Hair it is!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Remember when, a few months ago, I made the bold announcement that Ari had sprouted little hairs all over his head?  Yeah, you recall,  I referred to him as my real life chia pet.

Turned out, that big statement was a bit premature.  Within weeks, those tiny fuzzy hairs were gone and Ari's smooth head was back in full bald glory.  Truth-be-told, I was more than a bit bummed.  Those little golden flecks emerging from the follicles gave me so much hope of a normal life emerging out of this anything-but-normal year. 

But, I listened to the doctors.  I believed that once we entered the final year-long phase of treatment things would be easier, steroids would be more manageable, clinic time would be shorter, and, yes, the hair would really start to grow.

And, wouldn't you know it, those Harvard Medical School trained Oncologists were right! 

Things are easier.  Ari feels good (even on steroids!).  The chemo cocktail is much more tolerable.  Blood counts stay high.  And, this kid of mine has more energy than most 2 1/2 year-olds.

But best of all, Ari is growing hair.

He has hairs on his arms and on his legs.  He has eyebrows again.  He has tiny hairs on his toes.  And he even has hairs on his testicles.  Okay, he doesn't.  That was just for shock value.

Check this out, he has hairs on his head.  Real ones.  Lots of them.  Thick, straight, gorgeous hairs. No magnifying glass needed:

And, just like his pre-cancer days, the color remains light, golden, yellow/white, translucent.  Yup, he's a toehead.

See that smile?  I have one just like it.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

One year ago, Ari was playing in the sand at Cape Cod.

And the following day he was riding the little train around Belkin Farm.

And the next day, June 4, 2012, he went to toddler gym class in the morning.

And was diagnosed with cancer in the afternoon.

I am still in shock.

And I can't believe it has been a year.

It has been a year filled with fear and uncertainty, with spinal taps and blood draws and chemotherapy, with doctors and nurses and radiation specialists.  It has been a year filled with hospital stays and anesthesia.  A year marked by hair loss.  And steroids.  And a ton of puke.  And a year filled with tears. 

This past year has been scary.  And it has been awful. 

But this past year has also been marked by extreme highs.  It was a year filled with friends, with family, with community.  A year that showed us we have the most incredible support system that anyone could ever need.  It was a year of learning and laughing.  A year of so much love.  It was a year that gave us an incredible gift of new life.  And a year that saved our son's life. 

This past year has been wonderful.  And beautiful.  And incredible.

On this anniversary of Ari's diagnosis, I continue to feel so lucky for all of the good in our lives.  And though I will never forget the scariness and sadness of the past year, what is truly memorable are the love-filled days and nights we spent as a family over the past 365 days. 

So, on this anniversary day, we celebrate Ari, Alison, our entire family, and all our friends.  We made it to this momentous day with your support and encouragement and love. 

Now let's eat cake!


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