Monday, March 26, 2012

Bonus Day with Spence

To a teenage boy who's been cooped up in the hospital for an entire month, having a few days of freedom is  a pretty exciting event.   He knew his ANC (immune system) was good and so it was with a determination to live it up the best he could,  that Spencer's week at home was jam-packed with activities from morning until evening.  Between chilling with friends, hosting "parties", working (in an easy capacity) on a service project, and attending school and church sporting events, there really wasn't loads of time left for good old-fashioned family time.   We squeezed in a couple of family-only activities, but for the most part we didn't see a whole lot of Spencer during his week at home.  

So last Monday when the week at home had passed,  we repacked our bags, took him to the clinic, and fully expected him to be readmitted to the hospital.  We were discouraged when they told us preliminarily that his marrow results were abnormal (which later proved to be incorrect) and that they didn't want to readmit him until they figured out what to do about his treatment, but after thinking about it we got pretty excited about the "bonus day" we had with Spence.  Since he thought he was going to be in the hospital, he didn't have any plans to take him away.  Additionally Mondays also happen to be early-release days for the elementary kids, which made it the perfect culmination of happenings for a spontaneous family day together on the town!

When asked how he wanted to spend his bonus day, he without hesitation requested to go putt-putt golfing.  We knew the rec center courses weren't open for the season yet, so we did a little research and found this little gem in Herndon.  Considered one of the best courses in the country, it proved to be a fun adventure for the whole family!

We let the four oldest go on ahead, while we stayed back to golf with each other and to patiently wait for Ellie.  The golf course was several steps up from the normal putt-putt courses that we're used to and great fun was had by all. 
Ellie was only scared a little by the snapping crocodile, roaring wild pig, squirting frogs, crazy monkeys, and creepy tomb that we had to walk through, but when we passed those she was quick to join in the fun and the laughter!

In fact, by the end of the course she was so used to all the beasts, that she decided to join them for a while. 

I especially enjoyed seeing these two renewing their strong friendship.  Through the entire week, Spence and Cam stayed up late together, got caught up on their shows together, shared funny stories from school and church, and just in general enjoyed hanging out together again. 

Right before we left, I got the grand idea to try out the timer on my camera which I had just barely figured out how to use.  Although we'd just had family photos taken earlier in the week, I was excited, for once, to capture a photo of us all together in action somewhere. 
Afterward we dropped Cami back off at school for her lacrosse practice,  went home, ate dinner, and had a normal night at home.  Bright and early the next day we brought him back to the clinic where we learned that his marrow results were actually normal, then ran a quick errand, and took him straight back to the hospital for another month! 

An afternoon of mini-golfing together may seem like a small thing, but to a family starving for a little normalcy, this bonus day together was just the healing salve of laughter and togetherness that we needed.


  •  Docs treated Spencer with more Benadryl for his rash and itchiness that continued today. 
  • 2-1/2 hours of tutoring...Spence was so excited!  (sarcasm alert)
  • Spence's weight is down (55.4 kg.) and his phosphorous levels are high.  We're trying out darnedest to keep the boy well fed with practically anything he requests to eat, but it's beginning to feel like we're feeding a picky toddler who turns his nose up at everything and eats only tiny amounts!
  • I swear I'm seeing the beginnings of dark hair resprouting on Spence's head.  My guess is that it will fall out again with the effects from round 3 chemo kick into gear later this week, but it was fun seeing it pop through again.  Spence was just relieved that it wasn't growing back blond or red, like some of the post-cancer hair regrowth stories he'd heard. 

"The happiest moments of my life have been the few which I have passed at home in the bosom of my family."                                                                                                     ~Thomas Jefferson


K said...

Glad you had a bonus day with Spence! Looks like a fun course! We may have to go there when we are in town.

Deanne said...

I've heard about that putt-putt course before. It's on my list to check out sometime. Glad you guys had a great day of normalcy together!

Monica said...

Hey Lara, I don't know if Spencer is a shake lover but I found having a morning shake with almond milk and either fruit or chocolate or whatever I was craving with some nutritional supplement added in helped me a lot during my surgery and treatment. There is one in particular that I really like and it gives me 30% of my daily requirements which can be a lot when you aren't eating much. Let me know if you are interested and I can send you the link. Peace to your family as you go through another month of hospital time. Your positive attitude is enlightening!

bantcher said...

I thought I noticed some peach fuzz on Spencer's head Sunday afternoon!


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