The worst part about going on a road trip with toddlers is being on the road. It's hard to reflect fondly when the entire car ride (going and coming) is filled with whining, screeching, cheerios on the floor and "I gotta go pee pee!!" We arrived home from Philly tonight around 7PM, and I waited to post so I could focus on the fun that was had once we arrived at our destinations as opposed to the sheer mess that is in front of me right now :)
The past two days were dedicated to finding the best care for Ty, but at the same time we didn't want him to feel like he was going to yet another and another hospital. We tried to make it more like a vacation for him. We brought Gavin along (and Aunt Dawn - THANK GOD), and we had a very full agenda. Yesterday we spent a lot of time at Sloan Kettering and boy are we happy we went there. Although it isn't a dedicated children's facility, it is obviously a dedicated cancer facility and we loved what the doctor's had to say. We also loved the entire set-up on the pediatric floor. Instead of being confined to a room, treatment takes place in a huge open sunny place where kids are free to interact with one another, play games, they host puppet shows, and so much more. It really caters to the children and what they're going through and we expect to end up going back there mid week next week to begin treatment. Of course, there are still so many medical details and questions that we have to iron out with the oncology team, but we are overall very happy and confident that it is the right place for us.
We spent the rest of the day in Manhattan at Central Park, where all Ty talked about was going to see the Polar Bears. The Central Park zoo is perfect for the little kids because we were able to get in and out of there with ease, and the boys were in awe over the bears, the snow leopard, the sea lions and the penguins. It was adorable. We also had a very short visit at PwC!! It was so nice to bring Ty to "Mommy's Work." He was most impressed by the escalator and pressing the buttons on the escalator, but he was also very happy to meet my colleagues and see what it looks like at the office. Of course, I was so happy to see everyone too! After the visit to PwC, we hit the road and we took off for Philadelphia. We had an early morning appt at CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia).
Philly was fun. We stayed in a beautiful hotel and they were kind enough to upgrade our accommodations so we were extremely comfortable. We hooked Ty up to his meds, rented Toy Story 3, put Gavin to bed, and Dawn gave Lou and I a break. We went downstairs to enjoy a quiet dinner alone and just talk. It was a much needed getaway.
CHOP is nothing short of amazing. If Ty's treatment wasn't so complicated we would go there in a heartbeat, but it's just not reasonable considering what a long road we have ahead and considering the fact that a move to Philadelphia just isn't in the cards for the Campbells. We don't feel that the oncology team had any more to offer than MSKCC, either, it's just that the facility itself is so beautiful and obviously so focused on providing the best care for small children. I'm so glad we got our second opinion there so we can put our minds at ease that we are doing the right thing. In fact, the head of oncology at CHOP will be calling the doctor's we are working with as MSKCC to discuss Ty's case and that made us feel like everyone really cares about the outcome regardless of where we end up going for care.
After the appt, we took the boys for a walk all over the city, and we stopped at the Natural Science museum to see the dinosaur bones and the butterfly exhibit. Ty was talking about the dinosaurs all morning, but then when we got there he was too scared and we had to leave immediately (he is so cute). Gavin could care less, in fact we found him gnawing on a couple of dinosaur bones in the corner when it was time to leave :) The butterfly exhibit bored them to pieces, but I personally found it fascinating. Some of those things were bigger than my hands!
That's about it. After a nice selection of street meat (I had the cheesesteak, of course) we headed home during rush hour and we were tortured for hours on end until we arrived at home sweet home with ten thousand bags to unpack. At least we have bought some time before starting chemo, even if it's just a few more days, we get another weekend at home with our sweet boy and we intend to enjoy every minute.