Friday, October 30, 2009

There, But For The Grace of G-d...

The Wife posted an entry about another child on the same treatment plan as The Boy. She relapsed at the end of that treatment, and they're trying to figure out what is happening next. Riley needs a few extra prayers right now.

Man, it's more than a little bit scary. What if that happens to The Boy? What about the increased risks of leukemia when he's a teenager? What about complications for his kidney and subsequent surgeries that will require? (What about complications to me, who seems to be the most likely donor at this point?)

Oh, man. I feel horrible for the child, and in many ways, for my own. Makes ya think, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's platelet day!!!

The Boy is at the Valerie Center, getting platelets right now. That's not as big of a deal as getting blood. He still has to do the benedryl and tylenol, which will knock him out for a couple of hours; those medications are designed to suppress any immune reaction to the foreign bodies (new platelets). The platelets themselves go into him for around an hour or hour and a half, which means that they have a fighting chance of getting out of the Valerie Center around lunchtime instead of staying around until 3 or 4 o'clock. His red cell count was 9.5, which was a really pleasant surprise.

The next chemo will be two weeks from now, during my buddy's wedding weekend. (Fortuitous timing, because it's easy to get help and Grandma & Grandpa will already be there.) I might even - gasp - have an adult beverage or two! Not more than that, because 1) I don't want to be hung over the next day, and 2) I'd like to start an exercise routine post-marching season, and I don't want to lose a day or lose effectiveness. The chemo after that - tentatively scheduled for the weekend of December 4 or 5 - will be #15, the official halfway point of The Boy's treatment. That will be right around 53 or 54 weeks into this particular chemo regimen, which averages out to 4 weeks per chemo session, plus or minus a little bit. That means another 60 weeks of chemo, more or less, and a finish date of end of January, 2011.

All things considered, that's not too bad at all. I mean, he was in the hospital continuously from April 20 until August 1, and chemo sessions were around 5 weeks apart during that span, and he's been around 3.5 weeks per chemo since August. I'm not entirely convinced that he's going to finish the treatment - I think his numbers will simply stop going up within six months from now - but I'm moderately surprised that he's on a decent pace like that.

It does stop to give pause, however. Even after all of the fuss, bother, noise, and drama of the past year's treatments, we're not yet halfway done. I'm a guy who normally takes a long view of things, but this is still intimidating and far-away-seeming.

Thanksgiving, we're going to have another announcement about our future and The Boy's future. No, we're not pregnant again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Things Parents Say...

"No pants means no library."

The Same, but Expanded!

Same thing happened this morning as yesterday morning. 4AM, crying for "Dah-DEE!", naked at the naked. The big expansion? Poop in the diaper... and all over his legs, the floor, the bed, etc.

4AM bath, start diaper laundry, and try to get an extra hour's sleep (5 total!) before my 7AM to 11PM day today. Ugh.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cold Feet

So, I stay up to watch the end of the baseball game, and The Boy is not sleeping well at all. He's up at 1 and again at 2:30, each time for a hug, a snuggle, and a tuck in. Granted, he follows me to the gate to yell, but his heart isn't in it, and he returns to be reasonably quickly each time.

4am, he's awake. I ask Mommy what to do, she doesn't care. So, I go to tale his gate down and let him make his choice.

He's standing at his gate, buck naked. His pajamas and his diaper are in a pile next to him, and he's quite entertained at our reaction. I get a new diaper, replace his pajamas, and he follows me to bed.

His feet were freezing.
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Great Younger Bro weekend

So, today I got a nice, big helping of Younger Bro time, and it was awesome. He is growing so quickly, and he is evolving out of the always-squalling little demon that he was for me back in his earlier incarnation. Now, he is a curious, happy, smiley, talkative little dude.

Today, we went to the Halloween Parade in town. He was dressed as Winnie the Pooh - appropriate because he is shaped much like Pooh Bear.

Mommy and The Boy arrived home later in the afternoon, and we all went for a nice walk to the Quik Chek. The Boy walked all the way back without being carried, and YB sat in the carriage instead of lay down for the first time! I carted The Boy on my back in the carrier for the trip out:

YB did quite a bit of kicking and grabbing on the playmat, which was cute to see. He even drank a couple of bottles for me and napped on my chest in the carrier. I'm very happy that our relationship is developing into the expected Daddy Means Giggles relationship. It's important to me.

Big week ahead of me, for sure. I'm excited. Wish me luck. I think a couple of things might finally bounce my way, starting with the World Series on Wednesday.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Fun day & night, sort of.

Miracle of miracles, when I got to the hospital at 4:30 yesterday, The Boy was napping. I swiftly stole him from Grandpa (plying him with coffee in exchange), laid down with my baby and napped for an hour or so. We woke up in enough time to get him started eating, then I left him with my father and a parade of volunteers, and went to choir.

When I got back from choir, they both were a little punchy:

That's okay. Grandpa left, the baseball game went on television, and The Boy settled in to sleep.

I had a little trouble falling asleep, as things in life are more interesting than I'd prefer, but Joyce - our nurse - really took care of us.

I got to school a little late today, again, which drives me crazy. I hate late and work hard to be early to everything. I'll get it better next time.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Difficult Part of the whole Hospital Thing

The two hardest parts of the hospital... is Younger Bro and the mornings.

Yesterday, they started to give us a hard time about Younger Bro being in the hospital room with The Boy. Basically, long story short, they are telling us that if he's in the room, he's got to STAY in the room - no hallway walks, no walks through the hospital, and "sneak" him in and out of the room. Our theory - later confirmed by the nurses - is that others on the pediatric floor are starting to notice and to complain. Why can't their babies come in?

The justification is that it's to prevent swine flu from entering and contaminating the floor. That's great - force us to remove Younger Bro from a sterile environment that he shares with his immune-compromised brother and put him in day care or a nanny's care, which is not sterile. Expose him, then us, to swine flu, and then expect it to stay off the floor. Okay. I guess I'm barred because I teach middle school. Whatever.

So, we need to figure out what the heck we're going to do. When Grandma is here, no problem - just leave Mommy & YB at home. When she isn't... problem. We're going to try to get contact with a local nanny service, and we'll borrow money to pay when we need to pay.

Other issue? The Wife can't stay overnight now, because she needs to nurse YB at night. So, I'm doing the overnight shift, which means that The Wife and YB need to be back at the hospital in enough time for me to get to school - 7:15 is okay on a normal day, 6:45 on a jazz band day. That makes things really difficult, and it makes her nights REALLY short, including travel time. That's just tough.

Jazz band, school, other jazz band, home to shower & change & pack, hospital, choir practice, hospital for the night. Complex day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hanging Out

Got to the hospital tonight after school, shave, shower, comic book store. The Wife sat The Boy down to eat, then left me with my father and the two babies.

It wasn't bad, contrary to expectations! YB was happy and engaging most of the evening, until he got tired. He then did his normal yelling until asleep.

The Boy was happy and playing and giggly most of the night, with a great appetite.

My brother and his wife came by for a little while, and he had a very nice time playing with them.

Not a bad evening. If I were to wind up taking care of both boys during the day again, I think I might be okay.

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Oh, What a Night!

Monday night was a wonderful little evening. The mall trip went without a hitch - no traffic issues, no parking issues, we arrived right on time for my 5:30 appointment. It took about 20 minutes for them to figure out that there was a hardware issue with my iPhone, and they gave me a new one. Total loss: 5 items on my To-Do list for school (not a big deal - recoverable), four pictures, two videos (one of The Boy walking up stairs with Grandpa and one of Younger Bro kickin' it). Total gain: a working telephone, for a total price of about 3 weeks of time putting on new applications one or two every couple of days, so that any software issues don't crop up and cause hardware issues.

Afterwards, we went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner, spending a couple of gift cards. It was lots of fun! The meal was perfect, and the boys had an awful lot of fun. The Boy did laps of the restaurant, charming everyone with whom he spoke. Younger Bro was very good all the way through dinner. Mommy and Daddy were sated and looked like good parents. There even were leftovers, which were perfect for lunch today.

The Wife went to pick up her bass from the repair shop today. To make life easier for her, she dropped off Younger Bro at school during my prep and ran out to get the bass. Younger Bro was charming and cute, smiling at lots of people and making cute squealing sounds at anyone close by. The Wife and The Boy came in just at the change of periods, when my 8th graders were coming in. Most of them were from the pre-lunch 7th grade class last year, who had seen The Boy every once in a while when they came for lunch, so they liked seeing the two boys.

The family came to the end of marching band practice today, which was nice. The Boy started screaming hysterically with about fifteen minutes to go in practice, so they went home to take care of him. He was complaining of an "owie" in his toe. The last time he screamed for an owie like that, we spent a week in intensive care because of blood pressure issues - an owie that could have caused a heart attack, had we not gone to the hospital. He was just calming down when I got home at 6:20, and I left a half hour later, when he was fully calm. A little scary, but still pretty low on the scare-o-meter.

Tomorrow morning, they are going in for chemo. I'll be joining them a little bit later in the day, after school / shower / shave / pack / comic book store. I'll be spending the next two nights at the hospital, because The Wife has to take care of the overnight feedings of Younger Bro. Sigh. Love those hospital stays when I have 7:30AM rehearsal at school.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Blood today, admitted on Wedneday.

Getting blood today, so the family will likely be arriving home at the same time that I am. I made an appointment at the Apple Store to have my iPhone checked out - it's not updating correctly. When I plug it into my computer, it freezes and resets itself. Annoying.

Younger Bro is now starting to associate Musical Daddy with smiles and giggles, and I'm happy about that. He also spends an inordinate amount of time chewing on my right index finger. He doesn't like the other fingers, or the other hand, but he likes that one. He also likes playing with my left sleeve when I hold him; not the right one, though. Aren't babies interesting? His personality quirks are interesting to me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Two Videos

This one is from "Pablove." Pablo was a six year old who lost his fight with pediatric cancer, and his dad is biking across the United States in his memory, to raise awareness and money. Every day, they dedicate their ride in honor of a cancer fighter and in memory of a cancer victim. Today was The Boy's day.

Here's another video, this one of The Boy playing with his violin:

Fun day, sort of.

Grandma and Grandpa got here Thursday around dinnertime. I had a doctor's appointment in the late afternoon, then choir rehearsal, so I didn't see them until late. They took The Boy for a second chance at counts on Friday morning, and his platelets were JUST short - 98, when they want them over 100 for chemo. Sigh. This means chemo without Grandma this week, which means a major pain in all of our rear ends. They want to admit him on Monday, but that's not going to happen from our end. We're going to wait until Wednesday, because it makes our lives easier. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend are coming up for the weekend, and they'll help us with the release on Friday night and with Diaper Hell.

So, The Boy and I got some very nice time last night after band practice. Actually, Younger Bro and I had more time, which was REALLY cool. He's turning out to have quite the friendly, engaging personality! I'm not surprised at that, but there were times, during our earlier struggles, that I wondered.

This morning, Grandpa, The Wife, The Boy, and I went out to breakfast, then I snuggled with Younger Bro until I left for band. The Boy and Grandpa came with me to the football game, which was at the high school close to our home. He mostly entertained himself by walking up and down the bleacher ramp, which was quite funny. When we got home, he wanted to watch Sesame Street, which was fine with me - a nice 45 minute nap while being a pillow for him is fine with me.

During dinner, I entertained Younger Bro. He was quite charming today: when I stopped home in between things, The Wife brought him over to me. Before he was handed over, he smiled that great, big, huge, gum-my smile at me, and I just melted. That's amazingly cute. So, he and I hung out while the rest ate, and we played the standup-sitdown game and the flying baby game.

The Wife and I left the children in the able hands of Grandpa and Grandma ("Here's my rule: the babies can stay up as late as they want, and whereever they fall asleep is fine by us." I'm okay with that, actually) and went to a comedy club nearby. One of my coworkers moonlights as a standup comic - or, a better way to put it might be: a standup comic moonlights as a teacher in my building. She was quite funny, as were the other two comedians on the show. I had a couple of drinks tonight, which is a big deal as my last two drinks were at the wedding back in August! I think that's pretty good, averaging roughly one drink per month, which is dramatically higher than my usual average (from January to August, I don't think I had any).

We got home after this wonderful evening, and The Boy was still awake. I read "Zin Zin Zin the Violin," then gave him his medicines. The Wife and Grandma put him to bed (around 10:30) with no incident.

Tomorrow, my in-laws will leave, and we'll start the process of finding helpers for us for the week. We'll go for admittance on Wednesday, which means we'll need help Wednesday day, Wednesday night (I'll be there while The Wife is at orchestra, and I'll be sleeping there during the nights), Thursday day, Thursday night (me, sleeping, after chorus), and Friday day, maybe some help Friday evening with the move.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Still waiting...

They brought us in for counts again, because The Boy has a tendency to jump, counts-wise. Which he did, but JUST short of making platelet counts for chemo. Grrr...

Very inconvenient.

He needs blood although these days they don't transfuse him if he is just below 8.0 hemoglobin, because he gets SO many transfusions. He'll get it Monday. If we are admitted on Wednesday, it will be quite a bit easier, although we'll need a LOT of help.

My sister is coming on Friday. With her man too, I think. So we'll have help overnight with diaper hell. And we'll have to do something fun related to Halloween. Likely The Boy won't be able to attend the Halloween parade with Musical Daddy's band, although he will probably go to the hospital parade the day before Halloween.

Anyhow, things are getting a bit strange around here but all will work itself out.


It's been an... interesting week, if by interesting one means mind-bogglingly awful and life-altering. Suffice it to say that many, many big changes are in store for my family and me over the next 8 or 9 months, one way or another.

The Boy is fine. Not great, but fine. He was supposed to start chemo on Thursday, but he didn't. His platelet levels are too low. They checked again today because his counts have had a tendency to suddenly jump huge numbers, but getting from 73 to 100 in one day is a little too much to ask. So, we're looking at a Monday admittance for chemo. That's frustrating, because Grandma & Grandpa are here from Pittsburgh because Grandpa has business in New York City over the weekend.

Updating a couple of dangling plot threads: The audiologist that examined The Boy was mistaken in quite a few areas. The doctors WILL adjust his chemotherapy to try to minimize further hearing damage, and they WILL fit him with corrective hearing aids when necessary and adjust them as necessary instead of waiting. That's a good thing. That doesn't change the rest of it - that he hears like a 40-year old man and that his hearing is likely to deteriorate further.

We've discovered several children in The Boy's same treatment plan that have ended treatment, generally around a year after treatment began, because their counts just stopped regenerating. We're not at that point with The Boy yet, although we will note that he's been on a 4-week chemo cycle instead of a 3-week chemo cycle since June or July. Some of that was due to the effects of the staph infections in his first port, but all of the chemos since August have been on 4-week rotations as well. On one hand, I'd love to stop chemo because I'm tired of pumping my baby full of chemicals that damage his growth, hearing, limbs, and development. On the other hand, I'd really love to have a baby living with us rather than dead of cancer. Gripping hand, the doctors have lead us well, up through this point.

We'll see what happens. Have no fear, gentle reader: you will be kept informed. I need this outlet, to express my feelings and thoughts as we progress further through The Boy's treatments. We're in a really down and depressed state at this point, but I again will count my blessings: I have a great wife, and we have wonderful friends and gorgeous babies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You Tell Me Your Dream...

I had the weirdest dream last night. It's so weird, it should probably be televised...

Anyway, I dreamt that I was on a road trip from Florida up to New Jersey. I was in South Carolina, and I needed to stop for coffee. When I got out of the car, it was moving north at around 60 miles per hour, and it continued traveling after I got out. Oops! The car was my parents' Buick Park Avenue - the one that they had from 2000 to 2005, not the Buick thing that my father drives today. I got ahold of another car, and the same thing happened - I got out of the car, and it was still travelling at 60 MPH. I called my mother (odd, because she's been dead since 2001), and she told me that the car was in the shop and my father was really ticked off at me. So, here I was, stuck in South Carolina, with no money and no car.

In the dream, I had a full head of hair. That's odd, because I never really dream I have hair. I was using the bathroom in a lady's house, and I came out and used the kitchen sink to get some water or to wash my hands. She came up behind me, and said, "Elvis? Are you Elvis?" I replied, "No, Ma'am, but I appreciate using your sink. Thank you. Thank you very much." And, I started to walk north.

At this point, the lady and about fifty people from town followed me and caught up with me. They begged me to sing a song for them, and a band started playing "Love Me Tender." I remember thinking, "Good thing I know the words to all those Elvis tunes..." (Editor's note: I actually do know the words to many Elvis tunes, thanks to singing with Big Apple Chorus.) I sang "Love Me Tender," and Elvis' voice came out of my body. I also danced like Elvis - or my best approximation.

So, the rest of the dream was a series of images / video clips of me in various places between South Carolina and Washington, D.C., singing as Elvis for travel and food money.

My alarm went off at 6:15 this morning, and I was truly disoriented. I expected to wake up in Washington, D.C., and was surprised to be in my bed. But, wouldn't that make an entertaining video show - movie or TV?

Monday, October 12, 2009


I think one of my commentors put it nicely: I am starting to understand that I've begun a new iteration of the grieving / mourning process. The combined facts of The Boy's hearing loss, the continuing difficulty of the chemotherapy process, the retardation of his growth and physical development, the utter lack of normalcy, and the rising spectre of lifelong difficulties have begun wearing on me. Factor in the difficulty we've had with Younger Bro's excessive amounts of crying... Let's just say that I've been in better places.

I'm pretty darn good at handling difficult life situations. While I've struggled with depression most of my life, I've also developed some reasonably healthy coping mechanisms. But, I'm rapidly approaching a tipping point. How many times can we get punched in the gut before we don't get up again? How many setbacks can we suffer? When will the worm turn, and let us catch a few good breaks?

We went to the playground at the Watchung Reservation today. The Boy did his usual thing at these playgrounds:

He's way more interested in the numbers and letters than in the climbing stuff. He did climb: up an easy-sloped climbing wall, and he did cross the bridges a couple of times (applauding for himself when he finished, naturally), and he went down a big twisty slide a couple of times, which is big for him. I'm happy that he made those steps forward today, but I also wish that so many younger kids weren't bigger and stronger and doing more stuff than The Boy is.

Again, don't misread: I'm not disappointed in him but am proud of his accomplishments. I'm frustrated at the disease and the treatments that have stolen so much from what he might have been. I know I shouldn't dwell on what-if's, but any kid as smart, as focused, and as sweet as The Boy just deserves better.

Deafness frightens me. I can't imagine it. A child that can't hear is a child that will never truly understand what I do and how I have chosen to live my life. I know that - health permitting - he will have a fulfilling life; he's too intelligent not to. I am just torn apart by what he has gone through and what he will continue to go through. So, this weekend has not been a very good one for me.

I look ahead, almost obsessively: at the culmination of treatment, we begin the countdown towards a kidney replacement surgery that will have lifelong complications for him and for me (I'm assuming I'm the match). Then we have 18 months of incredibly important language development time with damaged, non-corrected hearing. Then, we have the increased possibility of Leukemia as he progresses through childhood, meaning having to go through the whole G-d mess again, with interest. And, let's not forget the nerve damage from vincristine in his extremities and the possibility of sterility and conception difficulty.

Any wonder why I occasionally want to shake some parents that I meet? Okay, your kid runs around all the time and never stops moving. Wanna trade? I'll take the bratty, healthy behavior, and you can have my life.

Best part of the whole thing? There's no let-up. No chance to slow down. No vacation from this. No time off. No way to tag-team and catch our breath as we're going along. This is 100% of my life, for the next umpteen years.

The REAL best part? He's worth it. Doggone it, every moment that I spend with him is precious. Boy Therapy isn't just a cute name: it's an important, necessary part of my day. When I hear "Dah-DEE!" in his sweet little voice, my life is better, and the whole thing - the struggle, the heartache, the dreadful agony of it all - is worth it.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Great Night, Great Day

Last night, we had an awesome time at the football game. The boys and The Wife and I went, an The Boy had so much fun! The football stadium is set in a little valley, and The Boy got to climb up and down the hills, up and down the football stands.

Of course, there's also the band kids. If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: marching band kids are the best kids in any given school. They were so kind to the boys! They let The Boy touch the drums, and they enjoyed asking quizzing him on the names of instruments. The color guard, in particular, was charmed by him.

Younger Bro was also doing well all night - lots of people played with him, and he went with me while I helped escort the band to watch the halftime show. Thanks go to everyone who helped out enough while I worked!

The Boy was really mad when we left, so we know he had lots of fun. Considering how much running and climbing he did, he slept very well.

Today was very nice. We went to breakfast, and then walked to the farmer's market. We both gave blood, then took a family nap when we got home. Upon waking, we went to the park and played.

On the cute front, I heard Younger Bro giggle - I mean, real giggles - this morning. He was so happy! He still won't let anyone snuggle him to sleep, which we're wondering if he'll continue or will outgrow. He's very cute:

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

And the Hits Just Keep On Comin'...

I knew there was an issue with The Boy's hearing back in June, and I bugged them to schedule a hearing test. The doctors agreed, but because of the other issues (the staph infections, the port replacement, Younger Bro's birth and subsequent re-hospitalization and tongue-tie), the hearing test got pushed back. Not the biggest deal, no real reason to push it. But, as per usual, I was right, and it is not good news that I was.

Anyway, the hearing test happened today, and it was as I feared. The Boy now has the hearing of your average 40-year old man, and because of the carboplatin (and the fact that the platin family of drugs is a major component of Wilms Tumor treatments), it's gonna get a heck of a lot worse during the course of The Boy's treatment. The treatment is, of course, scheduled to end approximately November of 2010 but will likely last into March or April of 2011. Complicating matters: they won't fit him for hearing aids until he's out of treatment for 18 months.

This means that the prime years for language development and socialization skills (3 and 4) will have a child without a substantial portion of his hearing. Yet another thing to add to the list of "Thank you, cancer."

I know that it's better to have a living child that needs a new kidney and significant hearing correction, rather than a dead child. I understand that. It's just... well... when does the worm turn for us? When do things start to get better? When do we catch a break?

Deafness is a nightmare to me. I honestly cannot imagine going through life with severely reduced hearing; yes, I have significant tinitis due to years in front of bands and an illness in college, but my hearing is still quite good. Deafness, though? I can't imagine. How do I explain to my son why I sing barbershop music? How do I explain the allure and beauty of classical music, or of the subtleties of great jazz? How do I expect him to understand the brilliance and entertainment behind the dialogue in a Joss Whedon show or a Kevin Smith movie - that the enjoyment isn't necessarily in the content, but in the pacing and timing and delivery and accents?

So much for my dream of a family barbershop quartet.

Man, this sucks. Big time. I'm praying that the hearing damage is somehow halted or slowed, so that The Boy will be able to enjoy the things that I enjoy. We'll see. Don't get me wrong; I'm not angling to stop chemo, although I wouldn't mind if we were able to stop at 24 chemo sessions instead of going the whole 30. (Next time is #13, of course.) It's just... his height, his weight, his gross motor skills, his fine motor skills, his strength, his hearing, his remaining kidney, his bone marrow / risk of leukemia... I want there to be more left than a technically-still-breathing husk of a human being. It doesn't do an awful lot of good to save his life if he's permanently crippled.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Hits

Younger Bro weighed in at 17 pounds 10 ounces in clothes this week. He's so big - he's now wearing the cloth diapers at the same size The Boy is. He's also been very smiley for the past couple of days. He has been very vocal about getting attention lately, which is very nice. I like that he is starting to like playing, and the games are starting to become fun.

The Boy is well. Got platelets Monday, red cells on Tuesday. Tomorrow, he has a checkup at the Valerie Center and a hearing test later in the day. He shouldn't need any transfusions this time. He also has physical therapy.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Port Accessed

Today, The Boy got platelets; getting red blood cells tomorrow. It's that time of the week again, children.

Anyway, The Wife recorded a video of The Boy getting his port accessed. His port is a direct, stable line into veins. It allows for chemotherapy - and medications - to be delivered safely and efficiently into his system. It's better than a standard IV line because it's not dependent upon a needle in a vein; it's like adding a USB port to his body.

Here's a video of The Boy getting his port accessed. Warning: this is a medical procedure. There isn't any blood or violence or screaming or anything like that, but if you're squeemish, don't watch this. It is interesting to see what he has to go through, about two to three times per week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wakeup Call

The Boy is quite creative. This morning, he got Mommy to let him in bed with me at 6am, where he gave me an hour of nice snuggles. He woke up and wanted juice, so he wriggled out of bed and expected me to follow him. I didn't, because I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep.

Five minutes later, he pushed the bedroom door open. He crawled onto the bed, crawled over to me, grabbed my chin and yanked, thus ensuring that I turned over. (This was after he poked me a few times and I responded by rolling over.) He then picked up the unopened bottle of apple juice that he had brought with him from the kitchen and dropped it onto my stomach.

The good: he walked all the way down the hall with a heavy bottle of juice, and levering it up onto the bed. The bad: the manner in which I was awakened.

Little stinker. He did get his juice, however.

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Friday, October 2, 2009


Just had a breakthrough moment with Younger Bro: He was squawking in his crib, presumably hunting for his normal 11pm feeding. I picked him up to comfort him until Mommy arrived.

Wouldn't you know it - he just fell asleep on my shoulder as I rocked back and forth! It was so nice. It's the first time he's fallen asleep in my arms since his birth.

I live for that feeling. It's amazing. Granted, he nursed for a minute using my shoulder, but that's all right.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Such a pain...

The Boy has been in his room since 9. It's 11. He's standing as his gate, yelling at us. We're not going to go in there yet; we're going to give him some time to work it out.

He's wily, though. He cries for a little while, then stops and listens for motion in the house. The Wife and I are sitting in the living room, having our first conversation of the week. We're pausing when he does, just to see what happens.

He had retreated to his bed for a little while, none too pleased about it. Now he's back at the gate. He's persistent, determined, stubborn, and intelligent. That's a dangerous combination. Or, to put it another way, he's a pain in the tushy.

He is my son, no doubt, but I don't know that I ever manipulated the situation like he does.

Now he's back in bed, but still loud. The Wife just wondered if music might make a difference, like it does Younger Bro. Not sure.

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Rough Night

Not such a great sleeping-in-his-own-bed night for The Boy. At 11:45, he was starting to close his eyes, and I got up and left the room. He followed me up until the gate, then stood there and cried for about five or ten minutes. At that point, he gave up, laid down in bed, and went to sleep. That was when Younger Bro woke up and needed to be fed. Of course.

Around 2:30, The Boy woke up and yelled at us for a little while before going back to sleep. At 4:10, he woke up for reals. That's a confusing time, for other reasons than despite the fact that my brain takes a little while to get moving (thank you, Benedryl - you help keep me clear while I sleep, but waking up can be difficult). I asked The Wife for help, and she told me to either tuck him back in, or bring him with us. I walked toward his room, and he backed away from the gate. I chose to accept that as a sign that he wanted back in his bed, so I tucked him back in, kissed him, snuggled him a little bit, and went back to our room. He yelled at us for a little while, but fell back asleep.

When I got up at 6:30 to get ready for school, everyone was still asleep - him in his room, us in ours. He heard me and woke up, initially requesting bed-snuggle time. I laid with him until he closed his eyes, then got up. (I am NOT going to be deprived of such wonderful snuggles, thank you.) He followed me out, and we had breakfast together. I woke up the other two when I had to leave.

Nice moment: on their way to Trader Joe's, The Wife and the boys stopped in the parking lot of school during my prep period. I ran outside, gave kisses and hugs to all concerned parties, and ran back in. I said, "I love you, The Boy; can you say, I love you Daddy?" He said, "Eye-Yoo, Daddy." It's cute.