Wednesday April 3rd, One Year Ago Today

Even waking up this morning was a difficult thing.  Last year on this day, April 3rd, our lives changed forever.  Even with the possibility of dealing with early onset childhood migraines looming, we were in no way suspecting to receive the phone call from Dr. Ellis and have him tell us that Ingram has a tumor and that it is most likely cancer.  One week we were at the beach with the Rowland family, the next week we dropping like flies with the flu, and the next week we were fighting for Ingram's life.  How it all changed in an instant.  We spent much of our time talking about how faithful God has been to us in allowing Ingram to live for this past year and how we've begged for him to give us more time with him.  We've begged to take his cancer and put it in our bodies so that he doesn't have to endure anything else and we've begged for Him to protect our girls' hearts and minds from the unknown and the worry that we know they have.  But God has been faithful and we are more than grateful.

The girls still had to go to school today and Ingram still had to go to St. Jude today and for that regular pattern of daily life that keeps us going, we're thankful.  At St. Jude, Ingram had his speech appointment and came out smiling as usual; while he was in the back, I talked with some of our SJ friends and realized we're still all in the same cancer cells found, but still managing side effects and praying earnestly that the cancer cells don't come back.  It's the new world we live in and we've accepted that this will be our life from now on: hoping for the best, fearing the worst, praying for a cure.  Not only was it a special day because it was our one year mark, but we also got to talk with two different TV stations in hopes of raising money for St. Jude through Dream Home Giveaway tickets.  We spoke with LaTrice Currie from Chattanooga's WRCB-TV 3 and with Ursula Madden from Memphis' own WMC-TV 5.  We had no idea they were actual tv interviews and that it was going to be on TV while the news stations are promoting the St. Jude Dream Home, but it was so fun and Ingram really had a fun time with both LaTrice and Ursula and all our ALSAC friends. 

We first sat down with LaTrice and both of us had a mic;  we never really know what Ingram's going to say or do but he did great.  He was so funny and kept asking for my phone to play while the camera was rolling, but then he would get quiet while he thought about his answers to LaTrice's questions.  I shared part of our story and Ingram added that he loved to paint at St. Jude; I know our Child Life gals will be thrilled that he's constantly talking about them because they are the suppliers of all things paint!  Ingram also spent some time coloring with me and LaTrice and even traced her hand and turned it into a turkey.  I couldn't help but laugh though when she asked him why he drew a turkey; "I like to eat them!" was his answer because he loves when we get the turkey from the Honey Baked Ham store.  After Craig finished being on the air with Fox Business New talking about the Economy, he joined us at St. Jude and we were both thrilled to see him!  Ingram wanted to color a cheetah with Daddy while we talked with Ursula and Ingram was cracking all of us up with all the things he was saying.  Ingram has heard us tell our story a thousand times and so he started spouting off bits and pieces to Ursula.  The silliest part was listening his talking about red and blue; "red was mommy's face from crying and I colored the back of mommy's seat blue...and she didn't know!" were his color explanations.

Ingram was a great distraction all by himself from the looming appointment that we were having next with Dr. Gajjar and our nurse Lizzie.  We had been noticing some changes in Ingram's voice over the last month or so and had asked to for an appointment to discuss it.  Neither Craig or I had talked to the other about our concerns but had just been watching it closely and seeing if the other would bring it up; that what we cancer parents do, we observe everything for a while then finally get enough courage to see if someone else has noticed it...then we get concerned.  With it happening for over the past month, our heightened emotions/anxiety over our anniversary date, and the fact that even Craig was concerned  about it (I tend to get concerned over every change), Dr. Gajjar ordered a CT scan even though our MRI is later this month.  Granted a CT won't be as good as an MRI, but if there's a tumor in there big enough to impact his speech, it would show up.  While we both waited holding our breath, the results came in and they didn't see anything different from the previous scan and so we breathes again.  Our MRI at the end of the month will be the best indicator and more in depth than the CT because the resolution is so much better so for now we breathe, wait, watch, observe, and enjoy life as much as we can.

Next we picked up the girls from school to take Madison to her orthodontist appointment.  Ingram and Lindsey played UNO on the floor of the office and at the exact time we received the phone call from Dr. Ellis last year, I took their picture and emailed it to Daddy; unlike last years email at that moment, it had a smiley face instead of a frowny face.  I also called him and left a happy message unlike last years' phone call with news that devastated us.  Needless to say, we've all been like this all day and it continued at home for the rest of the night.  With emotion overload at the Dismuke house, we broke our school night bedtime rules and let the kids sleep together (hard to believe I know) in honor of the April 3rd night that we spent separated in the hospital not knowing what the rest of our story would be.

We can't thank everyone enough for all of the prayers, messages, meals, gifts, visits, childcare, "us"care, and love that we've been given over this last year.  It's been by far the hardest year of our lives and without our faith in God, knowing that He loves Ingram more than we do, and our friends and family, I don't know how we could have made it.  We serve an amazing God and He is still faithful and holding us in His hands with each breath we take.  Thank you for being God's hand and feet for our family...we are forever grateful for all of you.

Oh Yeah...Ingram's A Pro!

Lunch Date At Ingram's Favorite Place...St. Jude!

Trying To Take Our Minds Off Everything Playing Trains!

In He Goes!

We Pretty Much All Made Fun Of Craig Wearing Tweety Bird!

A Year Ago To The Minute!

A Way Better Bedtime Than A Year Ago!
Look At Them Now...
They're Not Your Typical 4, 9, and 10 Year Olds!

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