In April, 2010, when Andrew was 2 1/2, a tumor was discovered behind his eye. The tumor was removed, but it was found to be an aggressive cancer. He endured seven months of chemo and six weeks radiation. In December of 2010, the day after his last treatment, he was rushed to the ER with an almost fatal bacterial infection. He survived.

He is now seven-years-old!! I don't visit here much, because during the ordeal, this is where I dumped everything--my rage, my fear, my sadness, my ugly, my hope, my everything. But I want all of you who supported and prayed for us to hear his updates. You helped me survive, and I am deeply thankful. Every once in awhile, I will check in to let you know how he's doing. Please continue to pray that cancer will never return to his body. Thank you.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

An amazing day.

I woke up about three times,
every night,
all week long,
checking Andrew's tubes
and changing his soaking diaper
(from the constant fluids being pumped into him). 
So I'm tired. 
But I have to tell you about my day :)!!

This morning, 
the first thing I heard was Andrew yelling at our six-pound dog
(with an over-active tongue): 
don't lick my beautiful Mommy!" 
Andrew (and his pump) and Ruby had been dumped into bed by my husband. 
He was done dealing with all three boys downstairs,
and didn't find it fair that I was still sleeping. 
After hearing those sweet words,
I didn't mind the "wake-up" call.

About half an hour later, the alarm on Andrew's pump went off:
  Reservoir Volume: 0.0.  Empty!
The last round of chemo:  DONE!!!

We (my husband) took some pictures of the tube removal process.
  But I wasn't wearing make-up,
they were blurry,
and really,
does anyone want to see the removal of a needle...
probably not. 

Andrew's first act of freedom
was to put an ornament on the Advent calendar
my Grandma made for me when I was a child. 
You have to be fluent in counting to use it,
because some of the felt numbers have fallen off. 
I think Andrew may have picked out day #21,
but no one stopped him.

(try not to notice the mismatched jammies, 'kay?)

We got dressed, and headed to our favorite bakery. 
 Can you believe Andrew had another cupcake?  
When all of these celebrations are over, I think he may go through withdrawals.

Then we headed off to the park with our non-cupcake baked goods. 
Our church was having a little breakfast get together,
so we brought along some sparkling grape juice
(I thought it was apple cider, but nope),
some Christmas cookies and muffins. 
We drank the juice out of plastic cups and toasted Andrew,
and hoped for a better 2011. 
Not exactly champagne, but it was nice. 
The boys played on the playground with their friends
and had to be dragged away from the fun.

My husband never does anything half-heartedly. 
Next on our agenda,
was a full-day of field trip activities
so that Aaron could earn more "belt-loops" for his boyscout uniform.
I have yet to see any of these "loops", but we spent the day earning them: 
picking up cigarette butts,
getting a tour of the nearest bank,
going to the post office...
Which reminded me
that it had been a while since I had been to the good ol' P.O...

 the plan was for me to check my P.O. box
and then give Aaron "a tour" of the rest of the building
(we are nerds, what can I say).
John would stay in the car with the other two boys.
But when I got to my P.O box,
it was full of keys!
10 of them!
to 10 bigger lockers!!
I should have gone outside, summoned John for reinforcements,
 and then opened all the lockers.
But it was too exciting. 
And I am too impulsive. 
Aaron and I opened locker after locker
and had a huge pile of boxes sitting in the middle of the P.O aisle. 
Then I realized that our car was kinda far away
and we couldn't just leave the packages in the post office
and come back for more...
 so I tried to pile seven of them in my arms and two in Aaron's. 
I was about ready to balance the last one on my head,
but then a kind man
(or perhaps just an incredulous one),
seeing our blissful "distress,"
offered to help. 
He carried several of them to the car with us.  
I think he probably muttered
"nutty lady"
under his breath,
or at least in his mind,
the whole way to our car.
But I didn't care.
I was too busy giggling. :)

Aaron never got a tour of the post office.  
But I think we may have created a "forever" memory.

Here are picture of the boxes.  Thank you all so much, what a fun surprise! :)
(try not to notice the cheerios, 'kay?)

After our field trips,
we headed to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner with my parents, brother and aunt. 
Andrew growled at the Cheetahs,
and warned other children: 
 "Get back to your seats before you are eaten!!" 
He was serious.

 (I have no idea what Sammy is doing.
Perhaps praying that his food would arrive soon? 
It took about an hour.)

Then we drove home. 
And opened all of the packages.
Thank you all!!  So sweet. 
Stay tuned for the next "Hats" edition.
I have lots of pictures to take!!

Champagne is still waiting. 
Maybe tomorrow.
I think we gotta drag this celebration out for awhile.

It was an amazing day.
Chemo is DONE!!!


  1. This post makes me so happy! What a wonderful day! Your trip the the post office sounds like a blast. I'm glad I was able to be a part of all that. :)
    Go ahead and drag the celebration out for a long long time! Cupcakes and champagne for everyone!

  2. what a wonderful day!!!!! just in time for the holidays. i am so happy for andrew and all of you that chemo is done! : ) enjoy this holiday season!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful day. I'm so happy for all of you!!

  4. I'm so happy to hear that chemo is done, and Andrew is in fine shape... enough for eating cupcakes and growling at cheetahs. (By the way, the mismatched jammies are adorable, and what kind of car/van would it be without the layer of cheerios (in my case: goldfish crackers) on the floor???)

    I hope you celebrate for a long long time! You guys all deserve it! (((high-fives and hugs)))

  5. Hooray! Sounds like a wonderful (and busy!) day. I'm glad you got to celebrate the end of the whirlwind journey you've all been on, and I'm glad the hats could be part of it. Hugs to all of you today!

  6. Oh Happy day!!! Congratulations Andrew!!!!!! Eat all the cupcakes you want little man!

  7. I have been WAITING for this news - oh wow, Julie! I'm so happy for you all! Merry Christmas!!! :-)

  8. Such great news! Fantastic job, Andrew! I hope that there was a gift certificate for a spa day for you inside one of those boxes, Julie. :)

    Congratulations on finishing chemo. I can't imagine a better gift this holiday season.


  9. I am so happy to hear that you are DONE! Congrats to the whole family! And I think your celebration day sounds absolutely perfect. :)

  10. I'm so happy for you and Andrew and your family!! I couldnt think of a bettery holiday present then to be done with chemo!!

  11. Congrats Andrew! Sounds like Christmas came early for the family.

  12. Julie, I just read your blog for the first time. Kelly sent me a link. You are an amazing Mom and I'm so happy for you all. Merry Christmas! Tracy Stone

  13. I smiled all the way through this post. I'm so happy for you!!

  14. The word verification word for my last comment was "rests". I think you should... :)

  15. I am so unbelievably H A P P Y for Andrew! and for you! And what a great surprise - to find all of those packages in your p.o. box! Did I mention how H A P P Y I am?



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