Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Happy Birthday Indeed

On March 1, Hunter had his 100 day work up. While he had many tests run, the results we were most anxious to hear, of course, were from the bone marrow biopsy. We couldn't wait to hear that he was leukemia free and that 100% of his bone marrow was his sister's. Waiting was unbearable.

I suppose the birthday and rebirth celebration started on the day that we heard the good news that Hunter was, in fact, leukemia free. That morning, Michael took Hunter to his clinic visit. We knew that they would have the results and so I was really anxious and a bit frazzled. I took the other two children out to do a little book shopping at thrift stores. I couldn't just sit at home. I was just so darned anxious.

I had told my husband to let me know as SOON as he heard something. While we were out and about, I didn't hear from him. Not a text, not a call. I tried texting him and he didn't respond. I got very sick to my stomach. I suddenly had a flash back to August. The day that we found out that Hunter would need a transplant was so difficult. Michael was in Nashville. I knew he was meeting with the doctors to talk about moving forward with treatment. He was supposed to call me to talk about what they had said on his way home. I didn't hear from him. I called the hospital room and spoke to my father-in-law who was taking over as caretaker for the night. He said that he'd just let Michael talk to me. My heart sunk. I kept calling Michael and he wouldn't answer. Finally, he called me back and he said that he'd just talk to me when he got home. But I couldn't wait that long. I needed to know. And so he told me.

When he didn't return my text this time I panicked. I remembered what he had done that last time and all I could think was that he received bad news. The leukemia was back or some similar devastating bit of information.

But he answered when I called and he said that he had sent me a gmail chat and told me that everything was fine. The biopsy was clear. He didn't realize I had left the house.

Though we went through the next few days with joy, we were still anxiously awaiting the news that Hunter's bone marrow as 100% Ronin's.

I was starting to get impatient but yet I managed to deal with the media. I was interviewed twice in two days (here and here). And I also managed to cart the two younger kids off with their grandparents in order to grant Hunter the wish of spending special alone time with his mom and dad for his big 7th birthday.

We had a great day decorating for the upcoming party
and making our version of these amazing Spelt Vegan Sugar cookies (we actually made them without sugar and they were fabulous).
We read books, watched television, and just plain laid around being lazy together. It was awesome!

The next morning, Hunter's birthday, my sweet boy got up and fixed himself his own breakfast. Before he went to bed the night before, he set out a chair upon which to climb, the traditional family birthday plate (that I didn't even realize I'd never told him about until then) and his toaster pastries... his breakfast of choice.
And before I went to bed, I had Michael assemble and set up this awesome Diary of a Wimpy Kid cardboard cutout from our friends at the library. So he was greeted by it when he got up!

Shortly after breakfast I received a text from Michael that said, "He's 100%".
I guess he'd talked to someone from the transplant team.
I was a mess. I've been having this breathing problem that I have periodically that started last spring. It had come back but after I received the news, and I started to cry, and cry, and cry, I started to feel better. I've barely had the issue at all the past couple of days. I think I'd been holding so much in that I didn't even realize was there.

I had a $10.00 coupon for Kohl's so I left Hunter to play video games with his dad (as per his request) and I went shopping. I bought myself a pretty new dress (that I'm considering wearing to the boys' party on Tuesday) and I sang CeeLo loudly in the car. I shopped for groceries and bawled my eyes out on the HBA aisle to "I Guess That's Why They Call it The Blues", a song that I'd listened to frequently while Hunter and Michael were at "Hotel Vandy" for the transplant.

Hunter spent the afternoon with his best buddy Joe. They ate cookies, played the Wii, and watched episodes of "The Simpsons" from season 1.

Then in the evening, we attended "Bald in the Boro". Wow.

This is a photo collage my friend Tonja made for me because my camera was dead!
I hear that something like 40 people ended up braving the shave and that $40,000 was raised for childhood cancer research. I was glad we could be a part of it.

When we got home, Hunter opened his gifts. He received quite a few nice things and just think... the BIG gifts are being saved for Tuesday!

As I sit here typing, breathing more easily, I can honestly say that this was the perfect birthday. An ideal way to spend an extremely special occasion.

There were so many times just a few short months ago that I feared he'd not see this day and that it would be a time of sadness for our family. I'm so glad my fears were not reality.


  1. Mandy I'm so happy for your family! What a happy birthday indeed.

  2. Fantastic news! So relieved and happy for you.

  3. I'm so happy to hear your good news! I know there are so many people praying and now rejoicing for you!!

  4. I'm so glad you guys had such a great day!

  5. Mandy, I'm so happy for you and Hunter and the entire family. Celebration time! Whoo Hoo!!

  6. Oh my goodness, I am so very happy for your family. Your courage and grace under such challenging times has been an inspiration to me. Blessings for a lifetime of joy and health to your family-- Heather

  7. I am SO happy for you and Hunter and your family! Happy birthday, indeed. Yay!!!!!!


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