... "Why are you an idiot?".. "Close the door, Dummy"... MOOOOMMMMM! He won't get out of my ROOOOMMMM".... "Get out of my way, Jumbotron"... I mean.. the list grows, unfortunately, but it's all true. Sometimes I'm disappointed that we didn't suddenly get this magic air around here that brought nice, kind, always Christian vibes brought on by a cute little bald guy. Well, it turns out that a cute little bald kid doesn't always bring out the best in us. It brings in lots of stress, anxiety that is not always openly spoken of, fear, jealousy, frustration... you name it. While I know that the Lord has certainly changed me, I'm not always sure that as a family we are seeing the HUGE difference I pictured. I do know that we have had to put SELF aside, realize that it's not always about fair and most importantly, we've learned to place total faith in the Lord and trust Him for Good. We've answered hard questions about "What Ifs" and "Why does God allow such things".. We've met and appreciated other kids in boats much rockier than Clayton's and we've talked a LOT about not knowing what the future holds, but knowing who holds the future. I just continue to pray that even as the kids are calling names and putting each other in headlocks... and no.. I'm not joking...they really are putting each other in headlocks and requiring the other to "tap out"... I can only hope that as we look back on this summer and these days that they'll firmly remember God's hand on Clayton and the precious promise of His goodness to our family.