It's been a busy week: SB turned 22 months on Wednesday, I had my follow-up appointment with the surgeon and he cleared me to return home, Miss M turned 4 on Thursday (!!), I made arrangements to return home, we threw a birthday party in the great frozen north, and then we flew back home on Friday, which was an epic 16 hour adventure. It's only about 6 hours worth of flights, but between traveling to and from the airport and layovers and delays. . .yeah. . .it's been a busy week.
The surgeon believes that he removed all of the tumor, and he's "99.2% sure" that it won't come back. Honestly, I would prefer 100%, but I know there are no guarantees. I need to have a CT scan with IV and oral contrast annually for a couple of years, and then every other year after that, just to be sure. The pathology wasn't as clear as I would have liked it to have been, because the appendix apparently was about to burst when they removed it. Because it was so close to bursting, the pathologist couldn't guarantee that it hadn't leaked. But then, there are never guarantees, because they can't look at every part of it. But when examined grossly, there were no apparent leaks, and I'm just going to have to be good with that. And at a microscopic level, everything looked good--the contents of the tumor lacked the type of cells that they worry about. So, I am feeling lucky and relieved and emotionally exhausted. More on that to come, I'm sure, as I figure out how to decompress and get back to normal.
SB's language has really exploded in the last 3 weeks. She has SO MANY words and uses language SO WELL. It's really amazing. She talks in complete sentences all of the time, and I am blown away by her ability to correctly conjugate verbs. More on that to come in her 22 month post.
And Miss M. . .she is just amazing. We threw together a party at the local kid party place, because we needed to do it last minute (our travel plans were very up-in-the-air), and we needed a place where we could invite both sides of the family and wreak the least havoc. She had a blast. It wasn't the type of party I normally would have done, but it was easy and fun and the kids loved it, and it was the first time our families have been able to celebrate her birthday with her. So, it was special nonetheless. At the end, when it was time to cash in her points for playing the games and get prizes, she had a zillion points. After she had the two things she wanted, I suggested she donate her points to her cousins. She had a better idea, though, and bought them all the same toy she'd bought herself. The woman behind the counter said in all the time she's worked there, she's never seen a kid buy things for other kids with their points. It was really sweet, and made me so proud. She is an awesome kid.
We got home from the party at about 8:30, and after we put the kids to bed, it was a mad scramble to get our bags packed for our morning flight. And then yesterday, a long travel day. But, we are home, and it is wonderful to be here. It was in the 70's and sunny, and I just sat on my patio and relaxed in the sun while the girls rested after lunch. It was lovely--and much better than the minus single digit temperatures it had been up north! As we walked to the park and grocery store today, I just kept thinking how happy I was to be back, how much I like it here, and how good it feels to be home. The kids were thrilled to be in their own space with all of their toys. And tomorrow, we still have one more Christmas ahead of us. We had to leave so last-minute that everyone had already mailed their gifts here, and we didn't have time to do it before we left. So, I've told the girls that I've asked Santa to deliver their gifts tonight. It is crazy and over-the-top, because everyone who mailed us gifts also went out and bought new ones when they found out we were coming home. But, I am going to make a pot of coffee, turn on the Christmas music, and enjoy the peace and joy of the season for a bit longer. It will sort of make up for being in pain and medicated on December 25.