Day 6, Wednesday, was a fairly low key day. Elliott did have to get a unit of blood because his hemaglobin was a bit low, but other than that, just the routine oral medication. Elliott was in good spirits for the most part, but I think he is finally starting to get tired of this routine. He fussed for the first time today when he had to take his oral medication. We have not had problems with oral medication at home, but the doses here are much stronger and probably do not taste very good, so he does not enjoy taking them. Despite him catching on to the fact that there are a bunch of people coming in the room all the time to mess with him...yucky meds, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers under his arms, etc., he smiled quite a bit today, which is always comforting. Two of my coworkers stopped by with two huge goody bags, one full of snacks for Elliott, William and I while we are here in the hospital, and one full of toys, games, clothes, and toiletries for the whole family along with two cards filled with kind words and prayers for our family. Elliott was all smiles and enjoyed a snack while they were here. It was awesome! I love my job and my whole team is superb.
William snuck away to get a check-up after not feeling all that great the past few weeks and the diagnosis, no surprise, exhaustion. They are running some bloodwork just to be sure, so we pray everything else comes back normal. Once William returned to the hospital, Elliottt received a visit from a musician who brought her guitar and gave him some musical instruments and sang several songs for him. It was so sweet and so touching that William got a bit emotional and had to step in the hallway. He was so appreciative that someone would put all their energy into helping Elliott feel better and put a smile on his face. I should pause there here to say that I know it seems that William and I are "so strong" and several people have commented that they would be in pieces if they were in our shoes. The reality is that we do have moments where our emotions get the best of us. Mine seem to be in the car the past couple days when I went home and was alone with my thoughts and had time to digest what is actually happening. The stream of tears is constant at times, but I also feel extremely blessed that this is a curable cancer and we have a team of clinicians who are going to do everything in their power to ensure Elliott is taken care of and is cured of his leukemia. I am reminded of God's faithfulness, so I can't let this bump in the road bring me down. So, yes, we may have moments where we crumble, and others may never see, but hopefully our optimism and joy will outweigh those low times. Not to mention Elliott certainly reacts based on our vibe, so we always try to keep the "cool, calm, collected" switch on for him, and for Laurel as well.
The day ended with a visit from family (my mom, sister and nephew), and William's best friend. Elliott shared several smiles with all the familiar faces. Familiar is good for him in the midst of all the new faces. Once everyone left, it was past his bedtime and he looked sleepy, but he layed down for a few minutes, then sat up and pointed to the basket of food where his snacks were. They say oral prednisone gives you a very healthy appetite, as in the desire to eat constantly, like every hour or so, so perhaps it is starting to kicki n a bit. He was wide awake and eating his snacks while pointing and talking to the tv. I thought I was in for an all night party, but looks like he is out for the night. His nurse just came to check his vitals and he barely budged. They also say oral prednisone makes you very cranky, so hopefully Mr. Cool won't get too out of hand.
Tomorrow should be pretty low key as well and will be a nice break before his next big dose of chemo on Friday along with another lumbar puncture to see how he has responded to this first week.
All the prayers, calls, texts, e-mails, and offers of support really does me a lot to us and is another source of encouragement. At this point while we are still at the hospital, there is not a whole lot of support we need right now except for continued prayers that Elliott responds well to treatment and remains healthy, and that William, Laurel and I remain healthy, as well. We know we will need support down the road, so we are working on a way to coordinate through the blog and will keep you posted.