Happy Friday, friends! It’s been longer than intended and I have a lot of fun stuff to share with you today, so let’s jump in!

Boy laying on scan table wearing black movie goggles.

1. The week leading up to Easter, we headed back to New York for scans and a bone marrow biopsy and received good news on the results. The scan showed continued improvement (another 30% reduction from the previous scan), and the bone marrow biopsy showed only benign, non-cancerous cells (Dominic’s oncologist was particularly happy about this result). In addition, he said that these cells can, in fact, light up on the MIBG scan that Dominic has, so it’s possible that at least some of the spots that are still lighting up are, in fact, benign non-cancerous cells.

While we were in New York, his oncologist drew some extra blood for a special genetic sequencing blood test that was sent out to detect any possible mutations in the neuroblastoma cells in the blood, so that they can use specialized drugs/therapies to target those mutations. We got a call this week that those results were back and that no mutations were found and, in fact, that there were no neuroblastoma cells at all found in his blood. Another bit of very good news!

Also, we spied a familiar face on the wall outside the cafeteria when we were in New York 😎

Boy standing beneath a poster of child life specialist working with a little boy.

Next steps: Dominic will have another round of treatment at the beginning of May, another at the end of May, then repeat scans and biopsies.

2. The day after we got home was Isabelle’s birthday! She turned FIVE!

Girl holding a baby doll looking at a cupcake with five candles on an orange plate.

I still can’t believe my squishy little babies have all gotten so, so big. She had such a wonderfully fun day and I was so happy we could all be home together 💖

Two boys standing on either side of a girl with a baby doll, preparing to blow out birthday candles.

Then, we got to go to the Penguins game that evening. A fun, full day that we all loved!

Girl in a hockey jersey eating a chocolate chip cookie.

3. Then, we had a wonderful Easter! We had a great day with extended family on Saturday, then a low-key day at home on Sunday before Dominic headed back into the hospital in Pittsburgh the Monday after Easter for his most recent round of treatment.

The round he had last week was kind of rough… usually nausea and vomiting are his big issues, but that was greatly reduced this time thanks to a new medicine they tried at the end of the last cycle. However, he spiked fevers nearly nonstop from Wednesday morning through Saturday evening (the antibody can cause fevers, and usually he gets one or two towards the end of the week, but nothing like this), and it was causing his heart rate to spike, so he needed a lot of extra fluids to bring it back down. I was incredibly relieved when the infusion was done, and then we headed home.

4. Have you heard of or tried Killer Brownies? I discovered them in the snack shop area of the hospital last time we were there and they are the best packaged brownie I have ever had. So good! (I also tried the Brookie, but sadly did not like that one as much.)

5. I loved this quote from a recent James Clear newsletter: “Create your life rather than live it.” Sometimes it can feel like the days and weeks and months just roll together; a good reminder to live intentionally!

6. Do you have a favorite among these, or a different one? >> The 20 Ina Garten Recipes We Can’t Live Without. Her devil’s food cake is actually the only one on that list I’ve made (and I love, love, love it!).

7. Let’s chat books! The last time I mentioned books, I had just started Daisy Jones and the Six. I really enjoyed the story, but definitely found the writing format difficult to get used to at first. I finally did, and it was worth the read! I give it four ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars.

Then I moved on to The Last Thing He Told Me and oh my gosh, what a quick, quick read! I finished it in less than 24 hours. Granted, I was at the hospital, so I didn’t necessarily have much else to do, but STILL. I haven’t read a book that fast in years. It had a great, suspenseful pace and I really enjoyed the book, but the ending felt a little bit rushed and incomplete to me. 4.5 stars from me!

Next up: The Midnight Library

8. Speaking of books, did you see that there is a sequel to John Grisham’s The Firm set to come out this fall?! I was in middle school when The Firm came out and I devoured it… at the time, I wanted to be a lawyer and I was obsessed with John Grisham novels. Then, I loved the movie! The name of the new book is The Exchange and you can already preorder it on Amazon.

9. TV things… we haven’t watched anything new lately. I started watching Daisy Jones and the Six on Amazon Prime while I was at the hospital, and it was okay, but I don’t love it yet (I’m a few episodes in).

I’m thinking of taking advantage of the free two months of Apple TV that Jennifer Garner posted about on Instagram so I can see the streaming version of The Last Thing He Told Me.

Have you watched either one? Thoughts??

10. TGIF! I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Golden retriever laying on a couch with a light blue blanket.