I may be dating myself here, but does anyone remember the movie Fools Rush In? It’s one of my favorite romcoms. Anyway towards the end there’s a part where Matthew Perry’s character walks by a priest and the priest tells him there are signs everywhere. That scene has been on my mind a lot lately.
I have a vague memory of a sermon I heard as a child that discussed how you should never test God or ask for proof of something. It’s a foggy memory, but clearly remember sitting in the pews listening and also something about morning dew and grass. So because of this vague memory I’ve always tried my best not to ask God for proof or specific signs. Yet I’m always looking for something He has chosen to use as a message or sign. Ever since I heard her infusion will be on Christmas Eve I’ve been on the look out for more.
On Thursday after being admitted Kevin let me know that she would be getting a pic line placed on Monday. My heart sank. That again? We’ve already done the Pic line thing. Why again? He explained it was just temporary and would be out around the time we got discharged. I’m still not happy about it, but I’ve come to terms with it and understand why it’s needed. He also told me that we would be once again be in room one. That is the same room we were in when we were first admitted back in July. To me it was the second sign that CAR-T will be her cure. It seems fitting to end her leukemia journey in the room we started, full circle.
When I arrived on Friday evening I asked Kevin who was on this weekend and when we’d see our team. He broke that news that none of them would be with us for the infusion. First her no one from her nursing squad are on this weekend. Jackie, AJ’s absolute favorite is home for Christmas, but we knew that. Then he said Dr. Cooper, her attending is off. Dr. Molina, her fellow will be back on Thursday, after CAR-T. Genna her CAR-T research nurse is off for a week! I totally understand it’s the holidays and everyone deserves time at home so I’m not bitter, but I do wonder why they could have let us be home too. Especially when they won’t be here. I had a feeling this was not a good sign. Then I read about the passing of a fellow cancer fighter and my heart broke. Though we never met Lily Weaver I’ve followed her story for a while and feel such sorrow to see yet another young life cut short by cancer. I went to sleep on Friday with a heavy heart.
Yesterday we went to the Ronald McDonald House with the kids for a while. Ellie and Kohen had fun in the game room and seem okay with staying there later in this week. I can already tell it’s a magical place. What warmed my heart most was how much it’s supported by volunteers and the kindness of strangers. While we were there Ava was at the hospital with her Aunt Skye and Grandma. When we came back the kids got to hang for a bit before it was for them to head back. Ava always enjoys time with her siblings and really enjoyed that her Aunt Skye and Grandma were able to visit too so it was a good day, no signs, but a good day.
I think God was saving some big signs for today. Shortly after Kevin and I woke up we heard a knock at the door and saw that the doctors were already doing their rounds. Kevin quickly recognized the resident and asked if he was the doctor who had leukemia as a child. For those of you who have been reading this blog you may remember that on the night Ava was diagnosed we met an ER resident who came in to tell Ava he had leukemia as a child and was now becoming an oncologist to help kids like him and Ava. It was the only time she smiled that night. Well now Dr. Muller is back on his oncology rotation and he WILL be with us on infusion day. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I cried. They explained that even though our team won’t be here they’ve left very detailed plans on how to care for Ava and are in constant contact with the team in duty.
Later as I was walking to the bathroom I saw another familiar face. Dr. Patel who was the overnight resident when AJ was first diagnosed is also back. If there’s any one resident who’s truly gotten to know our girl it’s Dr. Patel. During our stays in July and August she always came to visit and hang with Ava. Most of you know Ava’s not big on strangers, very introverted, and not a big talker. For some reason that’s never been the case with Dr. Patel. We’ve asked about her during each of our stays, but never heard where she was in her rotations and if she was still at Hopkins at another Baltimore hospital. AJ loves her and knowing she’s also here feels so right.
Our day nurse this weekend is Casey. She is the newest of Ava’s Squad and so sweet. She’s bubbly, talkative, and finds ways to get Ava time with the sweet 6 month old she befriended during our last admittance. Today she was telling us all about Camp Sunrise how Ava, Ellie, and Kohen have to go this summer. She mentioned that another nurse on the floor has been attending since she was ten. First as a cancer patient and now as a nurse. She told us how Amanda was a patient at Hopkins and is now on staff as a pediatric oncology nurse.
This week our team is not here. I hope they’re enjoying time with their families as it’s a well deserved. The care they’ve shown my girl and us over the last five months has been the absolute best. I’m glad they get sometime away. I’m also glad that in their place God has sent us survivors and familiar faces.
I’d also like to thank everyone for the DoorDash, UberEats, and GrubHub gift cards. I always forget how expensive it is to eat out 3 meals a day. The gift cards have definitely come in handy! It will be so nice when we get to move to the Ronald McDonald House in January and only have to worry about lunches.
There are signs everywhere and they all prove that if we just keep our eyes open God always gives us reasons to rejoice.