Another week down, I know that sounds weird coming from someone who doesn't like to count the days. This week was a little rough for me emotionally. Since Frank has been sick for over two weeks, we haven't been able to connect, running through the house with masks on, avoiding contact or any length of time in the same room. Add to that Zack being in the hospital and me being the only one that can stay with him. Usually I will stay the first night and then the last two or three. Even having one night at home after work is enough of a break from the rat race. But with Zack's mood being pretty good, he smiles when I walk in the room (of course it could be the food I'm bringing with me).
I share with him the news that several of the kids at his High School took it upon themselves to do a fund raiser. They were selling T-shirts, towels, ribbons all for Zack's benefit. I received a call from the Vice Principal, Lisa, and was asked to stop by and pick up the check. When I did so I was amazed at the hard work they must have done to collect what they did. The support that we continue to feel from the community is amazing and all without our prior knowledge. We are so blessed!
Zack has been in an especially good mood considering everything he has been through this week. He continues with radiation (being picked up by ambulance each day to go across the street), chemotherapy every day after that, and today a triple blood transfusion. His counts have been low for two days, so they decided it was time to give him the transfusions. Because of the radiation and chemotherapy, his counts tend to go down faster these days.
He is more nauseous than in previous visits, but the new aromatherapy (they brought him a little container with peppermint scent) and "burner" in which I place rosemary mint liquid both help with everything that makes him feel sick. Zack is also more tired, that is to be expected as well from both treatments. One thing, he points out, that is really bothering him, are his eyebrows and eyelashes. I have had several people tell me "oh, he shouldn't worry about THAT , they will grow back." To Zack, THAT is one thing that most everyone would comment on, how beautifully long his eyelashes were (all the women wanted them) and his eyebrows framed his face beautifully. This is the stage where we expected this to happen, but just like with his hair, at first it is a shock.
His face is quite pale. I tease and say he is glowing in the dark so we don't need a night light. Hey, at least I get a sarcastic smile. Tonight, as we did last night, we ate dinner and caught up with the days routine. He doesn't share much, what's there to say Mom, everything is the same. Radiation, Chemo, bad hospital food (he won't eat much breakfast and doesn't eat his lunch at all). He loves the nurses and staff though. He tells me how they are looking out for him and always making sure he is okay. The Doctor, he said comes in three to four times during the day to check up on him. Another issue this time has been his blood pressure dropping very low. This is another side effect, they fill him with fluids through his IV to make sure that he is hydrated enough and the pressure comes back up. Let me say one thing I've learned, Water.... it SO important. When your doctor, friend, anyone tells you to drink water. DRINK DRINK DRINK.... I see the physical changes in him when he is hydrated. I know we would all feel a lot better if we drank more water (well, those of us who don't drink enough... Ahem..... guilty as charged!) I know Nancy, you have been telling me this for YEARS!!! You are FINALLY vindicated. (Smile).
Once dinner is finished, we sit back and challenge each other (on our phones of course) to several games of Words with friends. It's fun to sit in the same room and try and beat the other person. We listen to "Family Guy" and "Big Bang Theory", two of Zacks favorite shows. At one point he motions for me to come and sit next to him. This is when my "little" boy is back and needs his Mama. He leans his head on my shoulder and we just sit there silent. After awhile I pat his bald head and apologize that he has to go through this. He looks at me and says "it sucks and points to his eyebrows." I am holding back the tears and am thinking about the other families that are going through their own stuff. Down the hall., there is a screaming baby right next door to us, they can't explain to him what he is going through. The family who's child has Leukemia and still has another two years of treatment. If you look around, there are people that have it better and people that have it worse than "you". We all have our shit to go through, this just happens to be ours.
I am grateful for the bonding our family and friends have done over the past six months. You accept the precious gift of new friendships, while learning to forgive and let go those that can't be there for you. The things that we have learned and witnessed are so precious, patience, understanding, perseverance, different faiths pulling together for one purpose without judging, trust and most of all letting go of what you can't control.
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