Zach woke up Saturday morning happy and ready to play. I think it encouraged all of us that Zach was going to be okay. He was back to himself for a little while, and that was what we needed to see.
We went to assessment and saw Dr. Tse, Dr. Wilson’s fellow, and he gave us the go ahead to head home! I have never wanted to be home more than this. At the same time, though, it was weird. I kind of equate it to the feeling of going to youth camp. You are separated from the outside world and are pretty much in a bubble for a week. Leaving camp, you have to face the real world. While we had faced reality all week, it was still a weird feeling to be leaving. Things that use to seem so important weren’t anymore. Things changed for us that week. I changed that week.
Zach slept a good way of the way home and was so happy to get home. Andrew and I both felt like we were taking a newborn home for the first time all over again. That night it sure seemed like it since his days and nights were all messed up. We were so tired, but all we could do was laugh at 3:30 am when Zach wanted to play with us.
Sunday was by far his roughest day of his recovery. He would not take a bottle, and his eye was swollen three times the size it was on Saturday. He was miserable, and I was worried.
Monday morning, though, began a new day and his eye was looking so much better! It was a comfort to feel like he was getting back to himself. That does not mean these past couple of weeks have been easy. Zach got the stomach virus and shared it with us. He got to visit the local children’s ER. Then, he was dealing with stomach issues for 3 solid weeks. Oh, and while we were visiting my family, he and I both got another touch of the stomach bug. Yeay…
BUT he is healing wonderfully. I even sent a picture of Zach’s eye to the nurse practitioner this morning (I was worried it was swollen more today), and she and Dr. Wilson said it looks good! Praise the Lord!
So… I thought I would take some time to answer some questions that I have gotten from several people about what the future holds for Zach. Obviously, we don’t have all the answers, only God does, but we do know that because Zach had retinoblastoma so young (he was probably born with it), that he is more likely to get it in his right eye or on his brain. We will be going to St. Jude every 6 weeks for them to look at his right eye, and he will do a MRI twice a year. We will spread these visits out at the age of 2 or 3 if his scans stay clear, and we will only have to go every 10 weeks instead. Zach will be a patient at St. Jude until he is 18. It is so comforting to know that they will be watching him so closely.
When we go back in November, Zach will have assessment one day, will have his EUA (examination under anesthesia), and will get his prosthetic eye. They will actually paint it to look like his right eye! It is really amazing!
Right now, we are just trying to enjoy every day and make the most of it. I do believe that I will gray prematurely and have plenty of wrinkles now. The boy is determined to scare me to death! I now worry over EVERYTHING as if I didn’t already do a good job at that being a first time mom. I am confident that it will get better with time, especially as he gets older and can tell me if something is bothering him rather than me playing the guessing game (and then calling my mom when that fails). :)
I will continue to update the blog as I have info to pass along. I appreciate each and every one of you for reading about our journey! It means so much to us that ya’ll care and pray for Zach! Please continue to keep him in your prayers as he continues on this journey. We are praying that the Great Physician will keep Zachary cancer free now. I know the statistics, but I also know my God is able!