He was going to be able to come home for the first time since he was diagnosed, four weeks ago.
I had left the hospital Thursday night feeling defeated and that our chances were slim that we would be out of the hospital much before his appointment in St. Louis on Tuesday. His counts were creeping up. His white cells were at 600, and needed to be at least 1000 before release.
I think Steven also thought he'd be in for a few more days and took matters into his own hands. His mustache had started getting a little thin. So, using some small clippers, he went ahead and shaved his mustache off.
He later sent a selfie to the kids and after they both started laughing hysterically, Blake stopped and declared that daddy looked "scary".
I thought he looked about 15. A very handsome 15 year old.
Steven informed me that life was "too short to sport a sorry mustache."
The news that his cell count had jumped overnight, and that he was coming home, blew me away. I started shaking and I couldn't get to the hospital soon enough.
Steven was ready when I got there. In fact, he had already packed up everything in the room and was waiting as patiently as he could for the nurse to discharge him.
The nurse came in, and gave us our paperwork and there was no shortage of nurses willing to see us out. They all made us feel like family that they hated to see leave. When they brought in the obligatory wheelchair to wheel him out, Steven refused. He would walk out in his own.
As he started to walk out, the nurses stopped him and told him he needed to wear a mask. Of course, Steven resisted.
They told him he was only allowed one refusal on discharge.
He chose to wear the mask.
They also told him that, although he was restricted as to what he could physically do between this release and his next round of chemo, laundry, cooking and giving his wife foot rubs were fine and not frowned upon.
(Have I mentioned that I love his nurses?)
We couldn't get home soon enough, and pulling into our driveway had never felt so good.
Steven had been really missing Rowdy, his 12 year old Austrailian Shepherd. Rowdy had been Steven's sidekick since he was a puppy. This was the longest they had ever been separated.
In fact, for a little over a month leading up to Steven's diagnosis, Steven had found himself getting increasingly frustrated with Rowdy. You see, Rowdy couldn't get close enough to Steven. At times, Steven had trouble walking because Rowdy was pressed against his leg. Steven couldn't even turn around without Rowdy being right behind him. If Steven walked three feet, Rowdy walked with him. Many times Steven felt as if he was getting tripped up just trying not to fall over Rowdy.
However, after finding out that he had leukemia, Steven couldn't help but wonder if Rowdy had known all along, and simply didn't want to leave Steven's side.
Knowing now myself, I understand where Rowdy was coming from.
Rowdy was excited to see Steven. Carl, my beagle was too.
You see, Rowdy showed his excitement by running to Steven and staying right by his side, just as he did before.
Carl? He showed his excitement by peeing, and chewing on Rowdy, just as he did before.
After getting settled, Steven went and did some things in the shop. We then went and checked the cows and the horses.
However, it didn't take long for him to realize that he couldn't pick up, physically, right where he left off. Soon after returning to the house, he went to bed and slept for three hours.
I didn't mind cuddling up with him and napping awhile too.
I told the kids, when they woke Friday morning, that Steven was coming home. They both had sleepovers, at their close friends houses, already planned. I told them it was up to them whether they still went.
Lakyn, the child who admitted that news of daddy being gone was harder to accept than news of the leukemia, said Steven would probably need to rest his first night home. They both agreed that they were going to go ahead and go to their sleepovers.
I was shocked. And, initially, I was a little disappointed. However, after talking to Steven, I decided to take this as a sign that we've done a decent job of keeping things as normal as we could by making it a priority for the kids to see their daddy as often as possible and by granting Steven's request that I be home with them almost every night.
Since being home, I have read just enough of the paperwork that was sent to Steven from Barnes to be overwhelmed about what lies ahead of us.
I know that this journey has just begun.
I am choosing to consciencely put this out of my head until our appointment on Tuesday. Please pray that we receive the information they give us with grace and clarity.
As long as Steven is ultimately healed, we can, and will, do anything.
Please pray that he is.