Tuesday was Elliott's clinic day. He continues to do well during the maintenance phase of chemotherapy. During this phase he receives low doses of chemo daily at home and visits the oncology clinic only once a month more intensive chemo. He can be a little irritable 2 and 3 days out from the clinic visit, but by the weekend he is usually back to his usual self and ready to play.
One of the more frustrating aspects of Elliott's treatment has been our inability to communicate with him verbally. He was diagnosed at 13 months and has never been able to tell us what hurts, when he feels sick, or when the side-effects of chemo are starting to kick in. For over a year we have over analyzed every whine and every cry in an attempt to separate out the normal toddler complaints from the childhood cancer ones. That is, up until recently. About two months ago Elliott started attending speech therapy. The results were almost immediate. He went from a very small vocabulary to short sentences in a matter of weeks. Phrases like "more milk, please," "bye-bye daddy, have a good day," and the always heart-warming "I love you" are now common. In fact, he appears to have memorized every word of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, which he recites every night at story time. He still has trouble using his words when he agitated and not feeling well, but the guessing game is always a lot easier now.