Sunday, March 2, 2008

Back in the ATL

Joe pushing Holly
The only picture we could take of Joseph as a pirate

In my traditional pirate apparel
Who was this party for
Cold pizza



It's been a busy few days back here in Atlanta. I'll try to get you up to date. Joe and Gill flew back on Wednesday and Gillian said that he was asleep before the plane even moved away from the terminal. She had to wake him up after everyone else left the plane and he didn't really wake up until they were off the plane. He was really confused and started crying that he wanted to get on the plane to go back to atlanta. Then he said that his plane didn't go very fast and that it was slow. I guess that would be confusing. Then he and Gill were picked up by some friends who met some more friends at our house where they had some pizza and a little welcome home party for him. He now has a huge banner (I haven't really measured, but maybe 2ft x 4ft) of lightening McQueen and Mater with "Welcome home Joseph" written on it.

The next day he started asking about his pirate party and so we had to hastily throw something together for him. We had a party yesterday for him at his favorite playground at the Clairmont airport and lots of his friends showed up dressed to be pirates. Thanks for everyone who could come with a one day notice. He had a great time climbing all around and chasing everyone with his oversized sword. My favorite moment was when I was supposed to be watching Joseph and Holly but started talking and lost track of Joe. I couldn't see him and so I ran around the playground and saw him at the top of this arching monkey bar structure. He was just climbing and having fun. It was great to see him acting like the past few months never occurred. I'm sure the party would have been better if we had more time and it wasn't freezing and windy outside, but I don't think he would have enjoyed it any more than he already did.

He and Holly are very happy to be back home. Other than not wanting to take his daily chemo and waking up at like 2-3 in the morning he is doing great and ready to get back to the daily routine.

I do have some specific prayer requests for the next few days.
1. that Joseph would not freak out when we get back on the plane and go back to St. Judes on Thursday. He has asked several times about going back and today I told him for the first time that we have to go back every once in a while. He is very anxious about anyone touching his port and that's all he thinks about when St. Judes or Memphis is mentioned. Also, one of Gillian's sister's friends used skymiles so that I can fly with them this time and not drive or not go. Many many thanks.
2. That we would learn not to be anxious about the future. I know that this will be a long struggle with MRIs every three months, but we can't function if we are paralyzed by fear or dread of what the next scan will show. We of course hope and pray that each one will show a miraculous lack of tumor. They told us that the first one most likely will not show much if any change since the effects of radiation usually don't show up for a few months. It could in fact be bigger due to inflammation. But anyways, pray that we will trust in God's plan and not spend our time together in fear.
3. That joseph would take his medicine without a fight and that he would sleep through the night again. While we were in Memphis he slept with one of us in the bed pretty much the whole time, but he is back in his own room in his own bed. One of us has to stay with him until he falls asleep which can take a few minutes, but it's a lot better than sleeping all night with someone who kicks you in the face.
Thanks again for continuing to pray for us, and thanks for all our friends in Atlanta providing meals, babysitting, and friendship.

39 comments:

Ann said...

Great news that your journey went so well. Hope everything goes just as well this coming Thursday. You all look great dressed up as pirates.You're in our thoughts all the time and we hope that all your wishes come true. I can imagine you were really anxious about losing Joe in the park and being so happy when you found him just messing about doing little boy things. love to all Ann Ben & boys

Kelly said...

So glad that you all made it home safely. I will be lifting all your requests up in prayer! So thankful that you give us specific things to pray for!

The Dogs said...

WELCOME HOME!!! I love the pictures of the pirates. I will be praying for all of you over the next few months.

By the way, I was out on the St. Jude website. Our small group of 4th and 5th graders mentioned doing a fundraiser for St. Jude so I was trying to get ideas. I ended up looking at the images of St. Jude link and the last picture in the slideshow was Joseph! How cool!

Sara said...

Hello Mateys--
Well done on your safe sailing back to ATL. Joe, keep up the good work on recovery and bravery, savvy?
I am praying specifically for these new requests!
much love,
Sara B

Anonymous said...

We're so grateful to see you all back home. And kudos on the pirate party with one day of planning! You're both wonderful parents: it's clear in every story and picture. We'll continue praying for you all, for great test results, and your specific prayer requests.
J.R. and Juliette

susan and brian said...

Glad you are all back safely in your "cocoon", its always good to get back home. Great photos, you all seem to be having a great time. Will be thinking about you especially on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

The pictures are great! Thanks for posting them and updating the blog. But at 2a.m????
It was great talking to all of you yesterday...we miss you all so much. Joseph, we loved the picture of you in the pirate hat! Also, seeing you push Holly around! And the ones with your mom and dad, your dad always loved playing dress up!
Know that we are praying constantly. Love, Mimi and Big Daddy
P.S. Matt P. is home now, feeling much better. Matt Barr is also home and he and Jennifer are recovering..guess you got out of Memphis just in time!

randibisme said...

We'll be praying!!! We pray for all of you guys EVERY SINGLE NIGHT!!! Your family has captured our hearts and we have never even met you...
Party looks like it was a lot of fun!!! Wish we could have been there, even though we are in freezing MA! We, by the way, had a snowstorm yesterday! We will be so happy when the sun comes out more!
Randi Booth
www.chrisandrandi.us

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to update all of us. You'll never know how much we look forward to hearing from you. Looks like the party was a hit- that's great. And we will be praying for all the requests you posted. Love to all, Mel & Steve and family

Wrights said...

So glad that you are home in your own beds! We will be praying for your requests, especially for Thursdays appointment. Thanks for the updates. It's good to know how to pray for you.
Nathaniel, Rebekah, Anna Walton and Olivia

Wrights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great party! We appreciate you letting us know some specific requests to pray for. We pray that Jospeh keeps running off and doing little boy things!!! Love you all.
Kissell's

Nana said...

Hello Pirates!!Imiss you all a ton.Joe p. P. I love the way Holly bear calls you Joe now !!what a sweet caring little sis you have .I just loved seeing Holly take such good care of Joe and giving you car stickers and wanting to push you on the swing!!Joseph I am soo proud of you being so strong pushing Holly bear on the bike that was really sweet you are a great big brother.Nana is tired I went off to a retreat @ccc.in Montgomery Bell Park this weekend and laughed and stayed up till 4am!!and then got up at 7.30 we had about 28 women in our room last night .We were very hyper Sarah-Jane will relate to me on that!!Everone I met has been praying for Joseph...of all the 250 women there they all were praying for Joe P. You are one of the most prayed for boys in the world ..keep praying..we all love you tons and tons Sleep sound in Jesus tonight joseph all night long lots of love and kisses Nana Grandad and Davy

Jennifer said...

Hey guys. We listened to the phone messages last night. I forgot to listen after talking to you Allen. Anyway, the kids were so cute and it made me cry bec. I miss you guys so much. I know Thurs. won't be a picnic for Joe but we will be praying for him/you guys. I'm sure Matt will have the silly Halo waiting and Gill, I can bring over some knitting and a 'bucks if you need company after Joe falls asleep. We miss you so bad it hurts!!!

ps - Did Christy marker a beard on her face for the pirate party? That is so awesome. She is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Joseph and family, my name is Shannon, I am Jen Campbell's sister in law. I just wanted to let you know that you and your family haven't left my thoughts or prayers since hearing about you. it sounds like you guys are in good hands at St. Jude but I am sure being at home is much more comforting. Joseph is such a trooper! Hang in there and you guys will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. I would love to bring a dinner or help out in any way, I will talk to jen and see what I can do!

Jennifer said...

Hey - I posted some pics of the kids on winniekate.com

Love you guys...

sj said...

hey guys.....its so good to see you all and hear updates, though much better if I was there. Wow..you guys are famous. thanks to whoever pointed out famous Mimi and Joseph on the St. Judes website. He is picture #13 on the interactive something which is on the bottom right of the st.judes website. www.stjudes.org...I think.
will be praying for the specifics. Didn't realize you were going back so quickly. Miss you all and love you guys. Hope the next few days are relaxing and not anxiously awaiting Thursday.
Love you all so much

Kate Etue said...

Still praying for Joseph. Hope you guys can have a worry-free time back at home.

Mary Vagnoni said...

Praying to St.Jude for healing,strength and peace
love from Philip,Mary and the girls

Jaime said...

We will be praying for those specific requests. I pray for God's presence to be so real and evident to you. I pray God's peace on your heart and mind as you await the results of this first MRI.

Jean Joiner said...

We're praying. We had a wonderful time at the party!!
Love,
The Joiners

Anonymous said...

Dear Ones, I'm off today from school. We had Saturday School on Saturday so we get to have Monday off. Yesterday at church, I had several people come up to me to ask about you all and to tell me they were praying for you. Some of them I had never met before, but they recognized me from the blog. Anyway, just wanted to know that you are on my heart today. I am praying for the requests you asked for. Wish I could be with you in Memphis to hold your hands and Joseph's. I'll be there in prayer. More importantly, I know our Heavenly Father will carry you all through the day. I forgot to tell you that one night when I was putting Joseph to sleep after I had read him some books, he asked me where God lived. I told him he lives in our hearts and that he was in the room, that he was everywhere and that he was in heaven. He thought a minute, smiled, and said, "Let's get up and play chase."
Praying and missing you all so much, Love Mimi

courtney said...

So glad that you all are home! Joe looks so happy and pirate-y! We'll be praying for all of your requests and especially for Thurs. Love- Courtney

notes from em said...

we are still praying daily for Joseph and for the rest of the family.... much love from Knoxville...
the miller's

Lynn T said...

Hi Gill and Allen,
The pirate party looked like a blast. I'm sure it must be so good to be with all your friends again. Thanks for sharing all your requests..I'm praying for God's peace to be with you. I loved Mimi's story about Joseph asking where God lives.
Miss and love you and hope to see you all again soon. Lynn

Nana said...

Goodnight tired Pirates.Joe p. and Holly bear I heard you had fun jumping on the trampoline today .I bet you were jumping as high as the sky!!I hope you sleep really well tonightand dont let the bed bugs bite!!Davids team won the basketball game tonight.They missed Holly bear cheering!We will be praying specifically for all your prayer requests".This is the day the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it" Psalm118:24..."My soul shall be joyful in the Lord;it shall rejoice in His salvation"Psalm 35;9.Tonight I pray especiallyfor Allen and Gillian to abide in Gods love and derive strength from the joy of the Lord tonight and forever.Psalm 16:11 says "You will show me the path of life:in Your presence is fullness of joy;at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore and Romans 15;13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joyand peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit"We all love you tons and tons Sleep sound in Jesus...Nana and Grandad and Davey

melissapedsrn said...

Hi there. I am a peds onc nurse in Chicago and I have been following Joseph's story and sending many prayers. Not wanting to take meds is really common, especially on the home front. I know this is pretty basic and probably already been suggested, but have you tried the whole "big chart/calender" on the wall ("Pirate Chart" maybe?) with a big star, sword, spyglass, whatever picture or sticker to be put on everytime a med is successfully taken, within limits you have established? Leading to a simple reward of course, each week. Although with kids, just seeing the stickers lining up in a row is always great motivation. I've seen it work for lots of kids. Gosh, all my best to your family!

Jody (atlanta) said...

Just have to say SOO GREAT HAVING YOU BACK IN ATLANTA! Like Allen said it really warms my heart to see Joseph playing with his friends, chasing his sister, eating pizza, and chatting up a storm like his usual self. We loved having Gill, Holly, & Joe over yesterday to check out our playground and have snacks and bubbles on the deck. I especially loved seeing Joe negociate with 1st Abigail and then with me about trading the princesses!(he wanted Jasmine since started with 'J' just like Joseph and Jody. He such a smart kid). We usually trading cars, but with two girls there are not many cars at our house so he jumped right in with the princesses. As Abigail said after you all left "Hugs and kisses from Holly and Joseph are the best." I found myself quickly tearing up and could not agree more. You have two Loving and Affectionate kids because you two are loving and affectionate parents. Thanks for blessing me and my girls life with your family. We praying for wonderful news on Friday.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad you have gotten to return home. I wish we were there to offer support in person. We continue to pray every day for Joseph's full healing, for grace for all of you, and for the Lord to carry your worries.
love, Maija and the Gayeds

Anonymous said...

Hello... all you Peabody Pirates! Hope today is a great day for all of you. You are in my prayers as always and my class prayed for you this morning as they do every morning. I've asked the staff to be praying for the requests you asked for and for the tests on Friday. You are all loved very much by so many people. And just think....that can't even compare to how much our Heavenly Father loves you. I pray that today you will see God in the smallest things and that you will know how much He loves you and is ever near to you! Love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

Good luck tomorrow back in Memphis.
Melissa (and Kayla) Kornfeld

Joann said...

love and prayers from the rosenbaums!

Nana said...

This scripture is for Big Bad Joe little Joe P.Isaiah 58:8 .."Your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily,and your righteousness shall go before you;the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard." I am so glad y'all had a great day..even though it was wet and gloomy..thats a southern winter for you 75 one day and 45 the next.Joseph I am sooo proud of you taking such good care of Holly bear at Bouncing Bobs .Is that the right name??We have a place here like that my D group love going there! Its called Pump It UP!!! We will have to go there soon!!.Ilove you all very dearly and pray for a good nights sleep for you all.Lots of love and hugs and kisses Nana and Grandad and David..Sleep sound in Jesus.

Chloe said...

hey maties, looking good. great to see you all having such fun. wish i was there to share in the look, arrgh ahoy there! XXXchlo

Chloe said...

I meant loot!!!

Anonymous said...

praying for you guys as you prepare for the next couple of days! allen, ever since you had dinner with us last week when quinn asks to see joseph's blog she then says "allen too" and we have to show her all of the pictures of you that appear on the blog. it's very sweet.
love,
erin and dave

Anonymous said...

Praying for your trip tomorrow, especially for Joe P. We'll also pray for Holly to be happy..bless your friends who are helping so much. We will pray for travel mercies and for the doctors and nurses as they take care of Joseph during this visit. Praying also for God's strength to be with you. Trust in His promises.
Love, Mimi

Anonymous said...

praying for all and hope the trip goes well. love, Martha and Karl

Jai said...

God IS good! Continued prayers for you.