I think that's my new favorite word.
It's the word that the surgeon spoke this afternoon after reviewing Vampbaby's second MRI, where Mr. Tumor was nowhere to be found. There might be little tiny bits beyond the MRI's scope in there, but those should be eradicated with medicinal treatment as opposed to further surgery. The identity of our unwelcome guest remains a mystery, and now scientists from all over the country are examining what came out of my son's head. It could be a week or so before the "big reveal", but whatever it is, it no longer will play "shock the baby" on my son.
This big news capped a quite, calm day of healing that has seen our son rebound in a way that I can't even believe. While some weakness showed up on his left side this morning due to the post-operative brain swelling (which is expected), it seemed to take a hike by late afternoon, when we set him on the ground for the first time and held his hands as he took his first steps with an ease that took my breath away. We also "graduated" from the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) to the regular Pediatric wing -- which is full of toys and fun things to keep Vampbaby motivated to move (although, our new room is the size of a small walk-in closet, so said movement will be done in the common area of the wing).
Today was also a day to reflect, as I often do, on the flip side of the situation. There is no better time to discover the great joys that exist in life than during those times that seem so far removed from it. We discovered it today in the amazing stream of emails, phone calls, blog comments, prayers, meditations, drumming and other calls to the universe that friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers have sent our way. We found it in our son's steps, in the strength he showed when he lifted a heavy object with his weak hand, and the smiles that have started to come back. And we find it in the voice of the surgeon, who spoke my favorite new word.
As it stands right now, amazingly enough, we will most likely be going home on Friday to continue the healing (a tumor found, removed and recovered from in a work week -- who would have thought?!?). Friday morning we will work on the plans for returning to a sense of normalcy that, for several days now, we never thought we would see again. Then we will return to the "real world", still surrounded and benefiting from all of your kind words and energies.