Monday, February 15, 2010

Back from Memphis

It rained today! It was suppose to snow again but Mother Nature warmed us up just enough for the rain to fall instead. So glad because the girls have been out of school more than they have been in lately. I am hoping we have turned the corner and the wintry weather is behind us. March usually gets pretty warm in VA so I am excited Springtime is within view.

We've had a busy week last week. Ellie and I flew to Memphis for her quarterly check-up at St. Jude. The big news of the week... NO CANCER! So very relieved to hear that amazing announcement. Ellie loves going back to St. Jude and she was so very proud of herself this time because she didn't shed any tears while getting her vein accessed for an IV and blood work. It was the very first time this has happened. She had to get stuck two times since the first attempt failed when her vein decided to go MIA during the procedure. We both were very proud. I hate that she has to grow up getting needles and MRIs but I hate cancer even more so we will do what we have to do to keep on top of things.

In addition to our fabulous no cancer news, we were able to connect with all our favorite Memphis people. We stopped in on the transplant floor (the place where Ellie had all her chemo and stem cell transplant) and had a great visit with Wanda and Leigh. Wanda is an amazing nurse that was such a rock for me during Ellie's hospital stays. It somehow seemed OK knowing Wanda was the one giving Ellie this poison. She was extremely focused and detailed and I knew no mistakes would be made on her watch and above that, she treated Ellie like she would treat her own child. We shared a lot during our time up on floor 2 and she will always have a place in my heart.

Leigh is a nurse practitioner that would check in to make sure everything was going according to plan. We would see her in between rounds of chemotherapy too. She is so kind and loving and we made a definite connection. We also got to visit with our friend Steve who is a 25 year old medical student. We met him when he volunteered the summer that Ellie had radiation. He is a great kid and will be a great doctor in the near future. I was fortunate to spend about an hour with one of the St Jude chaplins. Mark sat with me for a bit while Ellie was having her MRI. When we were inpatient, he would always came up before Ellie's chemo rounds began to pray with us for healing, no side effects and for peace. We have kept in touch since we have been home and I love being able to share all of the 'divine' aspects of our journey with him. And of course, last but certainly not least, is Dr. Bikhazi. He is just the best and I love him more every time we see him. He certainly has a soft spot for Ellie and we feel the same way. So, great visit to St Jude but even better to be back home.

Today the girls had a half day of school and I had to take Emma out (in the rain...wah...) to exchange a pair of jeans. I didn't want to go but I 'pinky promised' her yesterday and she wasn't taking no for an answer. For dinner I had a bowl of French Onion soup that was so delicious and now all I want to do is take a hot bath and relax but Ellie has homework. The rain is beating down and the bath sounds so much more appealing then number facts and story elements but Steve made dinner and did the laundry so I guess I have to contribute in some way.

Here are some photos from our St Jude visit. Look how happy Ellie is... she just melts my heart.

Ellie, me and Paul McCartney
Ellie and I had a private tour of the Gibson Guitar tour bus on our visit. Ellie enjoyed strumming on Paul McCartney's guitar even though she had no clue who he was.

I loved these
Playing the big bongos

Yo-Yo Master
Working the Yo-Yo magic in the lobby before blood work

Yee Haw!
Yeehaw! Look at the rodeo form!