Saturday, 12 April 2014


The isolation sign came down, the squeaky shoes went on, and it was off to the races.

The only problem is, the races aren't quite the same as they were before.

Imagine being confined to a bed for a couple weeks. You barely sit up, you feel awful and you've gained (and then lost) 30 per cent of your body mass.

Your first steps are not going to be pretty.

So it is for Dominic, who was walking around unaided prior to our latest crisis but this week is back to using his walker.

The point was driven home not by something he did, but rather a photo shared by a friend on Facebook.

Her son, who's just about the same age as Dominic and who had plenty of play dates with us before cancer happened, stands on a chair in the kitchen. Mom is right beside him, and they're doing the dishes.

He's got a full head of hair, perfect balance and enough coordination to towel off his own sippy cups.

Our son has no hair whatsoever, stumbles around like a drunk and refuses to use a sippy cup. This is called regression. It's also called daddy on a Saturday night, but that's another story.

Regression is normal if you're in the children's cancer ward. We know kids who stopped walking altogether during their bone marrow transplant recovery. Nurses say this age and potty training age are the worst for regression, so we're fighting it by getting Dom moving and doing as much as possible now that he's on the upswing.

It's still a far cry from where he was. Food is the biggest hurdle, but he's getting better every day. He chowed down on peanuts earlier this week and ate hot dog pieces one night, but yesterday all he managed was some cheezies, chips and three licks of a popsicle.

We did a baseline test before the bone marrow transplant for things like this. He put on a show, walking around and handing objects to people, communicating well with gestures and noises, though no words. We laughed at the test - of course our son is normal for his age. Except for the cancer, of course! But now it's apparent why they do the baseline.

It's looking like he might get out of the hospital in a week. He is getting better every day, but we are certain the learning curve will ramp up in a glorious way once he's out of here. It happened when he was discharged between sets of chemotherapy; this place may be safe but it's far from ideal if normal is what you're aiming for.

1 comment:

  1. How exciting that Dominic may be out of the hospital in a week. Great progress!