Childhood Leukemia Story - Jason - 11 - Home Again

Jason Story of Child LeukemiaHOME AGAIN

The flight home was uneventful. As the plane neared Boston our excitement rose. There are no words to explain how we felt. Life would be different now. Would we adjust to being a normal family again? Would everyone be shocked by Jason’s appearance? All the anxieties quickly faded as we walked out of the tunnel that led from the plane into the building. There were banners and balloons and so many friends waiting for us.
Jason was beaming — “Is this all for me?! It seems like I’ve been away a year!”
We all were kissed and hugged and welcomed back in grand style. Our faithful reporter, Barbie, was there and never stopped crying until we were on the way home to New Hampshire. She had seen Jason lying alone in isolation and now here he was, laughing and jumping and thrilled to finally see the beloved faces of his New England relatives and friends.
In the house there were more banners and the following day there were more reporters. Everyone wanted to share in the excitement. Jason was filmed throwing snowballs and sledding. California hadn’t been too good for that!
“I just want to get back to my normal self— do everything that I used to do — running around, swinging, playing, jumping. Hopefully, I’ve said goodbye to my leukemia for good!”
Normal. How does one go about returning to normalcy? For me the transition was difficult. That is not easy to admit even today. True, I was thankful to be home, but it took time to get used to being alone. I had become accustomed to having Wes around all the time and had to readjust to his going back to work. Eventually life settled down and I relaxed. Bethany returned to kindergarten and Jason was given a tutor for the rest of the school year to avoid having to repeat first grade. He enjoyed the time spent with her and seemed to be making progress. Yet when he was evaluated later on it was felt that it would be better for him to reenter first grade the following September. At first he strongly objected to this decision, but when he was told he’d be able to have Mrs. Pendergast again he decided he liked the idea.
Jason was adjusting medically as well as socially. Hospital visits were every two weeks for the first few months and then once a month. This was very different from the multiple visits he had been making every day in the weeks before we came home. Everything was checking out perfectly. The blood counts were fine and the only medications he was on were folic acid and bactrim to help avoid infections. Those were medicines anyone could have been on, far different from the powerful chemotherapy he was used to.

 Jason and Eric reunited

Jason and Eric reunited


With each passing day we could see Jason steadily regaining his health. The puffiness in his face disappeared and his hair started growing in thick and curly. Aside from a bacterial infection that put him in the hospital for Memorial Day, Jason sailed smoothly through the next few months. September came. Bethany and Jason went off to school. As I watched them walk hand in hand to the school bus, tears came to my eyes. Last year I wasn’t sure I’d ever see Jason leaving on the first day of school again. As the bus pulled away I paused to give God thanks once more for being so good to us. The happiness was overwhelming! Jason really was better! I remembered his wish for people to think he was just a regular kid. Would they?