So, Carmine's birthday party on Sunday was a big hit with my boys and with us adults. It was a mega-affair, as I judge them: a whole bunch of people, a community center common room, a face painting lady, lots of balloons, some fun floor padding, a pinata, and a crafts table. The food was wonderful, the people were really nice, and we had a great time!
(Don't get me wrong - it's not like it was one of those affairs where they overspent or anything. It was very, very tasteful and very, very fun and appropriate for all of the kids. I just don't know that many people with children like they do, so anything over 6 or 7 kids is huge to me.)
Highlight of the day: The Boy, with the Spider-Man face above. He actually requested it! He was in the chair, with getting a Batman drawing on his hand, and he wanted the Spider-Man face that some of the other boys got. When he got into a mirror, he was in shock! He spent about five minutes staring at himself, moving his mouth and turning his head to verify that it was, indeed, him. He also was playing very nicely with some of the other kids and with Younger Bro.
So, fast forward to today. The boys went to the clinic for Flashes of Hope, the photographing-cancer-kids-and-their-families charity. When we ran into the doctors, Dr. Graves told us that the blood screwups from the past couple weeks were due to an interesting viral infection that causes antibodies that make his blood clot at room temperature. It's uncommon, but not so much among the cancer patients. More info here, at The Wife's blog. Because of this and a few other reasons, they were never planning on admitting us this week.
Basically, Dr. Graves is working on doing a few cycles of chemo at substantially reduced doses and with a longer break. As we expected, we're looking at the end of The Boy's chemo, sooner than later; gut feel is still before the summer.
We'll have a nice weekend with Grandpa from New Jersey, then head out to Harrisburg for the two Passover seders. Then, back home for chemo #18. Rough guess says we get through chemo 20, maybe 22, and we're done.