Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pre-Radiation (take two)

I spent a good amount of time writing about today's events while The Boy took a nap, but I must have neglected to hit a button. Ergo, I have to do it all over again. No, I don't have to, but I figure that if someone would like to know what to expect in a situation like this, I'd like to be as accurate as possible with my information.

The 4:40 breakfast of a cheese omelette and pancakes was very well received. As I said, I made him an offer he couldn't refuse. He wasn't thrilled about being woken up, but I brought him right out to a plate prepared for him, with a cup of juice and his bib and hand wipes all ready. He didn't have time to protest. I changed his diaper and, since he was awake at this point, watched the 5 AM showing of Sesame Street with him. Thank goodness for Sprout.

At 5:40, when the "Elmo's World" segment began, I figured that he'd be ready to come back into bed, which he was. We stayed asleep until almost 8:00, which was nice. We woke up, got dressed, and played with Play-Doh. Then we left to head in the direction of the hospital. I got my breakfast at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru, and we arrived at the hospital around the same time as Grandpa.

Thank goodness for Grandpa.

The Boy did quite a bit of walking while holding our hands, although we picked him up for the snowy/icy parts. He walked quite a bit more with us inside the building. I checked into Short Stay while Grandpa hung out with The Boy. He showed Grandpa the fish. He also demonstrated how well he participates in the reading of Pat the Bunny. His favorite page? Peek-A-Boo with Paul. New trick: during the part in "Judy's Book" where it says "shh--bunny is sleeping" he has begun to say "sshhh" too. Just like when we read Goodnight Moon and he calls the book "hush" which is said at the appropriate places as well.

I was expecting The Boy to be less happy than he was after having not eaten for hours, but he really was fine. I think that some of it is our perceptions from the first few times he has required sedation, when he was still an infant who nursed 'round the clock. Even when he was nursing as he got a little older, it became easier although sometimes I needed to be elsewhere for awhile.

One of the nurses from the treatment center came to access his port. The saline went in just fine, but the blood just didn't want to come out. They needed blood for the CBC, so she had to do an additional blood draw, from his arm. I didn't mind it as much because I know that she is great at blood draws and can find a vein without poking repeatedly or causing any more pain than is necessary, but it was still less fun.

We didn't wait too long to be taken down to Radiation Oncology. It was a long trip though. When we got there, we had to wait a little while for the anesthesiologist, but the doctor, nurse, and the radiation techs were SO very sweet and were quite taken with The Boy. They found him to be very cute and charming...

...and I feel a little better about this process because they really seem like they've taken an interest in him and will take that much more care of him. Of course I'd hope that they'd be as sweet and kind to every patient that walks/rolls through there. You almost have to.

Today's procedure was a CT scan without contrast for purposes of mapping out the treatment. They also made a mold of his body so that he'd be in the exact same position every time. Musical Daddy wants me to ask if we can keep it after he is done with radiation. I doubt that they'd need it again, so I don't see why not. Grandpa still has the cast from his radiation treatments. It hangs in the garage. I thought it was some sort of sporting equipment.

We were in the room and he was in my arms when he was given 2 mL of the sedation drug. He conked out right then and was moved onto the CT table. Grandpa and I were then escorted outside to wait.

Note to self: do not leave anything, especially shoes, in Short Stay. It is too far. Just put stuff on the bed that comes with us anyway.

We probably waited for 20 minutes for the procedure. We went back into the room and I joined The Boy back on the bed/stretcher. He was still out. He took awhile to wake up; they theorized that he had drifted into a nap of his own even though the drugs wore off.

We waited around. He woke up and was back to himself within a minute or two. We returned to Short Stay and waited and waited. There was a question about the port, whether anyone needed to check it since there was no blood return. They elected not to worry about it. I took out the port needle myself, as I was trained to do so. Eventually, we were on our way.

It wasn't that bad, really. Tomorrow will be a similar amount of time, although this time The Boy's last call for food is 8:00, and he has to miss lunch. That will NOT be fun. Musical Daddy suggested that we drop by school at some point, and I think I'll take him up on it. Anything to get The Boy away from thinking about food!

After that it should be easier--just REALLY early. Probably on Friday we'll follow the treatment with a nice diner breakfast. Or, for that matter, a nice hospital cafeteria breakfast. I know that they have some good eggs and corned beef hash.

My sisters are coming to visit this weekend. Actually, one is on spring break and will be here for longer than the weekend. The other has to go to work so...

Also, Saturday morning is a pancake breakfast in Westfield. The Boy simply MUST go to this. I've heard that he loves pancakes.

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