Let the chemo begin...We have survived day one with day two well underway.
Ok, so..."survived" is a bit melodramatic...
Colby received his pre-meds, chemo drugs, threw up and was pumped with more anti-nausea drugs. He then proceeded to sleep the next twenty hours and woke up this morning asking what day it was. That, my friends, was a pretty successful first day. (The adovan makes him loopy but every time the nurse administers it, he declares his undying love to me..."I love you." I might be considering smuggling it home for the rest of the crumbsnatchers.)
One thing that is glaringly obvious is that Duke is not Mass General, Durham is not Boston. My city slicking has come to an abrupt halt as we are stuck in the hospital in the 'burbs with not a lot of trouble to find. But the nurses are still cute and bubbly and fun to talk to in between watching endless loops of "Deflategate" on Sports Center.
We've started a morning ritual...he picks a number from 1-150 and then we read that Psalms together as our morning devotion. Today, we turned off the television and just listened to worship music when he started feeling nauseous. Sometimes, quietness is the best medicine.
Colby continues to deal with nauseousness if he doesn't eat every few hours. The night before he was admitted, someone decided it would be a good idea to have sushi...yeah, no. Colby had to leave the restaurant because the smell made him nauseous. So we hustled around to the restaurant next door that served pizza hoping to get some bread into him before he tossed his cookies. He refused to go inside and wanted to stay out in the fresh air. Before I could come back with "garlic bread minus the garlic and salt, just toasted with a little bit of butter, please"...he tossed his cookies on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. A little mortified because, I mean, people are walking in to eat...I ran to the bathroom to fill a cup with soapy water to wash off the sidewalk and made Colby stand in front of the tree so he could complete his projectile vomiting away from the door.
In his usual manner as of late, Colby began to apologize, "I'm so sorry I ruined your dinner." And in my usual manner as of late, I replied, "Don't apologize. Stop apologizing. It is okay." And then we just kind of sat quietly as he chewed on the bread. And then God showed up...a guy zipped past us in a wheelchair heading into the pizza place. I jumped up to open the door for him and he thanked me.
We all have our own burden to bear, yes?
And so now, we sit and watch the drugs drip into his system. The little bit of peach fuzz that had begun to grow on top of his head will soon be gone again--along with his eyebrows and beautiful eyelashes. A small price to pay though for us to rid his body of rogue cancer cells.
Mr. White and I kind of realize the stress of "going through" is not really appreciated until one is on the other side of the mountain. Six weeks of radiation, traveling, making sure everyone was taken care of and schedules known was exhausting. We did not realize it until we had our two weeks of Christmas vacation to do absolutely nothing (I think I brushed my teeth twice and showered once..I kid...kind of...) But that is what you do as a parent...you just do...until you can't do anymore all the time realizing your best will never compare to His best.
I think one of the hardest parts has been the mental. Knowing when to push Colby and when to allow grace. He has his moments that we have to decipher if it is the cancer or the typical thirteen year old adolescent acting out. Tough love is tough, y'all. Sometimes he needs to be reminded that he is not the only one who has cancer...we all have it, we are all going through it with him, we are all suffering and sacrificing to join him in the fight and yes, absolutely, it is not fair. But God doesn't call us to judge the fairness of the situation, just to trust Him. He controls it. He will use it to prune us. And only He will get the glory for whatever the outcome.
(If you are praying peeps, we continue to covet your prayers. Colby's oncologist is allowing him to come to Duke for chemo treatment and receive follow-up care in Charlotte (only the second patient he has allowed to do this). So he will cycle between Duke for a week and then three weeks at home until the end of April. But if there are any problems, he will require Colby to stay at Duke for the entire four months of treatment. We are praying that there are no complications so we don't have to be here the entire time.)