This afternoon, Pablo and Jo Ann checked into CHLA for a two night, three day scheduled in-patient chemo treatment. Their first stop was the Oncology Clinic, for blood labs and an exam by Dr M. P's white blood cell count is back to normal, so Dr M gave him the all-clear to receive chemo. We love this. Back on track. Our last CHLA stay started with a fever and kept us here six days. When we left here, Pablo's blood cell counts were still in the pits, so Dr M ordered a full week of rest at home, to get P's numbers back up. His guidance was spot-on. Pablo is good and strong and in GREAT spirits going into this quick block of treatment.
For dinner, Pablo had rice and chicken and a Kefir yogurt drink. On the way here, I picked up some lemon cake and a kid's hot cocoa for dessert. Lots of calories for his skinny body. He weighed in today at 17 kilos (37.4 pounds), so he can eat with impunity. For days. For weeks. Lucky him!
As I am writing this, Jo Ann is reviewing Pablo's chemo schedule with our nurse, Willow. There are a lot of details to attend to. It's not as simple as pumping chemo drugs into Pablo's port. A carefully timed dose of Benadryl is required prior to some of the chemo drugs he's getting. Doses of Zofran are always on the menu—that's the stuff that keeps the nausea in check. Jo Ann has mastered the drug drill—the ultimate dedication of motherhood. When I see her in 'executive producer' Mommy mode, I am proud to be her husband, and always feel lucky to be her partner. I always feel this way, but you know what I mean—seeing my wife live up to that 'in sickness and in health' thing is truly a gift. It's nice to know you can field a full team when the game bell goes off for Monday Night Chemo. And that's the only way Jo Ann rolls.
Pablo is getting a blood transfusion tomorrow afternoon. He will get the blood I donated last week. If he needs more blood, the friend who donated directly after me will be up at bat. If you have donated at CHLA recently, we have seen the kids who will get your blood. They are in the hallways walking with their parents. They are in the play room at the end of the hall. They are walking through the lobby, masked and bald, one hand gripping a parents' hand, the other on an I.V. pole. They are lying in the beds that line this hallway in 4 West. Many of you who have donated blood at CHLA will never see the faces of the children who might get your blood. Trust me, they are rocking it up here, and they appreciate your biological generosity.
Alright everyone: Pablo is setting up the board for the three of us to play his fave game of the moment, Race To The Roof. Gotta go. Will check in tomorrow.