Yesterday we took Braxton to his yearly visit to the Survivorship Clinic at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  YEARLY! He is perfect and healthy and he is ready to eat Nana’s noodles on Thursday.

He Survived. Unless you have had to face the thought that there was a possibility he might NOT survive, this might not mean the same thing to you.

We walked down the long corridor past the Hematology/Oncology Clinic where we once spent so much time. We walked past the elevators that lead to the 5th floor were he “camped” for weeks at a time. Where spent 3 Thanksgivings and 3 Christmas’.

As we passed by the Clinic I peered through the frosted glass to see other children waiting to go back for blood draws, scary sticks, yucky medicines, port accessing, and so many other things that children should never have to face. But the scary truth is they do and sometimes, they don’t survive.

My heart hurts for them, in a way that only a mama of a “CK” understands. Only a mama that has watched them scream and cry in fear, only a mama that has watched them cling to life in their sickest of days, only a mama that has dealt with “roid rage” in a toddler and watched them throw up uncontrollably while doing the simplest of activities. I know how blessed we are.

As Thanksgiving draws nearer, I think back to 7 years ago, to being in quarantine shortly after diagnoses. I think back to how lonely and disconnected we felt from our family because his immune system could not handle visitors. I think back to all the Thanksgivings we went down to a lobby to get Thanksgiving dinner in a take out box, all while dragging an IV pole and a squirmy, gowned up and masked up 3 year old along. I remember.

So, as I walked out of the hospital with my healthy boy, I prayed for the sweet boy that waved to us from behind that mask in the clinic and I thanked God for another Thanksgiving with my boy.

Thanksgiving has a whole new meaning when you are truly thankful for more than the turkey and the stuffing. Our favorite part is TRAVELING to family, it’s laughing about all the happenings of life, it’s listening to the kids run up and down the stairs, it’s listening to the giggles from the toy room, it’s packing “explorer bags” for the boys to take off into the woods, it’s making memories. I am so thankful and so blessed beyond measure. I have everything that I could ever want and need and for that I am most thankful.


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