March 25, 2019.
Justin will receive his last infusion of chemotherapy on this day.
We are planning an open house-type celebration at a local park this Spring. More details on this to come…
We are coming up on a MAJOR hurdle but this is not, in fact, the finish line. As of the end of March, Justin will no longer receive treatment, but he will still be seen in clinic every month for a physical exam and CBC. The following year, fifth and final, we will make the trip to clinic once every other month. Medical exams, heart monitoring and needle sticks will still very much be a part of his life until Justin is declared completely cancer-free.
Justin must remain in remission for a total of five years to be considered cured.
We are staying ever-positive and hopeful, but, of course, without the regular infusions of cancer-suppressing drugs, concern over relapse becomes far greater.
I am elated and I am terrified. Our hope is in the Lord.
Tomorrow. Justin’s last spinal tap, also known as a lumbar puncture. He has had twenty-seven.
Tomorrow. For the last time, we will drug him with Ativan for his copious needle anxiety, refuse him food (because he has to fast), support him while they place an IV, then sit close to his face while they prep and sedate him. A large needle will then be injected into his spine, withdrawing fluid and inserting methotrexate (a highly toxic drug, but one which, thankfully, kills cancer cells) directly into his central nervous system. His little spine and developing brain. He will be conscious. He will feel the pain of the needle. But, too loopy to cry out, a single, large tear will run down his face. Then, mercifully, Justin will fall asleep for a bit, only to wake up to his favorite foods.
That last part isn’t so bad.
Tomorrow. For the last time, we will schedule another round of chemo. Tomorrow, we will have a date ready to announce for his last treatment!
If Justin does not relapse, that is. He will not be considered cured until March 2021. But we have to believe he will make it. We have to believe he will survive.
Tonight, Justin and I talked about what we think a “superhero” actually looks like. And we agree on this. A hero isn’t the strongest or the smartest or the fastest. A hero is one who gets knocked down and KEEPS GETTING UP.
We talked about how God has allowed and helped Justin to keep getting up.
We are endlessly grateful.
Thank you for continued prayer and support. Don’t miss the exciting series finale coming soon!