Bad news. Good news. Hope. Then crushed. All in the span of two hours.
Even before Dominic's MRI yesterday there were signs. His white blood cell count rose dramatically - and so did the count of leukemic blast cells. Even though he continues to get an oral chemotherapy (in addition to the new one this week), it was never designed to last. Only to prolong.
The doctor came out from getting a sample of Dom's bone marrow with a heavy look on his face. He had to poke around three times before getting barely enough. The theory? The bone marrow is so full of cancerous cells there's not much else to find.
This is what the beginning of the end looks like. Again.
But we've always been proven wrong, you say. And there, again, was hope. The MRI, completely at odds with anything they expected, shows a dramatic lessening of tumours and swelling. Miraculous, even.
At 2:30 p.m. our doctor came to talk. He said because of the reduction in brain tumours, we might be able to consider changing Dom from a palliative patient to one we might try to cure again.
And in the same meeting he said the initial results from his bone marrow showed 90 per cent cancerous cells. It was about seven per cent in March, the last time Dom had a biopsy.
A second bone marrow transplant was mentioned. There was no great chance it would work in the end, but then doctors thought there was no chance he'd still be here eight months after they said they'd run out of options.
We walked back to Rotary Flames House. On the way we ran in to the Reverend. We talked about what it meant to decide whether to go ahead with this, especially the aspect of more radiation and how that might affect his quality of life. Was it worth it?
At Flames House we met with Sarah from the Children's Wish Foundation. The same foundation that wouldn't consider him in December because he wasn't three years old is now making an exception to its rules and giving him a trip. To Florida. Disneyworld. And a place called Give Kids the World that was built just for wish kids.
She left and our doctor came back.
His tone was sombre.
There's cancer in his spinal fluid. Apparently he'd hoped the 90 per cent bone marrow number was a mistake, that it had been contaminated with other blood as he'd poked around getting it. But the spinal fluid was at 86 per cent. No faking that.
Just as soon as the second bone marrow transplant was mentioned, it was back off the table. And now that fast track to Florida might need to happen this month. Because there might not be a next month.
It's quiet here at night at Flames House. Unsettlingly so. He's in one room, then a massive door. I'm in the next room, in a recliner, fridge and microwave ahead of me, couch across the way. Then another door. Trish is in the bedroom, trying to get to sleep.
It's supposed to be relaxing and nice. After a day like today, it feels like a tomb.