Scott & Sunny

Scott & Sunny

Monday, April 2, 2007

Down to .35

Blood meth level down to 0.35. Hoping to spring Scott from the hospital at some point during tomorrow. Hoping really hard this happens. His next bloodwork is due at about 1 a.m., so we'll see what that offers.

He's really getting depressed during this stay. He is just not happy with spending so many nights on the ward. I can't blame him. Tonight will be his 25th night in the hospital. 25 out of the last 68 days. No one can blame him. His mouth sores are still causing pain. His blood pressure has been elevated for the last 24 hours, but finally eased when they checked it about 8 tonight. Mostly caused by the stress of the whole ordeal piling up on him. At times he's laying in bed, nothing said and you turn and look and there are tears streaming down his face.

Chemo is relentless. It is designed to kill cancerous cells, yet knows not the difference from the cancer cell and similar healthy cells. It takes heavy tolls on Scott. It takes heavy tolls on all these kids here. The disease takes it toll on patients and family. It is relentless. A mere 17-year-old boy that fought Hodgkins for 6 years starting at age 10 picked up his dog 4 weeks ago and felt something in his back. Tonight, he's a few doors down from Scott, having been flat of his back for 4 weeks now after surgery to remove tumors along his spine. Still leaves the two in his brain. I've spent a good deal of time talking with his dad, and he says the same quiet tears come on his son at any given moment.

Or the two teen girls admitted and diagnosed the same night as Scott. All three patients and families just getting to learn what it all means. Or a little baby girl about 2 - who seemingly has other things happening than just a disease and shows up in a playpen by the nurses with two black eyes, yet laughing and smiling at every person that walks by - but none are her parents. Or the kid that has been on treatment for over a year or more - kicking a soft soccer ball around in the hall with his sister, yet gets admitted because he spiked a fever.

Everything in the patient's life changes. Not of choice. Not planned. No preparation time. No experience or handbook. The parents and families - no different from the patient. Something totally new that effects every aspect of your life. The importance factor on virtually all things other than making sure everything is done for your kid - get very, very close to "that of zero importance" quickly. Things that used to light your fuse or inspire you with work or entertainment become of little interest.

And you search for bright spots, or "good" things. Like the 17-year-old's dad today. I saw him as Derry and I were leaving. We talked and he mentioned that Stephanie actually made his son smile today, which has become very rare. All because they were talking and his son said he liked Stephanie's accent, she replied that "she's no longer has an accent", and the kid smiled and laughed a bit. That's the kind of things you have to chalk up for "good" things when dealing with this horrid disease. Something so simple that in normal life would just be laughed away and not thought of again- yet this boy's father really noticed it. Just because he saw a smile on his child. And it was important enough for him to recount to me much later in the day.

Scott's diagnosed with "treatable" cancer. They tell you that is a great plus. "At least it's treatable" is a phrase used a lot. Everyone we've seen on that ward would certainly never be heard using that phrase. Treatable? Yes. But the treatment is brutal. It is cumulative. It is very, very hard on the body and mind of the person being treated, and everyone around them.

Crossing our fingers for a release tomorrow.

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