Week Two: Transporting Kohen and More Bad News From Home

Day Thirteen: Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Continued from this previous article.

The prescription was finally filled and I returned to the hotel room where Kohen ingested the anti-nausea medication. The medicine worked. Kohen was now able to hold down his pain medication and because of that, his pain subsided.

Courtney and I decided at that point to try getting Kohen home, and not stay one more night in Utah (as we were contemplating due to his condition). Our new goal was to get half of the trip completed today, bedding down for the night in Elko, Nevada (four hours from Salt Lake City, four hours from home).

As we were preparing to leave, Kohen spent time on the phone speaking with all his siblings back home. It cheered him up, and it cheered up his mom and dad, too.

Around noon (11:00 AM Pacific) we carefully loaded Kohen in the car, with the help of the hotel’s wheelchair, and headed for Elko. The snow was falling again but the road conditions were still good.

Kohen fell fast asleep from the pain medications and Courtney sat in the back with him to tend to any of his needs.

About one hour outside Salt Lake City, Courtney received a frantic phone call from her mother who was currently at our house watching our other five children.

Apparently two of my kids got in a disagreement which ended in one of my sons, Calvin, swinging his ball cap at his big sister, hitting her in the hand. This normally would have not been too big of a deal, except Calvin’s hat was adorned with a large metal fishing hook. The hook went through my daughter’s finger, embedding itself so deep, the point began to protrude from another area of her finger. It was so bad, in fact, even the paramedics who responded could render no assistance in its removal.

Long story short, my sister-in-law rushed to our house to collect Samara and get her to the ER. (Yay! Another hospital bill.)

Meanwhile, Courtney and I decided to not stay the night in Elko, but to push through the full eight hours (seven remaining) to get home. I knew I could not safely do it, though. I was already having difficulty keeping my eyes open in the middle of the day, but Courtney said she could complete the drive if only she can get some coffee.

After grabbing gas, food, and coffee in Elko, Courtney was at the helm as we continued west. Kohen had awoken just long enough to eat some food and take some medicine before falling back to sleep.

After dark, we stopped in the little town of Lovelock and switched drivers again. Kohen continued sleeping as I drove the remainder of the way home.

We arrived at the house at 7:00 PM on Thanksgiving eve; so grateful to be home and to see how joyous all the kids were to be reunited with Kohen, all of them except Samara who had still not returned home from the hospital yet for her fishing hook injury.

Almost an hour later, Samara arrived home with her aunt. It was so nice to see our eldest daughter again, albeit temporarily with one less usable finger. (And yes, she and her brother reconciled their differences.)

Courtney and I also learned that in the three days we were gone, our vacuum quit working, a faucet in one of our bathrooms broke, and our oven no longer heats above 300 degrees.

When it rains it pours, but it was still nice to be home with the family, and watch my oldest son read to Kohen.

Day Fourteen: Thursday, November 28, 2019

Today was Thanksgiving. Due to the circumstances, we had not prepared for the holiday so we were going to scrounge together some Thanksgiving-like food from our kitchen, including some turkey breast from the freezer (it still counts as a Thanksgiving turkey, doesn’t it?). But Kohen was feeling much better today, so we asked him if he felt like going to his aunt and uncle’s for Thanksgiving. He said he was up to it, so to Aunt Stacie and Uncle JD’s house we went.

It was so nice to have a brief respite from the daily pressures, stresses, and worries that have been our constant companion for nearly two weeks, and it was nice for Kohen to have a diversion from the whirlwind of doctors, hospitals, and cancer tests.

This Thanksgiving, in spite of the terrible trial that has befallen us, we were thankful for the little things. Things like the fact that there’s still hope for Kohen; that we made it to Utah and back safely; that Kohen fasted all day at the hospital and yet somehow he was sustained; that Kohen slept the vast majority of the ride home from Utah (not even once needing to go potty); and that we had a warm and hospitable place in which to enjoy a home cooked Thanksgiving meal.

We are also thankful for the incredible outpouring of love that’s been shown to our little family in the form of well wishes, prayers, letters/cards of encouragement, and the generous donations. All of these things have helped sustain us and have come from co-workers, family, friends, and even complete strangers.

(I admit, I’ve wept repeatedly from the unmerited compassion for my little boy that’s been bestowed upon us from all over the country. There’s no way I could properly thank and repay everyone for what they’ve done for us these past thirteen days.)

We are also thankful to God for His tender mercies throughout this ordeal (even when we miss recognizing some of those mercies because the storm around us is so great).

And finally, I’m grateful that today–for the first time in nearly two weeks–I did not cry. Instead, I was afforded a brief respite from grief and got to cherish little things that two weeks ago I would have considered mundane, like the simple delight of watching Kohen enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie.

To be continued.

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