Thursday, November 8, 2007

Welcome Home!

We're Home! The first round of hospitalization for chemo is done. The day started early with Henry getting up at 3:30 am. Yes, that's 3:30 am. Not a typo. The first thing he wanted to see was the calendar that Tara had made for him with a smiley face on the last day. "I want to see my red smiley" were among his first words as he woke. He was ready to go home. Tara called for reinforcements early and I was out the door a little after 6 to avoid traffic. After some medicine to calm his stomach (he didn't get the cisplatin until this morning), he played quietly for almost an hour with his trucks. I would have given $100 for a camera at that point. I just sat and watched him while Tara caught up on some sleep. It was wonderful to see.

His mood deteriorated as the medicines waned, not to mention his lack of sleep was catching up fast. He insisted on sitting in his stroller - I don't think he wanted to miss the opportunity to take off. He was feeling pretty cheeky too. He wouldn't let me turn the TV on for him (a grand distraction) and kept switching it off using the hospital remote as I fumbled with the channels on the main TV unit. He won that round. Tara finally talked him into the TV and into sitting on her lap instead of the stroller. He fell almost immediately to sleep. He didn't wake up until I was pulling the car around to leave about 4 hours later.

The motivation was strong to leave that place and the rest he'd had didn't hurt either. The mask was on him when Tara, our nurse and Henry strolled up to the car. I was secretly glad I didn't have to have that fight with him, but it didn't turn out to be bad at all. He made it most of the way home without much of a fuss. The construction zones where we had to don the mask again and again were uncomfortable reminders to him and he became intolerant of the it late in the drive, but I considered the whole thing a great success.


We drove up to the house and to wonderful welcome home signs made by the girls and some of our lovely neighbors. Henry quickly settled in to watching TV. He perked up so much when the Anna and Sophie got home. They huddled around him like bees to honey. They brought him toys and talked to him. He responded with more voice than he had the entire day to us. Tara and I both teared up because it became immediately apparent that the girls would be able to do things for him that even we, or the doctors, nurses and social workers for that matter, just couldn't.

Tonite we all watched a movie together. Henry went to sleep early and easily. There were no demands on our time this night. Tomorrow we realized we had no plans either - a quiet day ahead. Next week Tara will begin to work again; just part time for now, but symbolic for us of a return to some normalcy. We are back at Hopkins twice next week for blood count checks, dressing changes, additional outpatient chemotherapy and the like. But for now we have a few days at home and we're so very glad for it.



Granya said...

Ms Jen -

What a great and clever sign!

Anonymous said...


Sleep well and enjoy your days of no plans. I'm sure it feels wonderful to be home.

I agree with Ms. Jen, keep cruckin Henry!!


Anonymous said...

Can't go to bed without reading about Henry - have a super fine weekend!

Holly D

Roland said...

Glad to hear Henry's home!
Hoping for a couple of peaceful days for you all.

Roland& Christine

Anonymous said...

Wow. Finally home! I am so glad that he is home with his sisters and familiar surroundings. Everyone at work has been reading the blog wondering when it was going to happen. I know we will all walk around with a smile on our faces today!

Glad you are home little Henry!!


rlbates said...

Glad you are home!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so thrilled that your wonderful family is together again!! CONGRATULATIONS! I am wearing a big :-) Call me if you need anything, ok? Maury

Anonymous said...

I'm sure to have this week over is a big relief.

Never underestimate the power of children as the best medicine! Sounds like you are already seeing evidence of that!

Cherish the normal and mundane while counting your blessings!
God is watching over you all!

Welcome Home Henry!

Anonymous said...

So glad that Henry is home! I can only imagine how difficult a week it has been, but at least it's behind you all now. The best "medicine" for Henry right now will probably being home and being with his sisters.

May things continue to go well for Henry and your entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Margie (Rausch) Groht

Anonymous said...

Welcome home little man!
We are so proud of each of you & we love you all tremendously.
the Amos family

Anonymous said...

Amen! And Welcome Home, Henry!!

We're praying for you and your family every day! You are all so strong and loved.

Give Grandma Linda a big hug for us from Colorado.

Monica & Glenn

David said...

Welcome Home Henry!

Cousin Dave

Anonymous said...

Henry, God's LOVE is shinning down on your house today to welcome you home. Oh such great news for everyone in your family.
The prayer, thoughts and LOVE from Kansas will never stop.
George, Dianna and the many people in Kansas.

Anonymous said...

Welcome Home Henry!
our good wishes are always with you and all family members..
- Santosh Utekar & family..

Anonymous said...

So glad you are home Henry!!
Bryan and Tara, I know you will enjoy a few days back home!

I check on Henry everyday!
Thanks for keeping the blog so informative! I enjoy reading it!

Susan Herren

Mark & Susan Solem said...

Yeah! We are so happy the first round is done. We continue to pray for you and your family during this time. I know Paige and Chris are as well. I hope you like the CD we sent you (through Paige & Chris). It was really a comfort and meditative thing for us, while my brother was going through a similiar round of chemo/radiation.

We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

In Christ, The Solems