Today is MRI day. We have been here before and we come again every 3 months. We sit in our hotel room using all forms of distraction from the TV to iPads and iPods and our phones. Anything to calm the storm on our horizon. It’s right there. So close the thunder is no longer just an echo in the distance but loud and palpable. The rain has begun and everything is wet. We will all shower, get dressed and ready. Make sure he’s all set with meds and the chemo back pack will be packed for the hospital trip. It won’t really hit me until I have to numb his port before we go. That makes it ALL real then. Our son will be going under sedation through his port for a 3 hour MRI to check his full brain and spine and pelvis to see if those little killers have shrunk at all. Stable isn’t enough, I want it gone. I don’t want him to have fucking cancer anymore. But that is just a hope and the MRI a reminder that he does have it. There are constant reminders. Everyday, all day. Just to watch him walk is a reminder. So we will go into the hospital heads held high and hopeful and his hand in mine as long as it can be. We will check in amoungst the hustle and bustle of people staying in our own reality and fear. Get our tags and be told where to go but we already know. Take the elevator to the 5th floor and check in again. Wait for his name to be called and sit in that same waiting room that we have sat in so many times and the one where Aaron and I grew up in while we waited horrified in the late hours of the night waiting to find it what was wrong with our boy a year ago in May. I don’t like that waiting room. I don’t. Then they happily call his name and walk us back to the prep area where he will change into a gown and never let go of his iPad and stuffed buddies that were hand chosen to go into the MRI by Adler. They will access his port after a slew of questions and a weight and height. Everyone will love his tread socks and he will love the attention. Again we will wait for his turn in the tube and he will want a ride in the bed down the hall. I will follow right next to it not letting go of him until I have to. We will be parked in a little curtain area and they will ask a couple more questions and I fill out the same MRI prep sheet that I know by heart now. Still strong and on his iPad he will wait. At this point the storm has hit me full force. Wave after emotional wave and then they say “ok, ready buddy?” And we walk to the no further line and give hugs and kisses one last time and I watch him walk away brave and chatting with the nurses and technicians. I wait until he is in the room and turn to go saying a silent prayer and feeling for the breath to fill my lungs and the tears well in my eyes. I will be uneasy and fake feeling “OK” for the next few hours until I see him again and can touch him. My baby. Oh my baby. Faith and hope and helpless. Weak and strong. Together yet alone. Forced to deal with this. All swirled into the tidal waves of our today. Be present but I welcome the time away in my head……if and when I take the time to drift.