It’s always a matter of good news and bad news, and being the one not there for it four days a week either makes it excruciatingly worse or marginally easier. It depends on what time of day you ask me.
First there’s the good news. Dom did well enough that he was let out on a day pass, which meant a trip to grandma’s house 15 minutes away. He played with toys old and new, but wasn’t allowed to get any kisses from our dog, Megan. Doctors were also worried about Megan jumping up on him but clearly they do not know our 11-year-old cocker spaniel. She only cares about the boy when he’s accidentally dropping food on the floor.
Doctors would prefer less food be dropped or otherwise left uneaten, but there’s only so much you can do about a boy whose appetite isn’t the same as what it was a month ago. Remember when Dom bloated up to 11 kilograms during the first few days at the hospital? That was bad. Now he’s under 10 and dropping. Given that the cancer cells are presumably killed off by the chemo, that’s bad news too. Nobody goes up to an 11-month-old and asks how much weight they’ve dropped lately.
If the weight keeps falling he’ll get another tube down his throat so they can force-feed him. The last one they had in fell victim to Dom’s mighty left hand, which yanked it out.
And really, the weight issue isn’t a big one yet. It’s easily solved, even though we’d prefer to just get him eating more.
A more serious probelm happened today, when Trish noticed Dom’s main (broviac) line had cracked. If that happens out of the hospital they tell you to clamp, cover and call. Clamp the line to prevent blood coming out of it, cover the damaged section and call the hospital to let them know you’re coming in to get it fixed immediately.
Fortunately our incident happened in the hospital, but it was no less traumatic. His line had been getting twisted around more than usual this week anyhow, so in retrospect it wasn’t a huge surprise, and it was easily fixed according to Trish. I’ll get to see for myself when I return Thursday.
If all of that wasn’t enough, Wednesday became moving day when it was decided Dom’s original room was needed for an incoming patient. Apparently it has a special ventilation system which he no longer needs. He just moved one door down the hall anyhow, though try telling Trish that was no big deal. We’ve accumulated a lot of stuff in that room in three short weeks, from clothes to pictures hanging on the wall to toys and stuffed animals stuffed in drawers and closets.
Maybe the new room doesn’t have its own ventilation, but as long as it has that great view out to the west I won't complain.
I walked in to work today to a card and cheque from the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group. Basically that’s other media folks in town. Never would I have expected something like that — especially given the average pay scale of anybody who works in the media! That’s always an easy joke.
They’re not the only ones who have shown us amazing support, as friends from my own work and many other people have stepped up with kind words and gestures that are comforting. Some folks you can tell have a longer story about why they want to do something kind. You can see the look in their eye or read it in the words they’ve written. We are so lucky to receive so much.
We have started to try and pay it forward, even as we know there is much ahead for us. There’s a single mom here who we met and decided to give a gift card to. Hopefully her 10-month-old can go home soon, but in the meantime we can’t imagine going through this without as much support as we’ve had. Even having each other is a major boost. Maybe we’ll get to know her more and give some emotional support too.