This is a day late, but it can never be too late for good news. Yesterday was Cutler’s last semi-annual check up with the oncologist and all test return clear. We now move to an annual visit that will continue into his 20’s. The best part of yesterday is that it was the 5th anniversary of his bone marrow transplant and after five years of clear tests the doctors consider him to be “cured”. They will never say that there is zero percent change of it returning, but after five years they feel it’s as close to zero as possible. As we work through the stresses of Melanie’s new job, the buying of a new house, selling of the old house, and the move to St. Louis it was awesome and refreshing to get some news like this to help put everything into perspective.
Below are a couple pictures from our visit. One is of the standard picture with his bear. One of these days I will take the time to track down all of the bear photos so we can see how much he has grown. The best bear picture will be of him in his late teens laying down for a hug. The next picture of him standing next to the glass railing with the phrase I am a Survivor on it that I have never noticed until yesterday as we were waiting on the elevator. And finally is a celebration ussie.
One final request before bidding adieu for the evening and that is to pray for my dear old dad who is going to have angioplasty performed as he had an abnormal stress test on November 3rd. The doctor will be checking to see if he will need additional stents, replace the old ones, or at the very worst have to open the heart. Ironically, it was before I was about to move away to South Africa that he had his heart attack for which the stents were originally inserted. I now wonder if this is just in an effort to be sure that we do indeed move back to St. Louis. If so, dad, stop the drama we are definitely moving back.
A little over a year ago we asked for prayer requests for a long time friend of the family’s baby girl who was going through some tests for issues with her immune system. We just got word that she has severe sleep apnea and is now on oxygen 24/7. She is going to have surgery to have her adenoids removed. This was expected, but not this early in her life and is a great risk as her respiratory system will not tolerate anesthesia very well. Charlotte’s surgery will be next Thursday on the 6th. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.
It must be pretty clear that I am playing catch up as I roll out so many posts in one night, so here is one that is long past due. Cutler’s first hit off the coach pitching. Of course he waited until I wasn’t there to be part of it, but I am proud to say that he did get a hit off of me yesterday so it’s all good. Fortunately Melanie was at the game for his first hit and was able to capture the video.
In the line of news of firsts, Cutler lost his first tooth this past week. He has been talking about his teeth being loose for the past couple of months and so I just ignore him when he brings it up, but then for some reason this time I took a look and sure enough it was just about ready to come out. Unlike Mason, Cutler was ready to pull this thing immediately if not sooner and after my large fingers couldn’t get it done he let his brother give it a shot to no avail. The next morning while getting ready for school he reached in and yanked the thing out. Also unlike his brother, he didn’t care about keeping the tooth, he was more excited to show his mom the money he received from the tooth fairy.
The last couple of days have been a bit hard for Mason when it comes to sports. On Thursday he had a pretty tough couple of at bats and got very upset after the game that he wasn’t hitting as well as the rest of the team and I explained to him that he needs to work harder and practice more if he wants to be good at what he loves. It seemed to get through to him, but then at his skating lessons he wasn’t into it and seemed like he didn’t want to be there. As frustrated as I was, I chose to not say anything to him and Melanie talked to him about it reiterating what I had told him on Thursday after the game. I then had a similar discussion with him this morning on our way to watch a friend play lacrosse, because I just can’t keep quiet, and I think it is finally soaking in and hopefully today’s goal during his hockey game will help drive it home.
That’s right, after playing goalie most of last year, today Mason scored his first goal from an odd angle after almost giving up on the play. At first I don’t think he realized he scored until he was mobbed by his teammates. The smile on his face was priceless and matched most likely only by mine and Melanie’s. Afterwards I asked him if it got him hungry for more and he said yes and I asked how he would go about resolving that hunger, looking for an answer of hustle and be aggressive, but his response was practice. I think the message has begun to sink in and to help finish off the day of successes he beat me at a game of PIG and celebrated by shouting “I beat my dad!”.
I’m one proud father.
A lot of people have learned already, but now it is official. Melanie has taken a new job with Frito Lay that is having us move back to St. Louis. We have mixed emotions about the move as we will miss our great friends and family here in Dallas, but this is a great opportunity for Melanie and I am really looking forward to spending some time around my family as I have lived in the area for only a year since I graduated from college so many years ago. The boys feel the same way, but are very excited to be able to see their cousins more often. We don’t know the date yet as we have to sell our house here and find one in St. Louis, but as it approaches I will be sure to share.