Saturday, Ashtyn and I had a peaceful night of sleep in the hospital. By 4 a.m. it was time to turn off the lights. I laid next to Ashtyn in her bed and fell asleep listening to her talk about the peace she feels in the hospital. “There is a spirit here that is stronger than at home. It feels like there are angels all around. At least this hospital stay is preparing me for when I have to come back.”
Sunday afternoon Ashtyn was able to go home. She was sent home with a prescription for a strong IV antibiotic that I give her three times a day called Ceftazidime. She also swallows three pills of the antibiotic Clindamycin three times a day. The hope is, with those two antibiotics, her central line wound infection will heal. Ashtyn has been worried. The fear is that the infection will spread or not heal and the central line will have to be pulled out. Surgery would then be done to place a new central line in her right chest. She has been on IV antibiotics for three days. Several times a day I look at it closely to see the progress. It looks less and less red with each day and appears to be slowly healing. What a relief. (Ashtyn has asked me several times to please ask her Army if everyone will pray that her central line infection will heal completely.)
Monday I took Ashtyn to Canyonview Elementary School to visit her 6th grade class. I had arranged with her teacher that we would be there at 1 p.m.. Ashtyn was a little hesitant to go. Being the center of attention has not been appealing to her and the thought of a crowd was a bit overwhelming. “We are only going to be there for 30 minutes, right?” She asked. “Whatever you want.”
When we walked into the school, she was warmly greeted by the front desk workers and the principal. We then made our way to her classroom. The kids were shocked and delighted to see her as she walked in. All the kids stayed in their seats while Ashtyn was directed by her teacher to sit at the front of the class. Once situated I told the kids that they could ask Ashtyn any questions they wanted. Some of the questions were: “What’s your favorite thing you’ve done since being home?” “What do you do all day?” “How do you like the hospital food?” “How would you rate the hospital food compared to the school cafeteria food?” “When will your hair grow back?” “How long were you in the hospital for?” “What is it like taking chemo? Does it make you sick?” We also talked about the bone marrow transplant and why she has to have it. After all the questions were answered, Ashtyn’s teacher showed funny project videos the kids had made. Then everyone was allowed to freely move around the room and hang out together. It was perfect and so much fun. Ashtyn laughed, listened, talked, and had a great time. As I watched her, I was so touched by her smile and energy. A couple times I whispered to her, “are you ready to leave?” She wasn’t. At 2:30 p.m. it was time for the class to go to science so they said their goodbyes. Ashtyn walked to the car. She was happy and exhausted. What a wonderful opportunity Mrs. Skrocke gave Ashtyn. I am so touched and impressed by the love and support Ashtyn receives from her classmates, parents, and the staff at Canyonview. In addition to all the help we receive from neighbors and friends, Canyonview parents volunteer and bring us meals once a week. We receive such kind support and love through messages, banners, and greetings. It has been phenomenal. It feels like we are all in this together.