27 to go.
This morning she ran down the hall ahead of me to see Nurse Gina, and we played with play-doh and watched a Dora video in the “proton fun center” (recovery), while we waited for her turn in the “space ship” as the staff calls it.
Cheerful, familiar staff wheel her down the hall as I walk beside her holding her hand and we get to the treatment room, which is an open space and peopled with more smiling people who know her name. She literally smiles until she falls asleep. I stand there as they put her to sleep and then walk back to the recovery room for an hour or a bit less.
Yesterday Garrick was there to wave night-night to her, but after she got done we headed to meet Bobbi (Mom) in Tifton GA to drop off Garrick. The driving was no fun for any of us but he is having a ball in Auburn and we feel much better having him off the premises until his nose clears. The truth is that every other pediatric patient we’ve met at the proton institute is at some stage of chemotherapy, and then there are the bone marrow patients, the newborn, and other children with various tubes, scars and disabilities who stay at the house. The other brain tumors getting treated are in very small children (as young as 18 mo), are more dangerous, harder to get rid of, have already taken brain function… Around here we feel like the ones who’ve escaped suffering instead of the ones in the middle of it.
Lucy did have a problem with anesthesia yesterday when she vomited before her LMA (breathing device) was out, but today they took it out earlier and gave her 2 anti-vomiting meds and she did much better. Thank you so much to all of you who knew abut this and prayed for her.
If she continued to have a vomiting problem, she would have to be re-fitted for a mask that would fit over her breathing tubes, and intubated each day, which would then delay the treatment while they did another simulation and took a couple more weeks to set up again. But she was eating cheetos within 5 minutes of waking up, and her needle got taken out for the weekend with nary a flinch.
She had a great misty afternoon grocery shopping, playing a Curious George game, and napping. She loved our swim at the local YMCA, where we got a special membership for the 6 weeks. It was her big event of the day, becuase she loves to swim but also because she can only do it on weekends with her port not accessed.
Two other highlights of the day: a double rainbow this morning as we crossed the St. John’s River, and balloons from 2 different friends (“mommy, whenever I look at that balloon it makes me happy!”).