In the city of 60,000 people where we live we're quite aware that Dominic's battle with leukemia has gone public. This blog and the fact I work for a newspaper makes it almost a given.
What we never expected was for his story to get noticed in the city of a million people we grew up in.
So when the phone rang at 7:15 a.m. Friday, I felt like it was a dream.
"Hi, this is Gerry Forbes from CJAY 92..."
Folks in Calgary will immediately recognize this as a big deal. CJAY is probably the best-known radio station in town and Gerry is the best-known personality at the station.
I looked over at Dom, thankfully back to sleep after rising an hour earlier.
This is all happening because of him. So many people want him to get better. One of them wrote in to the station and we were selected to receive the kind of care package you'd only dream about.
Toys. Cash. Gift certificates. Absolutely insane. When the station rep appeared at my door I hugged her and said "so that really happened?"
Dom loves the giant toy trucks he got from CJAY. He's also discovered an even bigger car that he can sit on and scoot around the ward in when he's not hooked up to tubes and getting medicine or blood tranfusions.
He also has some new artwork in his room. A caricature artist dropped by the hospital later on Friday and drew him in his element (the water) wearing a Stampeders-branded swimsuit. It's fantastic and so completely random and wonderful. The positive surprises just keep on astonishing us.
The whole weekend was like that. Trish and I got out of the hospital for a much-needed lunch date while grandparents wore Dom out they played with him so much. When a friend from Medicine Hat came to visit Trish and Dom on Sunday he was asleep, so she initially went to meet the friend at the cafeteria. They returned to the ward only to see Dom riding around in the car with one of his favourite nurses, both of them smiling and giggling like they'd been caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
Monday promises more blood transfusions and a lumbar puncture and who knows what after that. But we've definitely settled in to a routine, and the biggest daily concern seems to be how we can get him eating a bit more food. Given the bigger picture, that's a problem we're happy to focus on for now.