A diagnosis. A plan. Now all we had to do was get through the weekend before starting to kick cancer's butt.
To do that, we needed a team.
The team here at the Alberta Children's Hospital consists of an array of specialists. Oncologists, neurologists, dieticians, social workers, nurses, you name it. They all work together, meeting on weekday mornings with the families of every patient in the cancer ward. It's an incredible synergy to witness, much less be a part of, and it results in every angle of treatment and recovery being covered.
They also recognize our team, led of course by 11-month-old Dominic, us, and our extended family. In this regard we are especially lucky, as both Trish and I grew up in Calgary and our parents, a few siblings and friends still reside here. That means we get relief that other parents in our situation might not.
Saturday wasn't as easy as we'd hoped, since Dom was still dealing with the effects of fluid in his lungs from Friday the 13th's surgery. He started to puff up, his eyes barely able to open, but you could still see his spirit was there. We gave him toys; the nurses gave new medicines aimed at taking some of the fluid out of his bloated body. If things got a lot worse they might have to start chemotherapy right away, instead of the plan which was to begin Monday when the full staff of doctors was in.
Don't worry. It didn't get much worse.
On Sunday our team split up. I traveled back to Medicine Hat with my parents and sister to pack up for a much longer stay away from home than Trish and I had predicted. I naively thought we'd only be gone a week at most. Meanwhile Trish's family held down the fort in the hospital room. It proved to be his best day yet, as he sat up and played with toys and started to smile again.
It's up and down, this journey. Even before the weekend started, we decided it would be an up. So that's how we'll remember it.