Good evening to those of you on the west coast and Australia... Good morning to those of you in the UK and Europe....
Tuesday is chemo number four. We go in at 1:30 p.m.–think super positive thoughts at that time! We need it! Tomorrow, he receives two different chemo drugs–one that he gets every third week only. That is the one that has gnarly side effects like nausea and vomiting.
After tomorow, it's just two more weeks to go until Pablo's next scan (26 June), and three weeks til his surgery (2 July). We'll be meeting with the surgeon, Dr. Stein, soon, to get into the details of the surgery. It's not as simple as "we're going in to remove the tumors." There are many variables in how they remove the tumors, and if they remove the most affected kidney. The research and planning around this is starting to get more of Jo Ann's focus. We are starting to talk more about it at home. We're ironing out the differences in our views on what approach is best for Pablo. When we go to Stein (a/k/a McDreamy), it will be with a singular point of view.
No matter what Jo Ann and I decide, there will be a surgery on 2 July, and we will be spending Fourth of July weekend in Childrens Hospital. Should be fun. Our last stay there was, as far as these things go, pretty easy. The post-surgery stay should be even better, cos we'll have time to pack all the right stuff for the hotelspital room. At this point, we kind of have that whole game down. And 'that whole game' is about making Pablo's every minute in the hospital as comfy, and honey as possible. The list of items to bring includes: a laptop for movies (they have wifi, so we can even download off iTunes); noise canceling headphones for when P wants to chill and shut out the noise; a couple pieces of art from Pablo's room; photos of family and friends; pillows and a blanket from his bed; his own jammies and clothes (hospital clothes = creepsville); books from P's 400+ volume library.... As you can see, we bring quite a few suitcases. It's no surprise that a few months ago, Matt Solodky, our main man at Dangerbird, got us hooked up with literally two dozen different bags and suitcases from Dakine. Surreal how that one worked out...
This entire run has not for one second stopped feeling surreal, but things are starting to settle down. The raw insanity is beginning to subside. When this is all over, what used to be normal is going to feel insane. How great will that be?
We've had a positive, bright week, filled with lots of laughter (laughing with Pablo is one of the purest moments of any day), love and light. Other than the fact that he's covered in hair all the time–hair in his mouth, on the back of his shirt, on the couch, in his hands when he wakes up, all over our bed–there are still no outward signs that Pablo is ill. And while he knows he has cancer (we told him 'some people call the bump in your tummy a tumor, some call it a bump, and some people call it cancer') he still bombs around the house like a nutty 4.98-year-old, crashing and bashing into everything in sight. I guess the difference between 'then' and 'now' is, P knows not to knock his abdomen into things.
Grady's away in Costa Rica, completely off the grid. The rule of the trip was that each kid could only bring $70. He's probably drinking an insane cup of coffee right now. We hope he remembers to spend 50 of his dollars on coffee beans for us. How evil are we?! What can I say? We're coffee junkies!
Something we'll be talking about more in the coming days is: what the hell are we gonna do about Pablo's bday party on 21 June? It's a biggie–five years old!–but it can't really last longer than an hour. First of all he can't be in the sun much longer than that. And doing it indoors puts his little compromised immune system into an enclosed environment with 20 other kids.
The one thing we know is we are GOING to have a party! We're not letting Mr. and Mrs. Tumor win this fight! We're gonna fight for our right.... OK, that's embarrassing...but I had to go there...
OK, bed time.