Friday, October 14, 2011

One More Week in the Books

Where has the week gone? Oh, yeah. It was sucked up in the hospital. Just like last week too!

William endured 5 days of chemo, finishing around midnight on Monday. He tolerated it well and managed to eat throughout the ordeal. However, his sense of smell was affected. Oh, the hospital food that was wasn't tragic. William managed to request Splash Cafe clam chowder (our favorite in Pismo Beach) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every day. Luckily, we came armed with a bunch of it in frozen packages, imported this summer from wonderful family members! McDonald's was the other appetite beneficiary. Sometimes I'm amazed at the things to which I stoop for cancer!

The chest tube became the next hurdle to cross. The rate of fluid drainage kept the tube in until Wednesday and an air pocket in his chest kept him in for another day. And a blood transfusion made him discharged late on Thursday. During these extra days, I learned more about the hierarchy of narcotics. William and Dilaudid became fast friends. After many doses of morphine, William seemed to still be suffering from unnecessary pain from the tube. Enter Dilaudid. It was awesome. William relaxed in a number of minutes and with a sappy look on his face said, "Mommy, I love you. And I really like medicine that makes me feel giggly."

Re-entry into life at home was stressful. Shortly after arriving home, the vomiting began. And the boys were whiny and needy. Can you blame them? Ryan and I felt stretched too thin, but that's parenthood, right? Everyone needed some serious TLC and Ryan and I needed some serious sleep and patience replenishing. The boys eventually got to bed, although Clark was a hold out until 11pm. William began to have some anxiety, often a sign of low oxygen levels. I worked on calming him down and called the doctor, but he eventually went to sleep and so did we.

This morning was crazy. I whisked 4 boys off to the pediatrician for 8:15 am flu shots while Ryan hit the donut shop since my sweet Clark has patiently waited for 2 weeks to take treats to his class for his birthday. Buying donuts is not my typical birthday treat. I'm a "make a batch of homemade cookies" type of mom. But Clark needed something a little bigger to feel special. Then I stopped at the office to buy hot lunch for all the boys because making lunches fell off my "to do" list too.

William's anxiety and labored breathing continued this morning. He also seemed quite pale, so I called the doctor. Again. After discussing it with the the surgeon, we returned to the hospital for a chest x-ray and I asked if I could draw labs for another CBC because I was suspicious. He agreed. We drove to the hospital, conducted business and headed home to wait for results and to get ready for a family picture.

Yes, I crammed in a family picture. I really wanted a family picture before the cycle of baldness. And the picture in front of the Disneyland flowers at the main gate does not count! Family pictures are a unique form of torture. And tonight was no exception. William was pale as a ghost, with barely enough energy to sit up. Wait, who am I kidding? He didn't even have than much energy because we had to hold him up most of the time and he laid back on the grass between groupings. The boys only wanted to run wild, do bunny ears, and do the opposite of whatever they were asked. And it was hot and muggy. Thanks to a great friend who was so patient and great to fit us in last minute!

After the picture, we wiped the sweat off our foreheads and charged home to get Ryan and the boys off to Camp Okizu. Camp what? Camp /oh-ki (like hi)-zoo/ is a camp dedicated to supporting families who have a child with cancer. During the year they have week-long oncology camps just for kids who have or have had cancer, SIBS camps just for siblings, and weekend camps for families. There are also camps dedicated to bereavement and teens or older patients and their families. The word on the street, or at least within the walls of the northern California pediatric oncology world, it is fantastic and run purely by volunteers and donations. This weekend we had hoped to attend as a family. Instead, William and I headed to the hospital for another CBC, chest x-ray, and transfusion. Perhaps we'll still make it up there on Saturday if we make it home from the hospital in the wee morning hours of Saturday, but more importantly, I hope Ryan and the boys have a great time.

May Sunday be a day of peace and rest.


  1. Julie you are awesome!!! You guys are doing such a great job with all the kids. My wish for you is a LONG Sunday nap. Girlfriend, you deserve it! Glad William made it home.

  2. heres to a day of peace and rest! hope ryan and the boys had fun at camp! corrine

  3. I hope you get even an hour of peace and rest, from the sounds of your schedule. Hang in there everyone. Mom and Dad are fasting and praying for you all today. Hugs (and naps) to everyone.