We got out of the Oncology Clinic at 5:30 p.m. After four hours in that joint, it was time to go. It was sunny, warm and pleasant outside when we left–the ideal conditions for our rambunctious little home slice. Despite the fact that he'd just been mainlined with a handful of tubes of liquid bearing WARNING labels, he was bouncing off the walls. Everyone in sight got a gash or a stab from his mini-pirate sword. We were happy to take the punishment. Seeing him happy and bouncy–the only way anyone's ever seen him before this cancer episode–was cool as hell.
The power of youth is indescribably beautiful. Anyone who's never had the pleasure of witnessing it in themselves or another, I can assure you it's very real. Many of us had tough childhoods, maybe even endured pain or fear that is not meant to be part of one's formative years. For me, the conscious contact with youth I've gotten being Pablo's papa and Grady's step-papa has awarded me with a second bite at the apple. And that second bite has actually gotten sweeter in the past 26 days. There is so much to absorb and appreciate about the human body, spirit and mind in its developmental stages. The scene around a cancer treatment clinic exacerbates this–shoves all the unimportant stuff in life (especially LA life) out of the frame. The only thing I can see when I'm up in the clinic is the serentity of children and the grace of the doctors, nurses and support staff. Somewhere in the background, us parents, supporting and loving our kids, are floating around. But the kids...it's all about them on the fifth floor of the CHLA Oncology Building. They prove countless times a day that life is about more than politics, the economy and bling. They prove that the world–LIFE–runs on love, not clocks, and not the rule of cranky adults. They live in the moment, period. A young human being doesn't care that, say, a minute ago a nurse stuck a needle in his chest. A little girl in the registration area of the clinic proved that a young human doesn't stop playing with a totally gnarly set of shiny stickers just because is undergoing cancer treatment. I could go on with so many illustrations of this that I saw just yesterday. But I have to run.
So, I will leave you with this quick note on Pablo's post-chemo hours: he had a fine time last night, with no side effects. He fell asleep easily, and is still in bed.
Tomorrow, Pablo will graduate from The Walther School with his other pre-skool friends. We're going to be there only for a brief time, and we are weighing the risks/options around him wearing a mask. His hair is going fast, but we think he'll have enough left in the morning to work with. Jo Ann will make it look OK. Thank God his hair is wild in the first place!
OK, more later...