Saturday, March 6, 2010

Chemo 17, Aftermath

They were supposed to do a blood draw on Thursday to look at The Boy's counts. While nobody expected any changes from Monday afternoon (pre-chemo)'s counts, I asked them to do a check so that we had a baseline to compare after the next draw. The orders to draw blood got mixed up with some other orders, so that instead of a blood draw in the early afternoon, it didn't happen until immediately pre-chemo, at 5:30. This meant that, if anything needed to be done, it wouldn't happen until later. Not a big deal, we thought - how could his counts drop from excellent on Monday with only two days of chemo - long before the chemo should have an effect?

I should know better than to make those statements. I should also know better than to forget about a blood draw order; I should know to bug the nurses early and often, so that the counts actually happen. Sigh.

Long story short, we wound up staying the extra night because The Boy's red blood count dropped to 7.0 from Monday's 9.1. (Is that concerning? Yes, but we're not thinking about that right now.) By the time the type and cross was done and the blood ordered, post-chemo, it wouldn't be until 9:00 or 9:30 that the blood would start, which would mean being done at midnight. We're not going to go home at midnight, only to settle into Diaper Hell night. So, Daddy spent one more night in the Hotel CHoPitt. I was smart enough to ask them to give the pre-meds (Benedryl and Tylenol) at 10:30; The Boy napped most of the afternoon, which meant that he would up and active nice and late. Benedryl at 10:30 meant that he would actually sleep normal nighttime hours. (Well, normal hours for The Boy, not for a normal toddler.) He was in the playroom from around 7:30 to 10:00, doing his level best to play with every single thing in the room. I didn't want to interrupt that, so we waited until he was ready to slow down. Benedryl plus Tylenol, and he was out for the night.

The next morning, I ate his breakfast (he had a banana and a bite of pancakes), then Mom came to pick us up. We went to Costco with both boys later that afternoon, and we had a really nice Shabbat dinner with Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt W. The Boy cries like heck when Mommy says the blessing over his head, but he enjoys drinking his "wine" (grape juice) from his kiddish cup.

That night, we started setting his new bedtime routine: the television went off for good at 9:00, and the three of us (Younger Bro having been in bed for a couple of hours) stayed on the bed. We played some games, had some Crazy Baby time, and then - wonder upon wonders - The Boy let us read him some stories! Daddy read the "Goofy, Move Star" and "Mickey Mouse's Picnic," and Mommy read "That's Not MY Dragon!" At that point, we were all exhausted, and we all went to bed.

Today, The Boy and I slept until 9:30! Grandpa had gotten up early and ran to the Cop Shop to get donuts, bagels, and coffee (G-d bless Dunkin Donuts for their coffee, keeps the free world running). Everyone else had eaten already, but they stayed to eat with us. After breakfast, we played upstairs in the boys' room until Younger Bro went down for a nap and The Boy went to rest with Grandma. The Wife and I went to the eye doctors for our first eye checkup in... well, a long time. Her eyesight got a bit worse, and she got new glasses. Mine is basically the same - a little weaker in the left eye, but not different enough that new glasses are needed. The eye doctor was a cool guy - he grew up in New York City and was a fan of New York baseball, so a 15-minute eye exam took a half hour due to baseball discussion.

When we got home, Mommy went to the gym. Younger Bro had been up for a long time and was ready for some alone time / nap time, after the three of us (me and the boys) did some hard playing downstairs. The Boy and I went outside to play; we drew on the sidewalk with chalk and chased the little wagon around (it holds the chalk) and played with some outside toys. Then, I shoveled some snow out of the way, and The Boy helped a bit before deciding to throw a toy down the front steps, climb down and put it back together, and repeat.

When Mommy came home, we had gotten YB down from his rest and did some playing. After Mommy and I ate (the boys had eaten a little bit earlier), we packed everyone in the car and went to the Pittsburgh Mills Mall. The boys went into the play area there and had such a great time! The Boy was climbing around and watching the other kids, occasionally talking to someone or trying something he saw the bigger kids doing. YB played a bit and made a few friends. One of the boys, Nicholas (probably around 5 or 6), took a big interest in YB, playing peek-a-boo, tickle, and similar games.

The Boy took himself out of the big kids' area and into the toddler area, which has a small slide, some play houses, and a big lady bug pillow. He went up and down the slide about 50 times, tackled Daddy on the pillow, and went into and out of the houses. After a couple of hours total at the play area, we went to Borders and poked around the books for a little while.

Funny story: I got a nice, warm, chocolate chip cookie and a cup of coffee from the snack shop. I shared some cookie with Mommy, and offered The Boy some chocolate chip cookie. He said, "Oooh - chocolate chips!", ignored the cookie, and looked inside the bag. "No," he responded to another offer of the cookie. I said, "Are you sure you're my son?" (My love of cookies is legendary around the house.) He looked up at me sweetly and said, "Coffee, please!"

We packed into the car at 8:00 and headed home. We watched some Thomas until bath time, then read the Goofy story twice, a Batman book twice, and Mommy sang some songs and told a story. Bedtime: successful twice. They're asleep upstairs while I'm blogging. I think I'm going to read my newsfeeds, shave and shower, knock off a chapter or two of the Brad Meltzer book that I picked up from Costco, and go to bed.

Now listening: the "I Am Sam" soundtrack, which is a bunch of contemporary artists covering Beatles tunes. The game is Final Fantasy XIII - I don't have it yet, but I'm trying to rewire my life to allow for an hour or two per week to play. The book is Brad Meltzer's The First Counsel. It's new to me.

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