Last night we got back from our final trip to Houston. As you saw in the previous post we got the wonderful news that Joel's scans came back completely clear. We were moving forward with our goodbyes and party plans but always in the back of our minds we knew that we had to clear this last hurtle before we were truly done with chemo. Once they told us the good news it was such a feeling of relief. Our doctor in Houston congratulated us and said that Joel graduated from chemo "with honors". He told us how tough Joel was and that most of his patients never make it through the full chemo regimen because their body can't take it or other complications arise. Hearing that really re-enforced to me what a fighter Joel was throughout this whole process. It was never easy but he did such an amazing job pushing his way through the difficult times. We also told our doctor in Houston this would be our last time to see him. Although he would prefer that we get our scans there every 3 months-he understands what a financial burden that would be as well as our need to get back to a more normal life routine. He was fine with us doing our CT scans here in OKC and told us to feel free to contact him should any needs arise. It will be so nice to be able to continue on with our doctor's here in Oklahoma and we have full confidence in them. We love the entire staff at OU Medical.
Here are some pics from our trip:
#1 thing we will miss in Houston-THE FOOD! There were so many amazing places to eat there. Here is a pic of Joel at our favorite mexican restaurant in Houston-Lupe's Tortilla's.
Here is a picture of the view from our Hotel. We stayed at the same hotel every time we came to Houston-The Crowne Plaza. It pretty much felt like our home away from home. They have lower rates for MD Anderson patients so that is one of the biggest reasons we went with them. This picture is not of Houston's downtown. Believe it or not this is a picture of all of Houston's major medical facilities-MD Anderson, Texas Children's Hospital and more. It was pretty impressive.
Here is one last picture outside of MD Anderson.
Joel checking-in to see the doctor one last time. It's hard to tell in the picture but that sign above his head says the Sarcoma Center. One of the incredible things about MD Anderson is how precise the care is for each of the different types of cancer. Since Joel was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma we received care from a doctor that specialized in Sarcoma cancer within the Sarcoma Center.
Us being silly outside of MD Anderson-waving good-bye to the hospital one last time!
After our last appointment in Houston we drove Galveston to spend 2 nights relaxing before we flew home to Oklahoma. The beach at Galveston isn't too impressive but our hotel pool was.
We spent all day Saturday by the pool and it was wonderful.
When I was sitting in the pool I had some time to reflect. I realized that I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of my chest. Funny thing is I didn't realize it was even there until it had left. It feels weird to have a "normal" life again. I am not sure I even remember how to do "normal" life any more. But one thing I will tell you about "normal" life so far is it certainly feels good.
Saturday is a HUGE day as we celebrate the end of this journey with Joel's "No Mo' Chemo Party"! We can't wait to celebrate with and thank all of those who have played such a huge role in our life this year. It should be pretty amazing. Pics and post will for sure follow.
Have a wonderful week!
"All the way my Savior leads me Who have I to ask beside How could I doubt His tender mercy Who through life has been my guide
All the way my Savior leads me Cheers each winding path I tread Gives me grace for every trial Feeds me with the living Bread
You lead me and keep me from falling You carry me close to Your heart And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me
All the way my Savior leads me O, the fullness of His love O, the sureness of His promise In the triumph of His blood And when my spirit clothed immortal Wings its flight to realms of day This my song through endless ages Jesus led me all the way Jesus led me all the way
You lead me and keep me from falling You carry me close to Your heart And surely Your goodness and mercy will follow me."