Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sunday, September 26th..."The Secret Revealed"!

Today was the culmination of months of planning for Drew's wish of a lifetime. His wish coordinators got together with Drew and planned this Disney cruise to the Bahamas for all of his family. Drew's one request was that the trip be something we could all do. He wanted so much for Josh to be able to come. Normally, Make a Wish only pays for the family members living in the home with Drew. But, his coordinators went to bat for him and got Josh approved to go on the trip with us. Except for Drew didn't know about it! He was told that Josh wouldn't be able to go. But, behind the scenes, the stage was set. Josh flew to Orlando yesterday and Make a Wish put him in a luxurious villa to keep the kids at home from finding out. It was their surprise, too. Drew knew that a limousine would be picking up the Stockton family to drive us to the port. He thought that was the big secret that he was keeping from his brothers and sisters. What he didn't know though was that when that limo pulled into the drive, it carried his hero--Josh. Channel 2 news was on hand to interview Drew and to film his reaction. They opened the door and out steps Josh in full uniform. It was absolutely precious. It was truly a memory I will treasure forever.

Saturday, September 25th

We are so excited!! The long-awaited cruise to the Bahamas is tomorrow! Make a Wish Foundation has far exceeded all that we could have ever even dreamed about. They've covered every single detail and thought of things I'd have never considered. This trip holds many surprises for Drew, for all the children. I can't write about everything until after tomorrow. I don't want to take any chances that Drew finds out what all has been planned for him!

Saturday, September 18th

Drew was able to go home this morning. His pneumonia is better, and the rib pain is getting better. The good news is that there is no more chemo until after the Make-a-Wish cruise on the 26th of this month. We are all so excited about this trip. Prayerfully it will be a little break from things for Drew---for all of us, and give everybody the strength to continue on. We are so thankful that God has given us prayer warriors to intervene in Drew's behalf. We are also very grateful for the doctors the Lord has put in our lives and for Florida Hospital. We have never been in a hospital that exalts Christ more than this one does. We would definitely have some areas where we would disagree doctrinally, but for the way my Lord is lifted up here, I give God the praise.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wednesday, September 15th

Wow, what a day yesterday was. We made it to the hospital in record time, and God mercifully allowed Drew to be taken straight back. Since he was laying down, his breathing had stabilized, and though he was still in terrible pain, he was at least quiet. Part of the diagnosis I suspected--pneumonia. I did not expect the partially-collapsed lung or the broken (NOT dislocated) rib. I sat there in disbelief as the doctor explained what had happened. During surgery, the team removed ribs #'s 7, 8, 9, and 10. Rib #6 was stretched across the space left by the absent ribs and sutured into place. The problem was that the rib was not big enough to cover the space it was expected to cover. I understand the surgeon's reasoning; he was doing his best to "brace" up the muscles and give that area of his back time to heal. But, because the rib wasn't big enough, there was no "give" room, and when he rolled over, the weight of his body just snapped it in two like a twig. The broken rib will heal, but the concern is right now the pneumonia and partially-collapsed lung. He cannot cough, so that's aided the buildup of fluid in his lungs. He was admitted to keep his pain level under control while we try to get a handle of the pneumonia.

Tuesday, September 14th

I really thought the month of June had been our worst month in Drew's treatments. With the surgery and several other setbacks that month, I was sure I had seen the worst, but that was until this morning. After Drew's appointment yesterday, he came home, got in the bed, and tried to move as little as possible. He had an awful night. He slept in our room, and hurt all night long. He couldn't get comfortable, couldn't get up to go to the bathroom, and had started coughing. Drew has always been prone to bronchitis and pneumonia every since he was a tiny baby and had a serious case of pneumonia. I've tried to watch for that since his immunities are low and he's naturally inclined to have a weakened respiratory system anyway. It seemed like his coughing worsened by the minute, and he also had begun wheezing. About daylight though he had fallen asleep, so I let him sleep. We started school as normal without Drew. Around 10 a.m., Drew staggered into the living room and all but fell into the recliner. He told me that he was going to try to do his school so he wouldn't get behind and asked for the laptop. I left the room to get him a pillow and before I could get back, I heard him screaming. I ran into the room and he was crying, "Mama, get me up, I can't breathe!" He was crying, and the kids were all bewildered. I tried to get him up and couldn't. Clay tried to help me, and every angle I tried just hurt him more. I considered calling 9-1-1 but then remembered that Lane was at the church office that morning. Bent called him, and I'm surprised that he could understand her because she was crying so hard, but he did and was home in seconds. He was able to pick Drew up and carry him to the van. Drew was in obvious respiratory distress and in more pain than I'd ever seen him. Drew's very laid-back, quiet. He doesn't complain of pain, so when he does, it's got to be over-the-top pain. I know we were in a crisis situation, but I don't know what was harder--seeing Drew crying from the pain and struggling to breathe or the looks in my huddled group of bewildered other children's eyes. They'd never really seen Drew like this. In his hardest times, he's always been in the hospital, and usually with only Lane and me present. They were so upset, and I hated leaving them to wonder what was going on. The Lord Jesus did what I couldn't do this morning and comforted their sweet hearts.

Monday, September 13th

Drew had an appointment today to check his counts. The counts were good, but I am very concerned with the amount of pain that Drew is having from the rib. Lane took him to his appointment this morning, and when Dr. Hajaar asked about the rib pain, Drew said, "It's okay." We've learned that there's a very fine line with teenagers, or at least with our teenager, that we are having a tough time discerning as his parents. Because he is a young man, we truly feel strongly that he needs to have a say in his treatment and be kept abreast of all that is taking place with his body; but, sometimes, that means letting Drew talk for himself and allowing him to tell us what his pain level is. Today is definitely one of those times because I feel like he's in way more pain than just the "okay" he gave to his doctor. He can't even stand up without crying. In my heart I feel like this is more than just a "dislocated" rib. Pray that God will give us direction.