Tomorrow is July 24th. It was January 24th that all of our lives took a drastic, extremely sudden change. It was a Wednesday. A normally mild Wednesday in January which constitues "winter" here. Scott had come home from school and went out on his roller blades for a while. Then came dinner.
Then, not long at all afterward, Scott was in the restroom vomiting. His facial bruising and swollen lymphnodes behind the ears sent us off to the Urgent Care.
In roughly an hour from dinner, Stephanie and I faced the nightmare of a doctor explaining a Complete Blood Count to us, and the fact the results of Scott's strongly suggested leukemia.
I remember her saying "I suspect leukemia".
A massive blur insued. In a bit of irony, it started raining sometime between dinner and the time we heard the word "leukemia" for the first time. That seems odd, as it almost never rains here in January. I do remember Stephanie stating, as we were driving to St. Joseph's for our first time ever, "it seems to be taking a very long time David". I agreed. It seemed 100 miles away in the rain, at night, on streets I had traveled maybe once since moving here.
The next day, we were told Scott's bone marrow aspiration confirmed the diagnosis without doubt.
Scott had cancer. While a nightmare, it wasn't a dream. It was all too real. The proverbial storm had come aground.
By that Friday Scott had been put under twice. Had a bone marrow aspiration, spinal tap with intrathecal chemo, and his port installed. We had been given the "roadmap" - 108 weeks of treatment.
A 10-year-old told he'd be at that very hospital at least once weekly for over 2 years.
I remember trying to get one of my siblings on the phone that Thursday. It was tough, as my father was being put under that very day for an angioplasty. Their cell phones wouldn't work, as they were near cardiac care. I finally got my sister, who (as expected) started filling me in on my dad's progress, as that is what she was sure I was trying to get informed on. It was, but then I had to tell her we had been at the hospital all night as well - and why.
That weekend and first week was a total blur. The next 6 months haven't been too terribly different. One visit after the next. One hospital stay after another. Big Yellow Bags. Leg shots. Blood draws. Pills. Sickness.
It is easy to think that certain parts of Scott's treatment protocal have passed, and that by default makes things easier. While we are glad those things are passed, nothing approaches easy. Oddly, just this past weekend, Scott likley had the worst weekend to date at home. It seemed just as bad as one of the Big Yellow Bag stays, but just at home. Maybe that plays a factor. There is a cumulative effect of both the medicine and the mental aspects on Scott.
So here we find ourselves - 6 months down this road. The direction is on course, but the pavement seems no smoother. I can now drive to that hospital with my eyes closed.........but the rain is still coming down.