We finished chemo today. Thankfully it is over and didn’t cause any adverse reactions just yet. Gavin was still feeling pretty spritely and was up early and ready to party when I arrived at the hospital at 7:00 with coffees and cinnamon buns. He and I went out to the family lounge to have a little space to play while we still can. We were not permitted to leave the ward but could at least spread out a bit in there.
Despite everything that’s going on, we managed to have a pretty good day together. Most likely because I had loads of help today, and days when the support team is there are so much more handleable than not. I may have mentioned before that we are allowed one “alternate care-giver” and that is my mother. Bubby arrived at around 9:30 and Gavin and I had been playing in the lounge since 7:30, right after he had his first bath of the day. It’s actually kind of a novelty for him to get an actual bath, as we are lazy at home and often give him a sponge-bath rather than swaddle him in plastic wrap for a proper one. He was pretty happy to have a dunk in the little stainless steel tub and play with ducky. We then took ourselves to the lounge and played with his new favourite toys, a barn and a sheep, which he has called Tasha after a character on the Backyardigans. Our play stories today revolved around building a book-case, Tasha trying to sleep and getting annoyed by birds, and Tasha having a dirty diaper and needing a change. Gavin is also very close to properly singing “Baa, baa, black sheep,” which I love, as most of the songs he sings are pretty hard to understand. (For everyone else.)
Once we saw Bubby arriving from the elevators, Gavin was dancing with excitement, making me mentally send thanks to all the powers that be that my mother is able to come and spend time with us almost every day. Beanie adores his Bubby, and the feeling is mutual. Ever since Gavin was born, the two of them have been the best of friends, to the point that Gavin still shoves me away when he thinks I’m getting ready to ruin The Bean and Bubby Show with some ill-timed mum thing like a fresh diaper, meds, or offer of a drink. “No, go away!” is reserved for these situations. Today we had a little gathering in the lounge with Auntie and Uncle Adam there playing with us, leaving me free to chat with the Child Life specialists (the first I’ve met since Gavin became an oncology patient, how bad is that?) and discuss the “activities” available whilst in isolation. From what I gather they mostly consist of tuning in to storytime on a certain TV channel. Great. They did give me some Play-Doh though.
We ran chemo at around 10:30, had a chat with a doctor, had lunch, played games and then spent two hours trying to get Gavin to sleep. I lay in bed with him for about an hour trying to send soothing vibes, then Bubby spent an hour lying in bed with him singing “No more monkeys jumping on the bed!” over and over. (and over) I curled up on the parent “bed” and tried to nap but was constantly interrupted by various health professionals, IV beeps and a flying monkey.
Eventually, we gave up on naptime and opted for bathtime instead. We all then went back out to the lounge to play some more as Gavin was still bouncing off the walls and his chemo was finished. So we are happy to have the actual administration of the drugs be over, but we have yet to see the toll they’ll take on him. One of the drugs severely affects hearing, and so we expect some hearing loss at some point, we just don’t know how much. I’m still holding out for NONE, but that may be wishful thinking. Both of the drugs he received also cause bad nausea, sometimes quite delayed.
So far, Gavin has been fine, apart from a few odd moments here and there. I’m praying for a good sleep for both Gavin and Daddy tonight. Of course, we won’t see the worst effects of the chemo for a few days yet, and have one more day of being allowed out before we get locked in the isolation chamber for two weeks or so. Ugh. I already feel like a caged bird and this is only the third day! And I get to leave.
I’m just grateful that he was still able to eat a bit and tolerate his feeds today, and play happily. I pray that he will be the miracle child who travels through the valley and emerges out the other side, unscathed but not unscarred.
Thank you to everyone who has sent me a message, read the blog, thought of us. We are in your debt and I am most profoundly thankful.