Diaper changes in the middle of the night? Yawn.
Changing the sticker that keeps your NG tube in place? Crying about that was so last week.
Another potentially deadly infection because any infection is deadly when you've got low blood counts? Pass me a tissue.
We came back to Calgary this week as a semi-planned vacation, but he's wound up back in the Alberta Children's Hospital. He dealt with a runny nose the previous week and spiked a fever Monday morning, which combined meant instant isolation on Unit 1 and all sorts of tests.
After the platelet conundrum in Medicine Hat last week we were just glad to be here. This is where things are most comfortable because we know the routine, the people and they know us. If anything is wrong we know it'll be dealt with quickly and properly.
It took a day to get the first answer to what's troubling him now (other than leukemia). After a ridiculously gross diaper prompted a nurse to send in a sample, the test came back positive for something called C. difficile - a bug that causes problems in your gut. It's a surprise he hadn't had it before because it typically occurs as a side effect of having too many antibiotics in your system, basically screwing up the delicate balance of organisms in your intestines.
All you really need to know is wow, is that stinky.
It's more dangerous for Dom because his white blood cell count is just about zero. Even more drugs are the answer in this case, but he doesn't mind. He takes his meds like a champ, happily removing his soother and opening his mouth for the oral ones and putting his hands behind his head and crossing his legs when a nurse needs to access his broviac line and give him others intravenously.
He may need more platelets and red blood this week, but he's never (knock on wood) had bad reactions to blood products. If all goes well he could be out of the hospital around the time we had planned to be back in Medicine Hat anyhow. We'd like to have another week there before his second round of chemotherapy and the DLI (T-cell infusion intended to create GVHD). I'd like to avoid taking a bus back home; we drove as a family from Medicine Hat for the first time since his diagnosis last September which means no second car for me if he and Trish need to stay in Calgary.
Among the many reasons to be in Calgary this week was to see family. During a visit with relatives from Ontario, who took time out of their planned vacation to Kelowna so they could see Dominic, we were eating Chinese food. After trying some noodles - a sign his appetite isn't gone for good - he reached for a fortune cookie.
"Your energy returns and you get things done," read the note inside. "3, 13, 14, 19, 36, 40."
He downed the cookie and then another. He seems intent on making that fortune a reality.