My cheeks hurt. What an amazing day. So many decisions made differently would have prevented this day from unfolding the way it did. This is true for every day, I suppose, but today I am feeling it. I am so grateful for this day.
We accepted the invitation to come up to Tropicana Field and join our All Children’s community. Benjamin felt great all day. We saw nurses we’ve known since the beginning, families who were our neighbors on the seventh floor, and new friends we’ve just met. We all stood on the field while the players warmed up, then Benjamin and the rest of the children were taken to the first baseline to pose with what Banyan called a “comically large” check–a donation from the Rays’ Wives to Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. They were standing with the Rays’ hitting coach and facing the team in the dugout. It was such a proud moment. I had no idea there was more to come for Benji.
Benjamin was one of the oldest kids there representing the hospital. Maybe that’s why they asked him, I don’t know; it all just happened so fast. One minute he was standing at the dugout, and the next minute, he was trotting out onto the field, to stand for our national anthem, with Evan Longoria. I could not believe what I was witnessing. Benji returned with a signed baseball and a memory that will stay with all of us forever.
Benjamin is on a chemo hold until at least Wednesday. His steroid pulse ended this morning and his weekend antibiotics ended tonight. That means that for the next two full days, he has no chemo to swallow. No medicine to alter him. Our pill box is empty for the first time in nearly a year. We will enjoy these days, as we have enjoyed this one–completely.