Home from the Hilton
We are back, or that is Dick and I are. Kevin is entrenched at Children's where the nausea is already setting in while the poison steadily pumps! But he has some great memories to sustain him from this wonderful weekend.
As I was sitting in Kevin's hospital room today I was reading a booklet written by the mother of Mitch, the child about whom this foundation was started. It is a story of strength, resilience, and courage. He fought a valiant battle, but at the age of 9 1/2 he had used up all of his ammunition and it was time for him to lay down arms and go to his heavenly home. It is also the story of his family, and how they survived through their devastation and grieving process. I cried as I was reading the book. It was so sad. But Mitch wanted to help and bring joy to others who were also battling this horrendous disease. His legacy lives on through his foundation and is bringing joy to many families and fellow cancer warriors.
We arrived at Airport Hilton on Friday about 3:30 pm after a day of tests and consults at Children's and Abbott. Kevin was very tired and wanted to rest since his 3 buddies from SJU weren't expected to arrive until later that evening. While Kevin rested, Dick and I went over to the mall to get in some walking and just to unwind. When we got back, we were so surprised to hear that someone from the Foundation came up to Kevin's room and gave him a whole bag of goodies--wonderful gifts--to make the w/e even more enjoyable. It was actually Mitch's family who presented this gift bag to Kevin and took some pictures of him. I was SO disappointed that we weren't there when they arrived at Kevin's door. It would have been a great honor to meet them.
We all rode the light rail for the first time--great way to get around! Kevin and his buddies spent some time at Game Works on Hennepin Ave. and Dick and I wondered around Nicollet Mall. We all spent some time at the MOA, but mostly we just relaxed, enjoyed the pools, and enjoyed each other and this moment in time. It also allowed Dick and I to spend some quality time together and remember what life was like before this all started. It was so good to see Kevin enjoying the company of good friends and have a brief sojourn from his formidable battle. It was just the medicine that we all needed. The only disappointment was that Ryan and Jen were ill with a nasty gastric bug (thankfully Mira didn't pick it up) and were not able to come to the hotel to visit and enjoy the pool with us. We'll have to take a rain check until we can celebrate a victory party after Kevin's transplant!!
Now the best news of the weekend!! Friday evening when Dick and I were at the mall while Kevin was resting, we received a call from Dr. Bendel. She was calling from her home because she was so excited about the test results she didn't want to wait until Monday to share them with us. The PET scan did not show ANY hot spots!!!!!!!!!!!!! The CT scan still showed thickening around the heart and a few spots in the lung, but it was less then before the chemo started. What this means is that the cancer is responding to the chemo and we don't have to add the 3rd nasty potion. This is so good, since this 3rd drug had a high risk of spawning leukemia in the future. Kevin will still need 4 rounds of chemo before the transplant--one more after this one. But with the cancer responding as well as it has to the first 2 rounds, it also increases the odds that the transplant will be successful. SO, we have the beasties on the run!! It is a little to early to blow the victory trumpet, but I am polishing it up so it is ready!!