Happy birthday. You say it so many times that it tends to lose some of its meaning.
Today is truly the happiest birthday we could imagine.
Does that not make sense? It shouldn't. Our son has cancer and the statistics say he's got a 30 or 40 per cent chance of dying from it. But screw cancer. We're beating it.
Dominic shows us how every day. He wakes up, he smiles. He eats, he smiles. He moves his walker through the hallways. And smiles.
This morning we woke up to the news that his blood counts are better than expected. For the first time since we got here he actually has neutrophils - a type of white blood cell which fights infections.
All of his numbers rose. So we were hopeful to get confirmation on a day pass for his birthday on the 12th.
The team of doctors took our hopes even higher.
They said we might get discharged on his birthday and leave the hospital for Thanksgiving weekend instead.
We had never dreamed of it. And in some ways we'd actually prefer to stay, as we wouldn't go to our real home in Medicine Hat but instead grandma's place in Calgary. We'll be really thrilled when the discharge happens at the end of treatment in six months or so.
So here we are, about to celebrate his birthday and possibly pack up this room. Even if we do he's got an MRI and bone marrow biopsy on Tuesday and could start the next round of chemotherapy right away.
But knowing his body is starting to make the blood cells that he needs again is an important milestone. It screams progress. And it's another reason to smile.
There were other reasons to smile today too. Dom played with his buddy Kai. We were given special tickets to the Stampeders game (thanks to the Alberta Children's Hospital) and went with Kai's mom while family pitched in with babysitting.
Dom got a few early presents including a Stamps jersey signed by members of the team.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. It'll sure be hard to top today.