Our day starts early, just like any other work day. Zack must go for a double blood transfusion this morning, so he takes me to the office and then heads out to pick up his friend Chris. They arrive at 8am and by 9:30 Zack is told that he will only need blood, not the platelets as originally thought on Monday. His count came up quite a bit, the Doctors are pleased. They order the blood, tell Zack and Chris to go and grab breakfast and return for the transfusion.
I am at work, but anxious. We never know what is going to happen one visit to the next. Having never been someone that handled change well, I am surely being put to the test. Frank remains calm (or maybe it's just on the exterior for our benefit). Once I receive the call from Zack I am almost in tears. I am so relieved! I call Frank and let him know the update, he too sounds relieved. From that moment on my head is clear, I am able to focus and my bounce returns in my step.
Zack's spirits are good, he knows that his day will be short and he doesn't have to return until Monday. They told him to get plenty of rest this weekend, Monday is the full treatment. He is to arrive at 8am, they will start him on IV fluids and he will head down to Radiation. Once they are done he will go back upstairs and begin the Chemotherapy. A new routine for us all. We are not sure what to expect, but somehow at times not knowing can be a good thing. It is good to be prepared, but how can anyone really prepare for what "we" are going through? One step at a time is the ticket!
I have people ask me on a daily basis how we are doing. I know that the majority are sincere in their quest for answers, what surprises me is when some are confused and ask why I answer with a positive response. How can you say it's a good week when your son has to have four blood transfusions? My response? "because he doesn't have to have six!" It's all about the attitude! (okay I'm a smartass too!) It's about knowing that if we let any part of this "get to us" IT wins! Zack's attitude is amazing! He has his bad days, we all do, but for the most part we get up and figure out what is on the days agenda and get on with it. The "pity" look is what catches me off guard. We don't feel sorry for ourselves, the only time Zack has ever said anything was when his car caught on fire, he looked at me and said "Mom, I have NEVER asked this, but today I kind of feel like, Why me?" My response is and has always been, shit happens (yes I use those words with my kid, why not, he hears it out there in the real world all day long), it's how we react to what happens that can turn a bad situation into a good situation. Even with this diagnosis, he has touched so many lives, helped so many people just with his attitude. Since this diagnosis we appreciate our time together more, we appreciate kind words from friends , little notes from family members, we even appreciate a good argument every now and then to remind us we are not fragile, we are strong and can take whatever is thrown our way. (NOT that we are asking for anything else!)
So the next time you ask someone how they are, first make sure you really want to know the answer and second if they respond in a positive manner, just go with it! One thing we have learned from our journey so far is, we have stopped trying to put on a strong front, if we are good, we tell you, if not, it's okay to say we need encouragement. Thanks for caring enough to ask, loving us enough to accept whatever the answer is and not judging us for our missteps (or swearing!)
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