This morning around 3Am…. I was pleasantly surprised to see Summer out of bed, coming back from the bathroom. She was carrying her backpack and using her cane. It was a vision I recall from 3 weeks ago when we were at Target House. I am not putting full faith in the meds yet, but it’s a good start to the day.
Summer told us that whatever we did differently last night to stop snoring was great. Angela had the answer for her pretty quickly. “We didn’t sleep”. Between brains riddled with anxiety and my neck in pain from random nights in unfamiliar beds… rest was not possible. Sleep is going to come crashing down on the both of us sooner than later.
Breakfast was nonexistent this morning. Angela hit the snooze and we all were running slow. (Believe me, none of us are criticizing, we didn’t want to get up either) We grabbed some bagged coffee cakes for the walk to the hospital. While I was walking into the breakfast area I noticed a family with an older kid at their table. It was a Mom, Dad and Son. I immediately saw the scar on the back of teenagers neck that told me he had a similar medulloblastoma operation. The Mother saw us walk in and I know she was looking us over as well. I left Summer sit a minute while I made coffee and saw the Mom staring at her scars as well.
Their boy had a head of hair, so I knew he was early in the process. Honestly. I wanted to reach out and say “hello, we know what you are going through”. But, as I said before…. My outward bravado is lacking right now. And, I don’t want to scare their whole family with the story of our journey and destination. I hope…. They have hope.
We got checked in to the hospital. The scheduling team knows Summer and I swear two of them said her name as they saw her roll in. She’s more than a medical number to a lot of the staff she has met over the last year. That’s a comfort when you are surrounded by. 1000 strangers daily.
On the walk from “labs” to the MRI clinic, I was standing in front of the ABC wall. It’s a creative piece that hangs prominently at the intersection of 2 wings of the facility. The ABC’s are images created by patients that associate cancer care at St Jude with every letter of the alphabet. I don’t remember any of them…. But it seems that letters like “Z” would be a tough letter for a kid to use on this project. As I stood there waiting for Summer and Ang, the same family threesome I had seen in the TriDelta breakfast area were getting the intro tour. Every new patient tour by their “Nurse Navigator”. This nurse is the guide who shows you the tips for your first couple days in the hospital.
Well…. That totally sealed the deal. Let them have the “fresh to St Jude” hope that we had less than a year ago. They don’t need our story in their life right now.
We did run over to grab some eggs in the chow hall while Summer was getting her MRI done. I came back to the imaging waiting room and started eating…. A nice nurse casually walked up to us and I knew instantly that I must be breaking some rules. “No food in the waiting. Room?” I asked. “Yeah, a lot of kids come in here told not to eat before their scans, we try to keep this area food-free for that reason” was her pleasant response. I buttoned up my plate and lid and put it back in a bag. It’s all good.
Mri results will come sooner via the Ap, but our appointment for follow up with the doctors is noon.