The best view comes after the hardest climb. We are approaching many milestones. On September 16, Luke will be 6 months post-transplant.  My mind has already put aside so many of the frightening details that had taken over our life a short time ago. Did that really happen?

Luke’s world has seen changes we have dreamed about for 5 years. My handsome hero can be seen all over town skipping through piles of mulch with a big smile on his face. For as long as his little ears could comprehend, he was told sternly to stay out of the mulch. Mulch is dangerous for you! Magically we keep ending up along the path where all the mulch lies. For me old habits die hard and I would much rather stick to the concrete, but this is his victory and I will smile along with him as we step into those annoying, little brown chips that seem to pop up everywhere. 

Luke had another moment of glory. He needed his first official haircut and now, once again, his mohawk is adorned perfectly on top of his head. Tears rolled down my eyes as I watched the transformation take place. He has come so far…and now I am looking at my Luke. He even wet his hair and gave himself a mohawk and said “Look! Now I am the real Luke.” 

We are still not without challenges. Luke has been newly diagnosed with reflux and has developed a phobia/anxiety about eating. He is terrified that he is going to throw up. It breaks my heart to see the fear in his eyes and the confusion in his mind. He has also been struggling with some discomfort in his GI track. He always feels full and he is afraid to eat. We can’t even tempt him with a Dunkin Donut. The other night he told me to look at his stomach. In an instant my mind went back to the moment he was diagnosed. This all began with his distended stomach. I can only look back to see how far we have come.

Today we went to Philadelphia for our monthly clinic visit. Somewhere in the 15 tubes of blood they took from Luke are the answers to some very important questions. Engraftment?? The big numbers with the big answers…We wait anxiously for the results while all along continuing about our normal lives. We are embarking on so many new beginnings. In September I will walk back into my second home at Stony Point Elementary school. I will remember standing in the hallway right before I left for Philadelphia with a fear of the unknown in front of me. I will remember sitting at my table when Luke was a couple of months old getting a call from my mother that Luke had a fever AGAIN. I will remember these moments and I will smile because standing beside me at Stony Point Elementary will be my healthy little boy beginning a new chapter as a kindergartener with all of the innocence of his childhood restored.

The days come and go…days turn to night and we thank God for blessing our son with a new beginning.