Sunday, 7 September 2014

The milky way

Dominic tends to sleep in these days, conserving his energy and making the most of the six or seven hours a day he's awake.

We didn't expect anything unusual when Trish heard him whimpering a bit at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

Then she entered the room.

In retrospect I should've taken a photo. She held him aloft while calling to me to quickly come to the room.

He was dripping.

His overnight feeding tube had come unclamped. There was at least a cup's worth of formula all over him, a milky slick of it in his hair, his pyjamas, blanket and bedding saturated and a small pool of it starting to form beneath his crib on the bedroom floor.

He didn't cry, but he was shaking. Barely awake, we kicked into high gear, stripping him and the bed, wiping everything in sight and starting a bath.

New dressing, new stickers to keep his NG tube in place, new caps on his broviac line - think automated car wash minus the wax. I think we even had tri-colour foam.

It's been a series of sprints leading up to his return to Calgary for five more days of chemotherapy followed by the T-cell infusion. Given he's had a cold and almost no white blood cells it's gone remarkably well. Minus Sunday morning of course.

He needed platelets again, which had us holding our breath given how awful the experience was at the Medicine Hat hospital previously. But give them credit, they took stock of the errors we experienced and this time the transfusion was a smooth one. We never doubted that the staff cared; it's largely an issue of them not having a better plan when they first dealt with him. Now he's even got a bag of supplies with his name on it at the Medicine Hat cancer clinic.

The week ended with another positive note. Earlier this summer my sister Erin participated in the Tour for Kids cycling charity event, raising money for Kids Cancer Care. While there she told Dominic's story to other cyclists, including one named Willie.

Well, Willie had bigger goals for his fundraising. Now he's riding across the country as part of the Sears National Kids Cancer Ride and has eclipsed $35,000.

Sunday night, the riders made it to Medicine Hat. We brought Dom out to meet him; a rare excursion outside the house. As usual he made more friends and hopefully helped keep their spirits high. It's a long road for all of us, and it's good to have folks like Willie on our side.'

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