Perhaps you may be wondering how my little guy is . . . you know, the reason you all started reading in the first place. Well, right now, he’s trying out a variety of brooms and mops and swiffers on the kitchen floor (not exactly helpful) while naked. So, all in all, he’s great.
We have his first post-surgery scan scheduled for the last week in June, which will involve the usual one-night stay in the hospital for hydration. It’s hard to know what to expect from this one; we will be hopeful, as always, that it comes back clear. They did place a titanium clip inside his belly at the spot where the tumor was removed so they’ll at least know where to focus their attention. The entire “episode” (which is a lovely way of describing those insanely scary three weeks) does indeed seem like a blip on the road to a full recovery. He acts like he always did and always does — silly and wild and full of life.
I took Braedan and Austin swimming on Monday, the first time since before the surgery. Austin knew he had to wait until his scar had healed so as we were packing our bags, he excitedly asked, “Awtin no have canther in tummy? Awtin all better?” Yes, sweetie, Austin is all better.
Mark and I are obviously willing to go forward as if things are as they’ll always be, as evidenced by the idea of moving to a big house and new neighborhood filled with lively friends for the boys. Of course, we’re not fooling ourselves and know the possibility of another (or a first?) recurrence exists; we know we could be saddling ourselves with one house on the market and another huge one to take care of while also taking care of a sick child. But we just don’ t think it’s worth it to live life waiting for the worst thing to happen; it is not how we operate. We see a golden opportunity in front of us, and the harsh reality is that if Austin’s cancer recurs that’s gonna be awful no matter where we live and no matter what other stresses exist in our life.
I think a lot abot the way we lived our year between the end of treatment and the “blip”: we lived it to the fullest. We absolutely celebrated what we believed was the end for Austin and for us. We were wrong, of course, and that was crushing. But it wouldn’t have been any easier if we had sat around all year admonishing ourselves, “No, we can’t go to Disney World; he’s not really cured yet,” “No, we shouldn’t laugh too loud, what if it comes back?” That wouldn’t have been right or good or fair, not for us and certainly not for the boys. So we laughed loudly and celebrated fully, we lived as much as we could.
And that is exactly what we’re going to keep doing every single day moving forward.