Tuesday, August 24, 2010

port in hand

The port's last night.  

pre-op consult

before: Isaiah felt good.  after: "I just can't focus! Did they take it out?  Focus!"

After walking Isaiah to the operating room and saying goodbye, I squeezed in a quick research appointment while he was in surgery.  On my way back to the hospital, I received this text from Carmen:

The surgeon just handed me Isaiah's port!  Matthy is using it as a rattle.  Praise God all went well!  One incision.  No complications.  I get to see Isaiah in ten minutes.  I just can't wait to see how he feels "port free."  
We shot this video while we were waiting...and waiting...and waiting...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


This Friday is session #2 for Isaiah's CIA testing.  We're wondering how hard they'll push him this week!

And on Monday, Isaiah will be deported!  Since chemo is done, the little bump on the chest is no-longer needed.  We're excited for this step.  Though Isaiah has been able to live well with his "port," it will be good in so many ways to have this constant reminder out of his body.  

[the progression of the port]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Isaiah gets tested for the CIA

On the next two Fridays, we'll drive to Sacramento for neuro-psychological testing.  Since Isaiah's treatment included chemotherapy that affected his spinal fluid and brain, we're going to see how he's processing information, check his I.Q., etc.

The testing includes a family interview, lots of problem solving, and runs a total of six hours.

Since we're picturing lots of white coats, ink blots, bizarre word problems, and apparently unrelated questions about our past, and because Isaiah is seriously considering a career in espionage, we're calling it "CIA testing." Isaiah is totally excited.  He asked me recently if I thought they'd have him try to climb up walls.  (I told him the physical training comes later.)

Of course, the doctors won't let-on that they know Isaiah is being tested for the CIA in order not to compromise his security.  wink.

Happy Birthday Sienna!
Sienna turned 10 yesterday!  She spent some time at the park with friends and shared dinner and dessert with her Bita and Papa.  She will be blogging soon [at her blog, "Bubbles"] as part of her creative writing class in a few weeks!   

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

end of chemo party

Thank you!

Thank you, family, for your unrelenting support.  You have stayed with us, shopped for us, cleaned for us, cried with us, driven thousands of miles for us.  You have carried us.

Thank you, Emmaus Church Community, for joining us in this journey.  You have been graceful, supportive in so many practical ways, giving, encouraging.  You have been a safe place to grieve, doubt, hope, and grow.

Thank you, 5th Street Neighbors and friends around the world, for staying with us.  Thanks for taking out our trash, mowing our lawn, reading this blog, wearing "strong and courageous" bracelets, and loving our son.  

Thank you, Jesus, for your strength and peace.  You never let us go.  You were with us in the valleys and on the mountaintops.  You held us in the pain.  We are so grateful.

Bita's (Isaiah's grandma's) perspective: 

[Isaiah's] party was attended by about 140 friends and family.  With his little family in front, Nathan spoke to all of us first with words of gratitude.  Then he spoke specifically to Isaiah about his beating down this "foe" with such courage and lack of complaint.  Then, to Sienna, about her amazing nurture and sacrifice and selflessness over the last three years, spending one Christmas in the hospital instead of at home opening gifts and being with all her cousins, and spending one Thanksgiving  away from her family altogether when Isaiah's blood counts were dangerously low and she had been exposed to chicken pox. [she lived with us for three weeks till the danger had passed].  He spoke to Carmen about her refusing to give in to a broken heart and her wonderful mothering.  Then Isaiah took the mic and thanked his sister for "always being with me through everything".  It was so meaningful.

Friday, August 6, 2010

isaiah is 8!

Isaiah at 4

Isaiah at 8

We are having a hard time getting our heads around the reality of the last 4 years of Isaiah's life.  It might sound surprising, but we're just beginning to feel the freedom to process much of what he's experienced.

Last night, his aunt Gentry and uncle Ryan gave him an amazing "done with chemo" gift.  He's thrilled and has been walking around the house with this massive sword all morning.  For half of his life, he's been fighting.  We're proud of his great attitude.  He seems older, much wiser (which, for me, is tinged with sadness), and very strong.