It is 10:19pm on Tuesday night, Sam is on the couch, I am at my desk, and the only sounds we hear are the cat water fountain and the low hum from the oven. As I pre-set the oven temperature to 350 and sprayed the aluminum trays with pam, I told Sam it has been 3 years since I started this tradition. The tradition of baking cookies for the interventional radiology department at Phoenix Children's Hospital. After (the first) perfect storm hit her little body, it was decided that Sonzee would have a PEG tube placed on March 10, 2016.
I remember the day like it was yesterday. After her initial g-tube surgery placement pre-operation situation about 10 days prior turned into an epic failure, we were back for a slightly different procedure with a different team of doctors that would ultimately result in the same outcome; a feeding tube into her stomach. I walked in with baggies of cookies, thank you cards, and Sonya's Story awareness cards. As I handed the baggies to the doctors and staff, I half-jokingly said, "Here you go, these are please don't kill my daughter cookies". I remember the half smile half shocked look on their faces when I said those words aloud. Sam and I both gave a semi smile and little chuckle, but said, "No, but seriously, the last time we came to the 4th floor and she was going to have surgery for the gtube, someone/something almost killed her".
Over the last 3 years and 17 days, the cookie bringing tradition continues to be strong. At a minimum, every 3 months we find ourselves back among the familiar smiling faces who handled Sonzee with great care when she was just one year old. One of the only nurses to ever be able to start an IV for Sonzee on the first try is in the IR department. From PICC lines, to multiple NJ tubes, to GJ tubes, and other procedures as well, they have been there for her during some of her worst times. We see the doctors and nurses in the back halls or while we wait in the waiting area when she is admitted and she is in other procedures. Every single one of them stops and talks to us and asks how Sonzee and the family are doing. For all of great times, not so great, and the times in between, we are so grateful to the IR department and I truly hope the gesture of cookies that began 3 years and 17 days ago adequately conveys our gratitude for the way they take care of our Sonzee bear.