SAIT # 3
Jacob's aunt Becky is an account manager for the Sprint Yellow Pages and she stays so very busy. Jacob, Gavin and I were more than thrilled that she took last Wednesday off to accompany us to Shands for Jacob's third infusion. If it’s possible to have a great day taking your child for chemotherapy, this last trip would definitely qualify!
Jacob's appointment was early and getting to Shands by 8:30 am requires us to leave our home by 6:00 am. We were happy to see Becky's smiling face bright and early and got on the road on time. It was a nice drive to Gainesville. There was very little traffic and we missed being blasted by the sun on I-10. Jacob stayed awake and chatted with us the entire way, which he never does, but since Becky was with us, he did. She is way cooler than me!!
Jacob was the first patient in the infusion lab. He was able to set up camp in the chair he wanted and he picked the same chair as his first trip. They came and accessed his port (painless again!!), drew his blood, and sent his labs off to be checked. We all snacked on our breakfast we brought and settled in for what we knew would be several hours in the lab. The chairs filled up quick and it was heartbreaking to listen to the little girl next to us having her IV placed. After talking to her and her mom later, we found out that they were from Orlando and worked for the same company as TD's sister and the little four year old girl has the same birthday as Brie. They were very nice and the little girl, who I am ashamed I can't remember her name now, was very sweet to Gavin. She was watching Snow White and she pulled her screen down for Gavin to see and later they shared a wooden puzzle toy on the floor. I almost had a heart attack when Gavin stepped on her IV infusion tube, but no harm was done. Gavin was very sweet to her - he kept rubbing her hand. Little things like this always touch me because Gavin can be so wild. The same morning he checked on the little girl across from Jacob and they discussed a book she was reading. About the time I was thinking it was time for them to let me know Jacob's labs had returned good and they were ordering his meds, I walked to the nurses desk to ask and they were logging in his Avastin. It was ready to be given to Jacob. Since Jacob had tolerated the last two infusions well, this visit he was to receive the drug over a 45 minute period and then receive the bag of saline to insure all of the Avastin had gotten in. The time seemed to go by fairly fast. Becky sat with Jacob and they listened to music and played on Becky's iPad. Jacob showed her his moves on the PS3 Ballers game and I played with Gavin. I always love to spend time with all of my children, but I really enjoy watching them interact with others. I love to watch Brie get instruction at dance, laugh with Mrs.Gina, or gossip with Becky. I love to see Jacob fish or play basketball with TD and Mr. Dana. It is always heartwarming to watch Jacob and Brie play with Gavin. On this morning I especially loved seeing Jacob smiling and talking with Becky. Having chemotherapy and smiling at the same time seemed impossible a month ago, but it’s not and I am thankful. Another highlight of our morning was the little boy next to Jacob. He had a little dancing and singing bunny and he kept pushing the on button and dancing like crazy. It was so adorable. The nurses were dancing with him. Even Gavin got in on it a little. We all sang and laughed and clapped for him. I thought what a great place to be healed. I hope so much this medicine is helping Jacob and all the other children we have met and spent time with.
During our visit we met a social worker named Michelle Richey. She is a lovely woman and happens to be the daughter of our pastor in Tallahassee at Killeran United Methodist Church. She told us about two special things Jacob could sign up for, Camp Boggy Creek and Caleb's Pitch. Camp Boggy creek is a year round camp serving seriously ill children throughout Florida. They offer week-long summer sessions for the children and family retreat weekends for the whole family. They do swimming, horseback riding, fishing, and have an indoor basketball court. The kids can even get their infusion there if it is needed at the time of their stay. The camp has a full medical staff. We signed Jacob up and hope he will get to attend this summer. Since he suffers from brain tumors and they don't have a NF2 week he will go with other kids from North Florida who have similar tumors, suffer from cancer and can understand the trials Jacob is going through. The Caleb's pitch program is exciting also. Caleb’s Pitch, Inc. is a non-profit organization in Gainesville, Florida dedicated to providing support and enjoyable experiences for children receiving care for life-threatening medical conditions. The majority of these experiences involve patients and their families interacting with various athletic teams at the University of Florida. Jacob chose baseball as his first choice, football as his second and basketball as his third choice. I am looking forward to seeing what they will set up for Jacob.
When Jacob was done receiving his saline and the end of the Avastin he was free to go. We set up his next appointment and headed to lunch. We were all starving and Gavin was getting tired and grumpy. He had been so good all morning. Jacob was suffering some nausea and dizziness and he was exhausted. We were hoping food would make him feel better. Becky treated us to Cody's Roadhouse Grill. It was a lot like the old Roadhouse in Tallahassee. Gavin drew on the paper on the tables and threw peanuts on the floor. After a yummy meal Jacob wanted a Dairy Queen milkshake… And he got it. I guess that will become a tradition, getting Dairy Queen on our way home from Shands. I'm not sure my waist line can handle it though (and TD is getting quite jealous!). The ride home was nice, filled with great conversation and lots of laughter. Jacob once again didn't go to sleep, which he always does, because he didn't want to miss a minute with his Aunt Becky. We got back in town in time to get Brie from school and Becky took her to her art class on her way home.
Infusion # 3, check!
I can't express how much it means to me for those of you who have gone to Shands with us, helped us with the high cost of gas and given us your precious time. You are all wonderful distractions for this difficult time in Jacob's life.
Becky - Thank you! I love you dearly!