"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Finally, a visit "to" the therapy dog instead of a visit "from" the therapy dog!

For the past five years, one of Rowan's favorite parts about being in the hospital (yes he always finds a silver lining to everything), has always been the special Friday visits from Cindy the therapy dog.  They have shared a bond like...well, you just can't even imagine.  They seem like kindered spirits.  Cindy always jumps right up into Rowan's hospital bed.  And no matter how awful Rowan is feeling, he always sits up and loves on her.  We often comment that you can't tell who is getting more therapy, Rowan or Cindy.  They just seem to enjoy each others company so much.  Cindy is the kindest, gentlest, most patient golden retriever that I have ever met.  When they hug, its hard to tell where Rowan's hair ends and Cindy's fur begins.  It is so precious to witness.  While we don't ever want Rowan to be in the hospital, he actually misses her when he is not.  We have said on numerous occasions that we would love it if they could get together outside of the hospital, so he didn't have to miss her.  Well, this Friday we finally made that happen!  We went to visit Cindy on her own turf...at her home.  It was one of Rowan's "best days ever"! And I got some of the most priceless, precious, poignant pictures I have ever taken.  I hope you enjoy them.

Rowan and Cindy ran to each other right away...even though they have never been together anywhere but in a hospital room...

Rowan brought "Cindy Dog" as he calls her, a few gifts. 
Both of them love the book "Go Dog Go"
so he brought her a stuffed toy of the dog from "Go Dog Go"
(Rowan has one himself too:),

and this picture he drew for her...with a picture from her last visit to see him
while he was hospitalized in February.
and a copy of the book so Rowan could read it to her:)

They spent time petting...


...Cindy pawing so Rowan wouldn't stop petting...

Rowan giving his gifts to her...

And then Rowan read 34 pages of "Go Dog Go" to Cindy.

It was priceless time, with Rowan, Cindy and his amazing handler Suzanne.

And Cindy LOVED her stuffed dog...

Look at how precious this is!
Next, Rowan asked Suzanne if he could take Cindy on a walk to find some bluebonnets.
Keep in mind, Rowan doesn't really ever take walks anywhere!
His stamina is so affected by his anemia and other issues that he usually wants to be in his medical stroller/wheelchair if he has to walk any distance at all.
Well, thank God he had his fluids topped off at clinic the day before,
because he was in hog heaven walking that dog down the street all by himself.
It really made him feel "like a normal kid", he said later,
and it nearly brought me to tears to see him walk several blocks with Cindy on her leash:)

And look what they did find!
The only sizeable patch of bluebonnets in their whole neighborhood.
No words really needed for the next 7 photos...
if they don't make you feel something, I don't know what will.
They just evoke such love and comfort and friendship to me...

The walk wore both of them out (we took turns carrying Rowan home the last three blocks)
so they spent some more time snuggling when we got back to Cindy's home...

and more time talking with their eyes...

and a little more time making more precious memories together.
This was such a treasured day. 
One we will surely never forget.
It's not every day that you get to give some therapy back
to a dog who has helped provide therapy for you
so many, many, times before.
(I have no doubt in my mind that Rowan was trying to
commit this day to memory in this very photo above.)
Thank you Cindy, and thank you Suzanne!
You are the best therapy dog ever "Cindy Dog"!
Love, Rowan

Thursday, March 6, 2014

"Let them have hope"

Yesterday Rowan's central venous catheter became clotted and stopped working.  We took him in to the emergency room so they could administer tpa in an effort to free the line from blood clots and get it working again.  Rowan is dependent on his central line for nightly intravenous tpn nutrition, and his neupogen bone marrow stimulant infusions which he gets twice a week.  He also has routine labs drawn from his line every 1-2 weeks, and receives iron and IvIg infusions through it every 3-4 weeks.  Rowan has already had 17 different central lines replaced over the years, due to various complications, so a lot of scar tissue has built up in his chest, making it more and more difficult for them to find access.  So, as you can see, it was very important that we save this new line yesterday.

Thankfully, the blood thinning agent was able to dissolve the clot, and Rowan was able to go home from the ER.  I let Rowan know how many people were praying for him all day, and praying for the doctors and nurses to be able to fix his line.  As we were going to bed last night, I told Rowan once again "Isn't it awesome how many people were praying for your line to be fixed today...and look, it worked!"  He agreed, but thought for minute and told me this: 

"Yes, Mommy, it is great how many people prayed for my line to be fixed, and I'm so happy God heard them and fixed it, but I'm not the only lucky one." 

I asked him what he meant and he said "Mommy, it was good for all those people too, because it made them pray for me, and it gave them love, and it...well, it let them have hope. So I'm not the only one who had a good day!"

I am just blown away, once again.  I would have never had that perspective, if it wasn't for Rowan.  Of course I was happy for Rowan and our answered prayer, and of course I was grateful for everyone's time and prayers.  But, to see them as being blessed to "get" to pray for Rowan, and happy that they were able to ask God for help, and to appreciate that they were able to have some hope in something...WOW!  So amazed by this little boys perspective on things.  And now, so happy that you all were able to have some hope in your day yesterday:)