Thursday, August 31, 2006

I vant to suck your blood

Well, we've made it through another long day. Not a bad one, mind you, just long.

Got to the hospital early this morning for blood work and a visit with Dr. Wolff. It was apparently a rough morning at the doc's office for a lot of children today. It is so heartbreaking to see these scared kids and their equally terrified parents holding on to them for dear life as they get blood drawn, their temperature and blood pressure taken, and so forth.

Sahara and a few others who are used to the drills don't even flinch, and quietly watched the ones who were coming unglued. It's like an unspoken code between the "experienced" ones. They know the fear, some just handle it better than others.

Sahara is not bothered at all by any of the procedures. She gives blood to the smiling vampires and never complains. It is a screenplay of tragedy, and the nurses are the stage coordinators who keep things moving, despite the wails and the tears of the frightened ones.

But once the crying ends, the kids move out of the treatment rooms and back into the safety of the cheery waiting room, back to the play area, back to the books and magazines and toys. There are enough distractions to get the kids' minds off of what just took place, and the parents are given respite to regain their composure once again.

Had to wait for a room to open up on the floor, but we were placed in one right at noon. Sahara had lunch and took a short nap, then at 3:30 it was off to radiation for her first treatment. I think the staff was really surprised that she didn't require sedation to have the treatment. They asked us several times over the course of the day, "Are you SURE she doesn't need the sedation???"

Sedation, schlemation. She handled it like a pro. She has this mask that must be worn while she's getting's plastic mesh that was custom-fit to her face on Monday. Once it's on and snapped into place on the table, there's no moving. She didn't bat an eye when they put it on. Gave us the thumbs-up sign and we knew all was well. The mask is rather eerie...looks like something from "The Matrix."

The treatment, plus a few x-rays, lasted a total of about 25 minutes. Not bad at all. She was smiling when we went to get her and take her back to the room. She's been hanging out and watching the Disney channel ever since!

Chemo isn't going to begin until 11 pm this evening. We thought it was going to take place before radiation. I guess that's what happens when we think too much and try to actually fool ourselves into believing we know what is going on.

The one constant thing around here is change. Sometimes it works in your favor and you get an early appointment instead of a late one. Sometimes you get lucky and your appointments run concurrently, rather than one in the early morning and another in the late afternoon. Sometimes you get an unexpected day off! And then, there are the days when you think (there we go, THINKING again) you have NO appointments and you end up spending seven hours at the hospital.

I'm excited to announce that I will get to come home for a few days in September!!! Our dear friends inTennessee, Jim and Linda Glover, generously donated enough Northwest Airlines miles to give me a roundtrip. I am looking so forward to getting back to work for a while, seeing some of our wonderful friends and family, going to El Torero for lunch and eating entirely too much, watching SoapNet at night and napping on the couch with my cats!!! Wooo hoooo!!!

It is going to be very, VERY hard to leave Sahara, though. We have been together non-stop since all of this started. But Shannon will be here and I know he'll be Super Dad as always. :)

A note to the folks in Cape and all parts near and far...the incredible Bill & Angie Tegel and Alison Morningstar are organizing a big benefit and silent auction to be held on October 14 in Cape...more details to come!!!

Rumor has it that a certain special girl is going to try really hard to make an appearance... hmmmmm... :)

Have a good night, everyone.

Love to you all,