Who knew the hospital could be such a  good time? All afternoon yesterday Austin was asking when it would be time for us to go, and then throughout dinner, he was pestering me and Mark, “When go hop-a-bul? Awtin reeeeeaaaaddddy.” He was fabulous all through last night, complaining only briefly when the IV line was inserted and then delightedly playing with the buttons on his bed. A bed he slept in all by himself (a far cry from the early days when Mark or I were forced to hold him, standing up, all night long) until 7 this morning when someone came in to draw blood–not a very nice way to wake up, mind you, but he toughed it out.

My dad relieved me long enough this morning so I could eat breakfast and take a shower at home before heading back. Then we were off to sedation, where I learned that once Austin turns three and can be trusted to drink the oral contrast himself instead of having it pushed through an NG tube down his nose to his belly, he won’t need to be sedated anymore. So that will take away one long and unpleasant step in this process for us.

The scan was fast and simple and after he managed to shake off his grogginess and eat some lunch, things were back to normal. Jeff found us mid-afternoon to report that the scan was clear, news that was expected but of course very welcome. So we make it through another milestone, one more thing to check off on the road to recovery. We know, as always as always, that this clear scan does not guarantee that there is no cancer growing inside him, but it’s still a good sign and one we’ll happily take. We’ll do another in three months, after Austin’s third birthday and two years since the beginning of the journey. If that one is also clear, we’ll wait until March, which will be two years since the official end of treatment and one year since this last “episode.”

I’ve just returned home (and straight to the computer) after Mark came from work to the hospital . . . with a corndog in tow (Austin’s special request from the hospital cafeteria!). Austin has one more hour of IV hydration and then they too will be home. I’m about to go pick up two important things: Braedan from my parents’ house and our favorite pizza.

And then we’ll be home together, a happy healthy family of four, cancer-free.