Spring break--Gettin' out of town for a few days

Minneapolis public schools--including the Ronald McDonald House charter school--are closed next week for spring break and Sarah has taken next week off from work so that I don't go nutso coo-coo from chasing both kids around the House next week.

So.... Since Ethan doesn't have anything scheduled until the end of next week, we're going to get out of town for a few days!

Sarah's colleague, Ann, has very graciously offered us use of her family's getaway on a lake in St. Croix Falls, WI, about an hour from here. Sarah just sent me some pictures of the house and it looks absolutely lovely, and just perfect.

This will be a fantastic chance for us to spend some family time, in what will (hopefully?) be the final few days before Ethan starts chemo. He's got a sleep study scheduled back at the House on Thursday evening and we're going to try an unsedated CT scan Friday morning. (Neither Sarah nor I are hopeful that this unsedated CT will be any more successful than the last one. We just don't think that you can stick a 2 1/2 year old in a CT scanner and expect him to hold perfectly still for 60 seconds. But the transplant staff don't want to sedate him again if they don't have to, and we certainly understand that.)

If the unsedated CT doesn't work on Friday, we've got a sedated scan penciled in for the following Monday. IF the results from the CT come back okay, then Ethan will likely be admitted Thursday or Friday (two weeks from now) to start chemotherapy.

While we've been on hold we've watched two  boys with Hurler's that arrived at the same time we did (Zach and Derick) go through transplant and be released from the hospital to come back to the House for their outpatient monitoring period. I am glad to say that they are both doing very well!

Some small part of me wishes that we'd gone in on schedule and, like them, were already through the worst of it. But mostly, I'm incredibly grateful for the last three months. I think we've all enjoyed the time, even Sarah, who is still juggling work and her three boys. I think we've all become closer since we got here; that's especially true for the boys.

I suspect the delay has been the most difficult on Caleb. He's made a handful of good friends here, only to watch them leave. I think that churn rate in finding and keeping good friends has to have an impact on him, but it's too early to say how it might manifest.

We joined a local organization called HopeKids that puts together events for sick kids and their families. We've taken Caleb to a few of their events: an NBA game, a movie, and snow tubing. Sarah and Caleb did the snow tubing together and that seems to have been the most fun.

The other day, Caleb asked me to teach him karate. I took karate classes for a few years when I was a kid, but I am hardly qualified to teach it and provide the structure that a little kid needs when learning it. But I've been hoping that Caleb would find a sport or activity that he likes enough to pursue, so I was really happy to hear he want to start an extra curricular activity

Yesterday, I took Caleb to a local karate school so he could watch class and see if he wanted to take lessons. Caleb is VERY slow to embrace new things, but he seemed to like it, in his own way. I told him if he wanted to take classes, I would practice with him at the House. And I even told him that after we got back to Oregon, I would sign up for classes, too. He seemed to like that and said, yes, he wanted to give it a try.

But when I had to amend that and say that Sarah would have to take him to class and practice with him once I went into the hospital with Ethan, Caleb changed his mind and said he didn't want to take classes. I was really sorry to hear that, both because I want him to try new things that he might like, and because a class like that might help him make some friends who will be around for a while.

But anyway, Sarah and I are really looking forward to getting out of town. Once Ethan goes through transplant and gets released, he'll need to stay close to the hospital for regular monitoring. So, this is likely to be our last chance to get away for some time to come.

At the end of next week, we'll post some pictures of what we've been up to this month.

Speaking of pictures, there is a freelance photographer who volunteers his services and takes pictures of families at the House. We spent about 20 minutes last weekend and he got some great shots! You can see them online here:   Many thanks to Jim Bovin and the Ronald McDonald House for making them possible. 

We'll post again whenever we get the results of the CT scan, so next Friday or early the following week.

Thanks for being there.


Kelly Waddell said…
LOVE the pictures. The photographer did an excellent job.

Hope you all have a wonderful little vacation, away from all the stress.

Wendy B. said…
Your pictures showed how truly beautiful you all are. Do have a most wonderful vacation before this next part of the journey begins. Laugh and love with all your hearts. Wendy
Erica J. Thiel said…
Coming into my neck of the woods - have fun here in WI! ENJOY!!

Have a wonderful holiday. Lots of love x
*!*!*!*!* said…
I absolutely LOVE the picture of the 4 of you. It really does capture the love and joy of your family. We miss you all so much, and it's one of the hardest to get used to...being home without our Minnesota family. Torie talks about Ethan and Caleb all the time - you are still very much a part of our lives. Know that all our happy thoughts and prayers are with you. Enjoy this time together, and know we are with you! All our love, Cheryl and Torie
Karla in MN said…
I love the pictures of the 4 of you. There are some really good shots! Glad to hear that you are getting away for a break before Ethan starts chemo. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you all, and make the transplant work 100%!
Karla and the rest