Today is Tuesday, we have been here since Thursday night. Johnny stopped smiling sometime on Saturday. We need some comic relief.
Okay, so here is the "story of J-Grom". What is J-Grom you ask? It's a nickname from some really "super cool" friends of ours that came to visit him today.
We have some very close friends of ours in G-town that came to visit us. It was a nice surprise. They are teenagers that are great kids. Johnny loves both boys, but Adam -- the younger bro -- is a kindred spirit. They both have lots of energy and love to surf and skate. Adam, Austin and their Mom Regina came to see Johnny. At first it was a little awkward for all of us. I just wanted Johnny to smile so badly. But he wouldn't. He wouldn't even look at them, much less talk to them. I thought they would leave after about 15 minutes of Johnny giving them the cold shoulder. Then they started drawing together. It was like magic. Johnny opened up. My problem, as with most moms, is talking for him. Moms do the talking/thinking for everyone. I had to lay low. Stay cool. Let him open up. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I just sat back and enjoyed watching him with his friends.
Then it was time for a quick walk around the floor, show the dudes the place. Johnny demonstrated how you can turn an IV pole into a skateboard. We all had fun. We wanted to go up to the 16th floor to see "Radio LollyPop". But it wasn't on yet. Good thing, because Johnny had to go for an x-ray (oops, I almost forgot!). We had to see why he was in so much pain. At the end of each day, his lower back was giving him so much pain he couldn't stand up. The doctor's said it could be a broken tail bone from the spinal tap, or an infection from the spinal tap. It was something that had to be looked at. So the boys went with him down to x-ray. That was great. I was so impressed with Adam and Austin. These guys are teenagers, yet they took time out of their day to come see a little kid. Austin and Adam are hero's too. Teenagers who are role models, you don't see that everyday!
On one the their trips around the floor, Adam and Austin decided on Johnny's new nickname. ANYONE who is a good surfer or skateboarder has to have a nickname. And it has to be given to to you -- you can't make your own. So the name "J-Grom" was given. "J" for Johnny, and "Grom" is surfer/skater speak for little guy. So J-Grom he is! That really made him smile.
They come back from the x-ray and it's time to go up to "Radio LollyPop". We can't wait. The 16th floor has all kinds of cool stuff. Library, vending machines, ICE CREAM vending machines, and a DVD VENDING MACHINE too. You can rent new DVD's for $2.15 -- pretty awesome. It's the same stuff you would see at blockbuster! Anyway, then there is Radio LollyPop. It is a real radio station run by volunteers for the kids at TCH. It's only on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. We went up on Sunday, but because of the holiday, no volunteers. But today was the day. The place is packed, mostly with volunteers. But it's packed with volunteers ready to have fun. They have games, arts and crafts, and you can even call in if your too sick to come up, and request a song. They also have pool tables, fooseball tables, and free video arcade games.
We stayed at Radio Lollypop the entire two hours it was up and running. Johnny played his first official game of pool. And although he isn't a video game kinda kid, he LOVED the race car game. I couldn't get him off. His IV started to beep, and we had to get him back down to his nurse, but he wouldn't budge. So I pushed the "silence" button and let him play one more game. Hey, this was day five for us, I knew what was critical and what wasn't. I watched Regina with he boys. She is a great mom. I hope I have that kind of relationship with Joey and Johnny. Regina and her boys still hold hands, they still tell her they love her, and kiss her. IN PUBLIC! They really seem to have a great relationship.
We went back to the room and talked for awhile longer. It was getting late and we were all hungry. Luckily we had 3 days of leftovers in the kitchen. We had "Batten Burgers" (my dad makes the best burgers), chicken, salad, rolls, fresh fruit, chips and dip. Nothing went to waste. It was almost 9:00PM, we were all tired and it was time for the guys to go. We said our good buys and I thanked them for coming. I was so glad they did. Johnny spoke his first word in days, he smiled and had fun. Earlier today I was beginning to worry about him. I couldn't tell if he was just really, really sick or depressed. Probably both. Not anymore though! Thanks again to Regina, Adam and Austin, you don't know how much your visit meant to us.
The doctor came in to tell us the results of the x-ray they did earlier that day. She whispered in my ear. I smiled and turned to Johnny and told him he was full of CRAP! Yes, THAT is why he can't stand up. So we bumped up Johnny's dose of "softeners" and hoped for the best. WHEW! What a relief. The chemo can "block" you up, so this was not a surprise to our doctors. Good. No broken tail bones, no infection, just a lot of crap!
And that is the Story of J-Grom!