This morning, Pablo and I got to CHLA shortly before 8. We found our bed, dropped our bags, and got through registration, triage and X-ray by 8:24. In our world, this is something to be excited about. By 8:45, Pablo's port was accessed, and his blood drawn and on its way to the lab somewhere in the hospital. We put his sheets from home on the bed, and turned on Jo Ann's computer so P could watch a movie. Jo Ann arrived minutes later. We were getting settled in, ready for a long day of chemo. Jo Ann asked what I'd seen on the X-ray screen (these things are all digital now). I told her it was hard to tell if there was a variance in the size on the monitor. We sat and waited for our nurse to tell us Dr Mascarenhas was ready to see Pablo.
A few minutes later, we were walking down the hallway. We were assigned to an exam room we haven't been in since the earliest of days. I had a good feeling about that. Most of the bad news we've gotten has occurred in one or two rooms at the other end of the clinic. This room, I thought, is clean. Dr M walked in. He started in his usual way—'I looked at the X-rays and...' My heart sank—I wasn't sure I was ready for the rest of that sentence. Thankfully, he didn't stop in the middle of the story. He continued on, 'and the tumor on the left side has shrunk around 50%.'
Jo Ann screamed. It was a joyous scream, I can assure you. I knelt down in front of Pablo and hugged him. He was smiling, ear to ear, but he didn't hug me back. His smile was one of 'Wow, Mommy's going crazy and she's happy.' It was cute. A minute later, it hit him. And he kept smiling.
After the smiling and screaming, Dr M went on to say that there's still a bit of fluid on the right side. The tumor isn't visible in an X-ray, due to the fluid, but a reduction in the fluid is evidence of shrinkage. We'll take it. When it comes to good news, we don't need to be precise about it. Good is good is good. F it!
One other big chunk of goodness is that P's platelets aren't quite high enough today for chemo. So we got our Tuesday back. We got to head outta there after only one hour. We got to go out into the world, into the sun and cool, fresh air, and celebrate this great news. Chemo's been rescheduled for Friday.
The first stop on the great news train was Toys R Us. The nurses had sung happy birthday to Pablo, and gave him a Captain Jack Sparrow key chain, and a Toys R Us gift card. So, naturally, P wanted to head straight there to spend it. Wise boy! He got a marshmallow blaster, a giant Playmobil set and a couple Playmobil Viking dudes. And the gift card was for $5. Good thing he was accompanied by Mommy and Nana.