Sammy woke up in a great mood and took his first bath like a man on a mission. He ate his breakfast of vanilla yogurt and cheerios and settled in to his 9am tutoring session. We left the room for a bit to do some homework and draw just for a change in scenery. Doc stopped by as did N. Sammy was so excited to show N that he had done the homework she assigned (creating a chart of faces that depicted all his emotional states). He was very proud that he had included his "Nauseous face" that I recommended he draw. N was trying to convince Sammy that he didn't need to turn in his homework because it wasn't due until they met tomorrow. Sammy pretty much insisted that she take it now since he was done and it was complete. He also excused her for not having her homework done since it wasn't due until tomorrow.
Just after lunch Grandma showed up. She came bearing a book and gifts from Sam's amazing second cousin from Virginia. There had been a break down in transport and it took a few extra weeks for Cousin A's gifts to arrive. Grandma showed Sam the amazing rubber band bracelet and he immediately put it on. The reason Sam has to take so many baths is that he sweats out one of his chemo treatments. We didn't want to lose the bracelets so we agreed he would wait to wear them until after this particular treatment ended. We didn't want the bracelets to become toxic and cause rashes. But they made Sam's day. He loved the colors and that Cousin A had made them for him (the mail room apologizes profusely for them getting lost in the shuffle and taking a few extra weeks to be delivered).
Just before lunch Sam took his second bath while Grandma read How to Train Your Dragon (Book 1) to Sam, Nurse D and I. We scrub-a-dub-dubbed and hopped out of the tub. Bubbe and Zayde showed up soon after that, and it was a party then. I was given a chance to hop over to the WAC for a quick work out at the gym. (Thanks for the incredible complimentary guest passes for parents at the hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Means the world to us.)
Feeling like a million bucks I returned to my Sam in the fetal position wracked with nausea and pain. We were twenty minutes away from being able to administer the nausea meds an hour early. The pain meds were oral and we had no Sprite in the room. All that equalled one really annoyed patient. Our soda machine on the floor has the worst selection EVER and when I took the elevator downstairs I found all coke products and not a single sprite to be had! I fudged with Sierra Mist which got the meds down, but he totally called me out on it and said it tasted just like the Shasta he hates (hard to fool a kid hopped up on chemo. His taste sense is out of this world at this point). CAUGHT!! At least it allowed him to swallow his oral meds and take the level 5 pain down to a manageable level 2.
So he took a late afternoon rest, trying to sleep away his nausea and pain.
And then the sun came out around 735pm (or should I say son). My glorious boy woke up with the biggest smile, and said "Good Morning. Where did my package go?" Pain managed, nausea gone, "he's back in the ring to take another swing." He opened his package (A solar powered turtle night light - so cool!)
We get him into his third bath, give him his third swish and set him up for a movie. Without the remote for the PS3 we are stuck streaming one of the new movies on my computer. We watch Here Comes the Boom and he loves seeing a movie that his older brother David hasn't seen yet. Sam asks for not one yogurt, but two and scarfs them down. The movie is surprisingly better than I thought it would be and Sam enjoys the whole thing up until he yells "Bucket Please!!" just in time. Seems the nurse rushed his flush and he felt it but good. He was still so full from the yogurts it caused him to puke. Oh well. He rinsed with a sprite. Kept his composure. Brushed his teeth and did his final swish, and a bit later, hungry again, devoured the cheerios he didn't want before. We talked about the finer points of puking and how yogurt sucks coming back up. I was so proud of him. He handled it all with such nonchalance. It just was... (heck I handled it too.)
We watched the movie to the end so that he was awake to receive his pain meds. We loved the ending of the movie. He swished for good measure after the cheerios. We got ready for bed. I tucked him in, sang Shema, and we talked a bit about writing the blog, about the day, until he quieted down.
The day was the day. The beginning of the hard parts. No laps. No hamburgers. But a day nonetheless.
We enjoyed the parts we enjoyed as much as possible. We hated the same parts we were supposed to hate for the same and different reasons. And then we met again towards the end to salvage what was left of the day and just enjoy spending time together sitting side by side while the movie distracted us.
May the night bring dreams of healing and joy. May his body fight the good fight and create the light needed to see this thing through. May we all find peace and the strength to do it all again tomorrow.
Thank you for all your prayers and the shoulders we cry on when we need them most. You are the blessings we count in our lives. Love and smiles from Sam and all of us.