Day 3 was another day of tremendous hope and showed just how strong our little guy is. He slept great through his first night off the ventilator and breathing just room air. As I can only imagine, I think he liked having the breathing tube out of his throat. I was a bit concerned that since they also weaned him off the sedation, he would be a little more restless or potentially even cranky, but he was cool as a fan. The chest x-ray shows the mass (tumor) next to his heart is shrinking and the no additional fluid around his lungs or heart, so the chest tube that was helping drain the fluid in between his lungs and chest wall was removed. Once again... he was cool as a fan during the removal, granted he had some drugs, but I think the intensivist thought he would give some grumblings still. Once the chest tube came out, it was time to get discharged from the congenital heart surgical unit and move to the oncology unit. I will miss the team on that unit. They did an excellent job and somehow managed to keep Elliott (not to mention William and I) calm through those difficult few days. We thought Elliott's new digs on the oncology unit would also be the best environment for our daughter, Laurel, to come for a visit to see her brother since he didn't have as many tubes and wires attached. I wish I would have gotten a photo, but they shared a special bonding moment where they waved at each other and were playing a little bit through the bars on his crib. It was very touching and makes me tear up a little just thinking about it. I explained to her in basic terms what was going on and then she quickly got distracted by the desire for candy. I gave her a mint from my purse the other day, so now she is convinced mommy carries candy in her purse. I indulged her instead with a visit to the cafeteria to pick up some gummy bears. After a little bit of playing in the play area, and reading a few books in the library, she was back to my parents house to prepare for pre-school tomorrow. I am hoping to introduce her to the child life specialist soon so she can help me let Laurel know what to expect in the coming weeks, months, and years.
Meanwhile, Elliott continues to do great. He enjoyed more snuggle time with mommy this evening and even ate a little bit of spaghetti, grilled chicken, and milk. Earlier in the afternoon, he sucked away at some of his favorite fruit and veggie pouches dropped of by one of his favorite babysitters.
I am amazed at how cool, calm and collected he has been. He has not really cried or looked uncomfortable at any point so far. He hasn't needed any pain medication and has been extremely cooperative for all the nurses and physicians. His vitals and labs are looking good and the numbers are where you would expect them, so we'll see what Day 4 has in store. He will have one more chemo drug tomorrow and then no more chemo until Day 8 (Friday), which will be the first milestone day to see how he is doing and how well his body is doing trying to get rid of the leukemia.