First, the good news. We're home. Dominic's counts rose enough Thursday morning that he was able to be discharged. It was exactly what we hoped for.
It also came on a day that began at 7 a.m. with another trip to the Tom Baker Cancer Centre at Foothills Hospital. They had to take a mold of his face to create a mask that he'll wear next week when he receives radiation to his head.
Later in the day we met with doctors who will monitor his brain development just in case there are any side effects from the radiation and chemotherapy. They relieved some of our concerns by noting that brain problems don't generally occur until you get to 3,000 units of radiation — he'll receive a total of 1,200 now. And he has developed normally so far, which is a great sign. Walking towards them while clapping with two wooden puzzle pieces he was holding was a fairly circus-like demonstration. Next time I want him juggling them.
We'd have left Calgary earlier but first wanted to fulfill our commitment with the Caring for Kids Radiothon on Country 105. Trish was nervous and we both choked up, but it was a wonderful experience telling our story and seeing the donations roll in for the Alberta Children's Hospital. If you missed it our friend Trevor uploaded the audio clip to YouTube and even added a bunch of photos of Dom to it. Visit http://youtu.be/YozFdAMhzYs.
So now we're here in Medicine Hat together as a family for just the third time since all of this began back in September. It was a long day - I had arrived in Calgary at 2 a.m. after driving following my shift at work and was back here after the return drive around 9 p.m. Well worth it. Trish and Dom will drive back to Calgary Sunday and will hopefully return home next weekend as well.
After that they won't be here until June at the earliest. That's because after you have a bone marrow transplant you need to stay within a half-hour drive of the hospital for at least 100 days, just in case anything goes wrong. Some patients even need to stay in hospital that whole time depending on the sort of side effects they experience.
It's a long haul but we're ready for it. It would have been nice to have two weeks, not three or four days, but we'll take any time here we can get.