June 28, 2008

Home Again


With the 3rd and 4th rounds of chemotherapy behind him, and his stomach surgery looking like it did the trick, Luca was released from Sloan-Kettering on June 20th for some R&R at home. The first couple days were a tough adjustment. Without Luca's amazing nurses around to help, all of the clamping and administering and mixing and measuring and tracking and pump programming and temperature taking were left to us. But these things quickly faded into the background, and we've been able to appreciate and enjoy every minute of having Luca home. A few highlights:

  • A visit from Papa and Nana V.
  • Quiet walks around the neighborhood and through Prospect Park.
  • A peak at the waterfalls on the East River.
  • Sleeping in his own room and crib.
  • Sitting in his high chair at the kitchen table.
  • Lots of summer sun and heat!

It's amazed us how much Luca has changed in the just over a week since we've been back. He's once again begun sitting up, playing with toys, laughing, and chit chatting as if the last month spent in a hospital room never happened. We'll stay home until Luca becomes N&F (neutropenic and febrile), and until then we'll savor every second and be thankful for all that we've been given.


So glad to hear that Luca is home!!
Enjoy your time home, we continue to pray for you all.
Lots of Love,
Lauri, Kara and Mikey

I came to meet you at the hospital yesterday but you weren't there...lucky you. Me and my mommy went to Central Park and I ate Patsy's Pizza and imagined you were sitting in the grass with me eating pizza too...next summer okay. I hope I get to meet you soon. Have a great week with your mommy and daddy.
Chloe (and Angie)

Luca, Manal and Greg,

I am so happy to hear that you all are able to finally settle back into some normalcy. This whole story is really inspirational and i think others who are in similar situations in the future will benefit from reading this blog. Your strength, positivity and perseverance through these trying times are true to form for all of you. I look forward to seeing you all, I miss you. Keep up the good work and know you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Love Shannon

Greg, Manal & Luca-

You were the highlight of our weekend! It was so nice to visit with you and meet Luca! Hope to see you all again soon.

Emily & Kevin

We are so happy to hear Luca is home and enjoying being a baby free of doctors and nurses. What a perfect time of year to enjoy the sun and fun outside. We are so happy for all of you to have that time together and are reminded each day we think of you guys how precious those moments are. We wish you guys the best and will continue to think of and pray for you all each day. We look forward to maybe seeing you soon. Enjoy each day to the fullest!!!!
John, Kelli, Johnny, Jake and Jordan

Manal, Greg, and Little Luca,
Great to hear that your return home has been so much fun for all of you! Luca must love that really cool high chair that Mommy and Daddy picked out. And sleeping in your own room, you big boy! Awww. This is wonderful! Keep us informed. Luca, keep up your positive spirit sweetheart. Mommy and Daddy are doing great and taking such awesome care of you handsome!
Love you guys,
Sally, Andrew, Christian, & Cameron

Greag, Manal and Luca,

This is such great news!! I will think of you all and bring pictures with me when we go on vacation next week. I will bring pictures so when I am laying on the beahc, I can look at that cute, little face. Enjoy this time. Yes, I don't have kids. I am only 13, it made me nervous, but then I am seeing how much better he is doing so I am not as nervous when I have kids in 15-20 years. Enjoy your little walks and just being home.
Love, Nikky

P.S. My team won the championship game again. So now we are the district and team tournment champs. I hit AWESOME because I kept saying Luca's name in my head.

Manal, Greg & Luca,

So heartwarming to hear that you've been able to enjoy all the wonderful little things that babies do...watching your little one as he gets bigger and better is amazing. We all tend to take for granted the milestones that our children go through...sitting up by themselves, rolling over, etc. It's wonderful that Luca has been able to enjoy the simple things in life away from the confines of the hospital and all the hustle and bustle there!! May God bless all of you and continue to give you more healthy time at home together as a family enjoying one another. Keep strong. And as always you are always in our thoughts and prayers!!!

Love you,

Debbie, Nelson, Breonna, Marissa, Marcus and Lil' Nelson!!!

Manal, Greg and Little Luca:
How heartwarmingly wonderful it is to read of the three of you getting back to Brooklyn as Luca performs his normal "being a baby" routine. Yes, so many of the small things that we take for granted bring us the most joy when rediscovered. With the love and support of Mommy and Daddy, our little man will continue to get strong and overcome this challenge you've all been given. May God continue to keep Luca in the palm of his hand and walk with him through this journey of courage, faith and hope. Hugs to all of you. P.S. Nana and Papa V loved holding their special little grandchild during their recent visit!
Love, Aunt Sari

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