I still use a paper calendar. I have tried many times but cannot adapt to a digital calendar. It feels like less control than physically writing. Something about seeing the week laid out in front of me (it must be a weekly calendar) puts me at ease. I always use a pencil but will opt for a pen when I know the entry is firm. I share this because I just received my 2023 calendar in the mail — thank you, Amazon. It’s the time of year that I begin working between two calendars in preparation for next year’s schedule and appointments. This two-calendar juggle has always felt odd to me.
Not this year!
Looking at my 2023 calendar this year fills me with a tremendous amount of hope and excitement. We have a new outlook on life. We have been given the gift of a fresh start for Carter, a do-over, if you will. Nearly everything about us is different. The old versions of us are still there somewhere, but the new us cannot wait to close this year’s calendar by going home to our beloved and greatly missed middle & little boys and begin next year’s calendar fresh, full of gratitude, cherishing life, and looking forward to the adventures ahead.
This experience has left us examining each aspect of our lives and placing even more value on what is truly important. Though incredibly cliche, we have learned the hard way that this one life we have needs to be lived to the fullest, surrounded by those held dearest. Time is the only true thing we all have, and we have missed so much of it these past thirteen months.
Back here in the year 2022, we are feeling settled in at RMH. We have a routine forming. It is much quieter here than at home, so that has taken some getting used to. Tim has been working remotely during this process but has now carefully begun returning to the office during the week on non-clinic appointment days. Carter has been staying on track with his virtual school and is thriving back in his ‘normal’ routine environment. His appetite and energy are back to baseline. He is also the cutest bald little man we have ever seen. He agrees that his lack of hair isn’t as bad as he anticipated. It will grow back quickly.
Aside from being Carter’s short-order chef and CVL care nurse, I have enjoyed getting back into an exercise routine and reading books that have been on my to-read list for far too long. As a trio, we have enjoyed walking around Emory University’s beautiful campus, and in the many parks we have found nearby. Walking has become our favorite pastime — while pounding the pavement, we have planned many fun traveling adventures we’ll take as a family next year when Carter is able.
We walked to the clinic on this gorgeous second day of autumn — 59 degrees and not a cloud in the sky this morning. At the appointment, Carter received his final infusion of abatacept in a room with the most beautiful view of the Atlanta skyline. Our team continues to be encouraged with his counts. The small ups and downs are to be expected. We are thrilled with his platelet count – we have not seen a number even close since… EVER! Carter has not had a platelet transfusion since September 7th or red blood cells since September 11th. Below are his most recent lab results. He continues to “Keep Climbing.”
I’ll be back with more updates soon. For now, we will be daydreaming about the next few months passing quickly and our 2023 being filled with health, faith, quality time with our family and dear friends, and memory making. One thing I know for sure, all of those will be written in pen.