We got great news this morning. One of Noah's doctors came into his room around 8 a.m. and told us we would be able to come home today. Not because he is any better, but out of compassion for him. He hasn't had a fever in seven days and his blood is clear of any infection. His neutrophil count is still very very low. Noah currently has .017% of an active immune system - which is better than what he had yesterday. They didn't want to see him in a hospital room any more than we wanted to be there. They let us leave on some strict conditions - continually monitor for fever, no crowds, no playing with the dog, no going around barefoot, etc.
We are glad to be home - Jessica more than anyone. Noah at least has had a bed for the last week. Jessica has slept on a fold out chair. She is a very tough woman - the toughest I know of any way. She will enjoy her own mattress and pillow for at least a few days. Noah is scheduled to have Chemo # 8 in nine days. It's not a long break, but at least we get one. Noah has ran from room to room all night. The first thing he did when we got home was run to his room and throw every one of his toys on the floor. Typical boy! He beat his drums, played mom's guitar and sang his own made up songs for us, jumped on all the furniture and got into everything he isn't supposed to. I think he is glad to be here. Currently he is laying on my pillow in my bed and we are in a debate about where he is going to sleep. I am bigger than he is which renders his argument invalid. As soon as I finish typing this I will enter the ring and wrestle this little boy into his room and his own bed which is so much better than doing it in a hospital room trying to get him into a hospital crib. I never thought I would be glad about having this fight, but tonight I am thrilled to get the opportunity.
This last week has been very hard. Thanks for all the prayers and support. We know that God has surrounded us with amazing friends - some of whom we have never met.
I want to share a quick story about an act of kindness shown to me I hope I never forget. On the way to Birmingham Wednesday night, my goal was to make it to Chick-fil-a before they closed at 9:00 p.m. I led worship at Friendship that night and was on the road by 7:45. I did not make it in time. I pulled into the parking lot at 9:06 p.m. The parking lot lights were off and the dinning area had chairs on top of tables. As I drove though the lot I saw people cleaning up and pulled into a parking space. I am a pretty stubborn person - many of you know that - I was determined to get some chicken.
Noah will not eat much hospital food. His favorite food is Chicken nuggets made by - guess who? I walked up to the window and looked in just at the right time to see a manager walk by. I banged on the glass and got his attention. I waved him over to the locked door. He opened up and asked if he could help me. I explained my problem. I have a sick boy who isn't eating well and if i could just get him some chicken it would make things better - if for just a moment. I told him I knew they were closed and I would be glad to pay whatever I had to to get it. He told me to wait at the door and walked away. He came back with a small bag. There were no nuggets left, no strips and no sandwiches at all, but he handed me a small bag with one hot fillet - just for Noah. He didn't charge me but just smiled and told me he hoped Noah was better soon.
Twenty minutes later I watched my son eat that chicken breast with a big smile on his face. It was one big nugget! To see him eat anything on his own gives me great pleasure. I know that manager didn't have to open the door or even talk to me. He certainly didn't have to give me anything. It may seem like a small thing to most people - but to me it was an amazing act of kindness I will not forget. You never know what your act of kindness can do for someone else. It may seem like something small to you, but for someone else it could mean the world.
So if you ever find yourself at the Chick-fil-A in Fultondale, Alabama at the Walkers Chapel road exit, tell the manager you wish more people in the world were like him - I certainly do.
Please keep praying for Noah. Pray for healing and strength. Pray for a cure.
On Saturday August 14th, Noah began running a fever. By nine o’clock that night it was high enough that he had to go to the hospital. We loaded him in the van and Jessica and our good friend Rachel Quinn made the drive down to Children’s Hospital. Around three o’clock that morning he made it to a room. Since then, his ANC count has stayed at zero. The ANC count shows how strong his immune system is. When it is at zero, his body has little to no white blood cells. At this point he is in the room without a fever. He gets antibiotics every day and platelets when he needs them. When his body begins making white cells again and gets stronger he should be able to come home.
Chemo is hard. It is hard on his body and his emotions but he is handling it well. He was telling Jessica last night how he wanted to go home. He was telling her all the things he wanted to see - his tractor, his puppy, his room, and his toys. She told him he would be able to see them when we get to go home. At that point he looked at her and said, “all done” which is his way of saying, “lets go home!”
Please pray for his body to bounce back and be able to come home soon. Thank you for your continued encouragement and prayers.
We have a tough little boy. Sometimes I am just amazed at how Noah handles some situations. Because we are again going through chemo, we must give him a shot every night to help boost his white blood cell count. Jessica was preparing the syringe and asked Noah "Where do you want to get the shot tonight?" Noah was lying in the bed beside me and pointed to his left arm. He usually gets his shot in his leg. We were a little nervous about how he would react to the needle. If he wiggles at all once it is in it could cause him more pain. She asked him again and he pointed at the same arm. As she prepped the spot with an alcohol swab he started pointing to his leg and saying "shot, shot" but it was too late.
Normally, a two year old would fight and cry and be terrified of needles. ( no wait, that sounds like me) but Noah patiently sat there and watched Jessica inject the needle and slowly push the medicine in. He didn't even flinch. Not even a whimper.
I hate the fact that he has gotten used to being pricked and poked every day. I hate the fact that he understands what it means to have blood work done. I hate the fact that this is the normal in his life.
But I love the fact that he is one of the toughest kids I have ever met. I love the fact that God has given him courage and a tolerance for pain beyond what I understand. I love the fact that he is a fighter.
Below is a video I took the day we started back chemo treatments. Noah has a deppo port in his chest. It allows the hospital staff to give him whatever he needs without putting an IV in his arm or leg. Blood is drawn from the port, He gets antibiotics and chemo through the port. The needle to access it is 3/4 of an inch long.
If I were having a needle that long shoved into my chest I would sweat blood. (I hate needles.) But Noah just watches it go in without even flinching. He is such an inspiration to me. Watch this video and see what I mean.
My request for prayer tonight is that God would grant Noah even more courage and strength, that in the coming months God would use this horrible situation for something good - in his life and others as well.
Jessica and I have met and talked to so many people who know about and pray for Noah. It humbles me every time I am asked by a stranger "are you Noah's dad?" To know that so many people who have never even met Noah kneel before the Father on his behalf is completely overwhelming. Thank you - and please don't stop.
We are on our way to Birmingham to begin Noah’s 7th chemo treatment (of 10). We have had a great break from this sickness, with our trip to Disney World, and the Chattanooga Aquarium, play dates with friends, etc. and have been spoiled with a “normal” life for the past few months. Emotionally this treatment has been hard for me to swallow. I don’t want to start this process again, but who would? I’m not sure how long these next 4 treatments will last, but I’m guessing about 5 months based on past experience. Please pray for Noah just as you have during his previous treatments, to be free from nausea/sickness and for his blood to stay strong, for infection to stay far from him, etc.
Also, please pray for an amazing family from the Dothan area, the Harrisons. Their sweet little girl passed into the arms of Jesus on Sunday morning. She had been battling brain cancer for about 2 ½ years. Her parents Jarrod and Marci reached out to me and John in our pain with advice, understanding, much love, and the best homemade red velvet cake I’ve ever had. They’ve been a blessing to us, and I ask that you pray for the Lord to give them what they need at this time. You can read their story at www.caringbridge.org/visit/hannahgraceharrison.
These posts are written by Noah's parents Jessica & John David Crowe. The default author is Jess, and those written by John David will be noted.