Normal got thrown out nine months ago.
We used to take him to the library for story time. To a nearby centre for singing songs and meeting others. To the pool where he loved to swim and to friends' houses for play dates.
The house didn't get cleaned as often. That's not to say it was a pig sty, but toys didn't always get put away and full-scale spring cleaning consisted of an extra mop of the floors.
As we transition to being back home in Medicine Hat, it's going to take some time to find a new normal. He may be beating cancer and doing amazingly well with his bone marrow transplant, but his immune system is still nowhere near that of his peers. The vaccinations he had were wiped out over the past nine months and will have to be re-done. If he gets a fever it's off to the hospital and he's still not eating enough to stop feeding him through a tube at night.
In other words, any thought of a homecoming party will have to wait. We're barely comfortable with him being outside, much less in a public gathering.
We were told early on that he can't go to normal public places like the grocery store for six months following his bone marrow transplant. Given that Thursday is Day 100, he's still got a couple months left.
A group of friends ensured he'll be coming home to a clean, healthy home. Lorna, Arlene, Ron, Chris and Starr came Saturday and did the most thorough spring cleaning imaginable - scrubbing walls and getting on ladders to clean areas that we hadn't touched in years. I dealt with bathrooms because that just seemed way too much to ask.
Another friend, Leah, planted a garden and flowers. She's actually staying here having taken a job back in the city; her family will move later this summer once they buy a house.
The carpets were already clean. I had them professionally done by Xtreme Clean a few weeks earlier, and had to get our amazing neighbours Clarence and Marlene - who checked on the house while I wasn't here every week - to let them in.
I came back that week to a note on the dining room table: "You guys have enough to worry about. This is on me. Take care, you're being prayed for."
We feel all of the support. We are so thankful to have it. We'll be paying it back - and forward - the rest of our lives.
P.S. - There's not much to say about how Dom's doing this week. He's eating a bit better every day, wearing himself out playing and is back in hospital today for his scheduled 36-hour dose of rituximab and Day 100 check-ups. I'm just glad we got through May.