photo courtesy Codio Photography - http://www.codiophotography.com/
Sometimes they can happen without reason.
Other times they require a community.
Our holiday is shaping up as a special one due to both.
After the doctors decided Dominic had cancerous tumours growing in his brain, radiation was scheduled to begin as soon as possible. Thanks to staffing issues around Christmas, it won't begin until Dec. 29. Fifteen sessions of radiation directed at his head, far more than the four last year (plus the full-body radiation he received once).
Until then, there's not much to do but keep doing tests and wait. Wednesday morning he had yet another MRI and bone marrow biopsy, which showed the tumour hasn't grown in the past couple weeks.
It also showed his blood counts are starting to recover - and so far there are no blasts of leukemia being produced. If that ever changes, everything else we're doing stops and we begin planning for the end. But remission is remission, no matter how tentative and perilous it seems.
He was on antibiotics to control a wide range of possibilities stemming from his lack of blood count production and possibility there was a fungal infection in his head. With the fungal problem ruled out and blood counts returning, the IV drugs were stopped. They've also been weaning him off of the steroids used to keep his graft versus host disease managed at a low level. He gets his last dose of those at midnight tonight.
The only drugs now are ones he can take orally.
The result? If all goes well it doesn't look like there's anything keeping him in hospital for the next week. We might be able to go home.
Medicine Hat home.
Trish and Dom haven't been there for months. Up until this week we didn't think there was any chance of being out of hospital. But in retrospect I think the team here at the Alberta Children's was working hard behind the scenes with this in mind. Being home, even for a bit, is something we all need. We're exhausted; we never thought we'd still be here 15 months later.
In the meantime friends and strangers alike continue to try their best to prop us up. A shoveled driveway. A card in the mailbox. A special delivery. A drink. Another drink.
For the most part we trudge along, one day at a time. On days like today we have the urge to sprint.
There's no finish line yet, but maybe an intermission is just as good.