Friday, April 19, 2013


Braden just had scans in Philly...

and he did well and the results continued to show no evidence of disease!!

That is really no small is really miraculous!!

Every scan, I hold my breath and pray.

This time, we found a penny early on. Braden was watching cartoons on a television in the airport in Chicago. He walked over, handed picked it up and handed it to me, then went back to cartoons.

I felt so much better!!  If you are confused, check out the "Pennies From Heaven" post I did on January 18. :)

 And then there was the sunset view from our window the night before his scan. I could almost feel our angels smiling! WOW!

Dr. Mosse gave us the great news and we were off to the airport. Happy DAY!!! Nothing really upsets me after a good news day. It's all about perspective...


Nearly every visit since his first clear scan, we've had a problem getting out of Philly. Blizzards, hurricanes, flooding, plane mechanical problems, flight crew not there, you name it.  Almost every single time. We just expect it now! :)

This time did not disappoint.  Our layover was in Chicago.

Just a few minutes before we were to board the plane, they came on to tell us our crew wasn't there yet. As she was speaking they appeared.  Whew!! I figured this one was going to be easy, false alarm!

We boarded the plane and the captain got on the intercom with "news".

He said Chicago was not allowing any flights in or out due to weather.  BUT...he said we could deplane and then just hang out in the terminal close by. 

That sounded GREAT to me!! It was going to be an hour before they had an update.

An hour turned into were lined up for a LONG distance trying to make arrangements for missed connections, etc.

Braden and I played hide and seek. It was WAY more fun.  That giggle is the best sound EVER!

I figured that if there were problems with getting in and OUT of Chicago, our connecting flight would likely be delayed too and there's an hour difference between Philly and Chicago, so we might make it. And if we didn't...who cares???

I got on my cell phone and sent some texts and my amazing friends had me covered with Zach in about 2 minutes!! I'm SO blessed to know such incredible people!!

Then they came on the intercom and weren't sure we were getting out, so I started looking for rooms in Philly...and two minutes later, we were boarding.


We got to Chicago...okay, it was a "tad" bumpy but we've had worse and we were only 15 minutes passed our scheduled departure. The airport was a zoo...complete and total zoo!!

We checked the info to get our gate number and found out our flight had been cancelled.  Oh well. At least we weren't late!! :)  We headed to the gate to rebook.  The moving sidewalks became a challenge for Braden who tried to pass every single person on was panting like a dog by the time we were done. That boy can move when he wants to! :)

On our way, half of the US Navy along with a whole unit of bagpipers lined the hallway.  We were in a hurry but Braden wanted to watch the "parade".  We watched and walked slowly...nothing was happening yet but they were obviously waiting for something/someone to come off that plane.  I was curious. Hmmm.... But I knew we needed to rebook and if those bagpipes started, Braden would FREAK out!!

The kid with the severe hearing loss due to chemo cannot handle loud noises.  He cries and cries and it's absolutely heartbreaking!! Poor we zipped fairly quickly.

We made it to our gate, got rebooked, and then tried to get a room but everything was full close to the airport. Our flight was at 6 and it was already about 10:30. Not long...easy peasy!

The lady told us they were setting up cots.  Ugh...but worth a look. Already I was cringing with the thought of all of those germs...MAJOR germaphobe here!!

As we were making our way to the cot area, we saw the navy parade happening, but the bagpipes were gone. I was really curious now. They were escorting a long line of people individually through a corridor of navy sailors.

Hmmm again.

We walked over to watch the parade and realized it was actually an entire plane of WWII veterans they were escorting.  I don't know where from or where to but it was so cool.  MANY passengers were lined up and clapping for the men who were being escorted in wheelchairs (some were walking) as the sailors saluted along the perimeter of their path.  Braden and I clapped for them for about 10 minutes, we tried to leave but he wanted to stay and watch more of the parade. He saluted just like the sailors. It was priceless!!

I had tears. It was just beautiful to see those men waving at the crowd and smiling. They were so very proud and happy.  Just awesome!

After the parade, we did make it to the cots.  They weren't horrible looking, but still...germs!! We picked the only two left that were near an outlet. I put the blankets down over the cot, they were clean and then covered Braden with his penguin blankie from home.

Airport rule #1...he who controls the outlet, rules the airport terminal world!! Especially when there are only 2 in the hallway with the cots. LOL!  Many came after and many coveted my outlet, but alas, it was taken.  So sorry poor friends.... :)

Having staked my claim, I decided to put the blanket on the cot and push the cots together so I would be right beside Braden.  My greatest fear was that he would wake up while I was asleep and he would wander away out of curiosity...looking for that parade again! I knew I would not be sleeping, but I hoped he would.

I stashed everything of value (my phone and the iPad in my backpack at our heads and then squished our cots against it so no one could take them.  That...and we were directly across from the security was pretty safe!!

If you've ever had the pleasure of sleeping in an airport on a cot...okay admittedly overuse of the word "pleasure" already know that they don't dim any lights and they don't put you in an area where people aren't marching through...hey wait a was an all night parade!! :) Lucky us!  Braden would just close his eyes, and somebody would come through with the vaccuum truck, or trash cans, or security people walkie talkies,  or security people laughing and giggling.

My "favorite" was my fellow stranded passengers who were clearly upset that they were stranded passengers. 

One lady parked it right next to me at about 2 am, she used the f-bomb about 4 times (which I can appreciate except I had an 8 year old with me). I looked at her and gave her the look. She grimaced at me and I pointed to Braden who was now wide awake.  She apologized but kept right on bitching out loud, just stopped with the f-bomb.  I asked her if she could bitch quietly so she wouldn't wake up my son.  She was not amused and changed the bitching to loud sighing.  

I think I preferred the bitching.  

I echoed her sighs each time she let one roar, which annoyed her...and made me giggle.  

Then there was the lady who came in with two adult children and began screaming at the top of her lungs to tell them which cots to take.  Woke him up again. I gave her the look and the daughter cringed.  The mom glared at me. I glared back. I don't think she wanted to try a "glare down contest" because she had them all get their stuff and move to another area.  I didn't realize why until 4:30 am when I finally got to see myself in a mirror.  Yup...I would have been scared too. :)

It was raining so hard!! I mean REALLY hard!! And at 4am, the security people all assembled 10 feet from our cots and had a security team meeting. It was very official.  LOL! They were placed on a higher alert level because of potential flooding.  

I know this because I was pretty much in the meeting.  ;)

I know a lot of other top secret security team meeting information.  I could tell you, but we were all sworn to secrecy. :) Needless to say, my faith in our security systems at the airport dropped a few...a lot...of points!

Three of the security guys were laughing really loudly and saying, "Yup..wake up people, it's your 4 am wake up call! Your security team has a meeting. You can't sleep here anymore." 


Braden woke up, again, and was very groggy and confused.  He had slept about an hour, and on and off due to the noise the remainder of the time. The night before he slept for about 5 hours because I have to keep him up late and get him up early so he will sleep during scans without big sedatives, just IV Benedryl.  

And I hadn't slept at all, and had about 5 hours over 48 hours.

I was not amused by their stupidity and rudeness.  And, again, in my defense 5 hours in two My filter had slowly disappeared during the night and now Momma Bear was raging.

So it occured to me that I should tell them what I thought about their rudeness and stupidity.  Then I remembered they were security and could keep me from boarding the plane...

and then I remembered I was already in the terminal and I really didn't give a shit because of the filter loss.

SO...I walked the whole ten steps over to them.  And I explained why that particular remark was not amusing. I pointed to my confused and exhausted son who had just had cancer scans.  Braden was in tears because he was tired and in his words, "I'm done...".

The supervisor dude in the fancy suit walked over to see why I was bitching at the three dudes so I explained.  Then walked away.

Then it was HIS turn to give them the look.  

They didn't seem so cocky and amused any more.

I can't tell you what I was's top secret. But it involved my first real laugh in hours! 

I gathered up our stuff, Braden, his tigers and his blankie and headed to the gate.  It couldn't be louder or more annoying.

It was still raining REALLY hard and there were lakes of water on the runways and in the grass. I wasn't convinced we were going anywhere, anytime soon.

We did get to board the plane, pretty much everyone on the plane was exhausted BUT at last, we were going home. 

And then the captain came over the intercom.

Oh shit!

He said, "folks...we have some news about our departure."

Every single one of us needed a button, right then.

He told us something, I don't even remember what, but it wasn't that we weren't going to leave.  WHEW!!!

We made it home and all was well. If you ask Braden, he will tell you he had a GREAT time camping!! 

I am not a camper.  :)

That boy loves everything!! 

Got lemons???  Let Braden at 'em!! :)