Get up, eat some oatmeal, go downstairs and play. Diaper change, lunch, naptime. Chase the dog, open random doors, dinner and sleep.
It has all felt so... normal. But of course it's far from it, even in our happy confines.
Dom needs to take a few different medicines each day still. He has to do a special mouth wash. The caps on his broviac line need to be tended to and the dressing where the line goes into his little body gets changed weekly.
And because he's still a cancer patient with a low-functioning immune system, we avoid taking him anywhere.
Need to pick up groceries? Want to get some early Christmas shopping done? Wait until your spouse is home to take care of him. Feel like going out together? Forget about it, as none of our friends here are trained to deal with what happens if his line breaks, and frankly we wouldn't want to put that level of responsibility on them anyhow. It's scary enough to deal with in the hospital.
It's been a largely relaxing time, with Dom learning to walk and Trish loving being able to sleep in her own bed. Even our dog Megan seems happy, or maybe she's just tolerating being tugged at and chased a bit more than she used to. You've never been so jealous of an animal that's going deaf as when your son wakes up screaming at 4 a.m.
It wasn't supposed to be a full week back home. The initial plan was to head back to the Alberta Children's Hospital Tuesday for a whole set of tests and then be re-admitted for the third round of chemotherapy. Trish had the car loaded up to move back in to the oncology ward, but it turned out his blood counts weren't quite high enough.
Fair enough, she thought. I'll stay at mom and dad's house and we'll go back on Thursday.
Nope. Come back next Monday, they said.
At which point she got in the car and drove three hours back to Medicine Hat.
The MRI he got shows the cancer that showed up under his scalp hasn't completely gone away. We keep getting more information on the specialized chromosome translocation that brought about his cancer; none of it very positive.
At this point I don't want to know any more. I trust the doctors with the medicine and I trust that being positive is the most important thing I can do for him. I'm lucky that so many people I run in to while working know what's going on, and respect that my work isn't the most important thing in my life. Those incredible fundraisers aside, it does feel like the community has our back.
One of the happiest moments of the week was seeing that fellow Medicine Hat cancer patient Kallum got a clean bill of health. His treatment is over and he can get his broviac line removed soon. We hope we're on that same path.