Friday, October 10, 2008

Objects in the Mirror May Be Closer Than They Appear

Well, his temperature is down, hovering steadily in the 97.7 to 98.2 range, which is good. I'd be happier with the convention 96.7 that he carries around when completely healthy, but beggars cannot often be choosers. His hemoglobin and platelet counts are good, but his white blood cell count and his nutraphil count (the count of white blood cells that actually are useful) is still basically zero.

The plan, at this point, is to discharge The Boy from St. Barnabas directly to CHoP as soon as his counts are high enough to move him. They are very concerned about the pictures taken of his abdomen; the fact that the whatever-they-are's grew from the MRI to the CT is worrisome. They want to initiate exploratory surgery and figure out exactly what the aytch-eee-double-hockey-sticks is going on down there.

The interesting theory that was presented today is that he might have grown a second spleen, which is something that occasionally happens to pediatric cancer patients. Weird, huh? I don't even know what the spleen does. Ahh... thanks to the magic of wikipedia, it turns out that the spleen is involved in maintenance of the red and white blood cells. While I try never to use wikipedia as an actual source, that's plausible enough for the purposes of this particular discussion.

So, here we are again, in the "hurry up and wait" game. Exciting. Frustrating. Agonizingly stressful. Definitely NOT cool, particularly for the borderline OCD personality that I am. We sit around and help The Boy heal and grow his blood and white blood cells. Then, we take him down to Philadelphia and let them cut him open and gut him like a fish.

And, our lives get put on hold yet again. What happens with school? What happens with my choruses? What happens with my son's life? What happens with my wife's life? What happens with OUR lives?

Man, this just sucks.

Last night, I stayed in the hospital. Everything went well, except for the fact that our nurse (who was ot-nay oo-tay ight-bray, if you know what I mean) came back and forth in the room THREE TIMES in five minutes because she couldn't find a thermometer and blood pressure machine that actually worked. The third time was the charm, and he was awake from 3:30 until about 5 AM. Fortunately, he's cute and he's fun with which to play. But, considering that I didn't get to sleep until around 12:45AM, and then was awake at 6:45 to get ready for work, I'm a little punchy right now.

I left The Boy with my father and my younger niece. They had a relatively easy time - he slept most of the rest of the morning. (...the little rat fink...) My in-laws got into town around noon and relieved them. My wife got there at 3 o'clock after school, and I got there after marching band practice. I left there around 10:30-ish, once he was safely asleep. My mother-in-law is sleeping in the hospital tonight with him. I'll take tomorrow night's shift (Saturday night), and The Wife will take Sunday night's shift, most likely.

Tomorrow, I'll be at marching rehearsal and the "dinner" afterwards, then I'm leaving and splitting time between the hospital and home. I feel bad for skipping out on the competition, but I have to take care of myself and my family. Besides my presence at the hospital, SOMEone's got to clean the kitchen, clean the bathrooms, mow the lawn, vaccuum the floors, rip up the junk mail, pay the bills and the rest of it.

Man. I'm excited that the second surgery is going to be FINALLY finished, but I am really, authentically, dramatically not looking forward to traveling to Philadelphia.

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