Today marks Robbie’s eighth consecutive day at home. A record since January 19.
When they released him last Saturday morning, the oncologists warned him that he was likely to be back sooner than later, suffering from a fever or similar side effect. He is out to defy them and so far has managed pretty well. He still tires easy and as the week wore on, he got paler and paler. He also had one not-so-bad nose bleed Wednesday night – a reminder that he’s not better yet and anything could still happen.
He had blood work on Tuesday that showed his counts dropping but Dr. Beardsley said he was doing better than she expected. Still, he had to go back Friday and spend nearly six hours in the clinic receiving two units of red blood cells and more platelets. As they put it, they were “topping him off for the weekend.” The clinic has a child care specialist who had her ass kicked by Robbie when they played Tony Hawk on the PS2. He met NY Jets rookie Jacob Bender, watched some TV, dozed off, read Manga – almost as if he were at home.
Robbie finds the child life work intriguing, a blend of being camp counselor and educator. He’s been watching them for a while now and thinks their work could be a career option for him. He and Katie, the specialist on the seventh floor, have already had a few discussions regarding courses of study and how one prepares for the role. Similarly, he’s well into the application to spend a week or two as a volunteer at the Hole-in-the-Wall-Gang, a camp for ill children up by the University of Connecticut. Most of his residents, nurses and oncologists have been there at one time or another and rave about it. He likes the idea of being somewhere with terrific medical coverage in addition to helping out younger children with similar situations. Applications are due this week and he’s been told it’s filing fast so he has to quickly finish up.
Deb and I are cautiously allowing ourselves to plan things to do between now and the 24th. Events, meetings, people to see…and it feels good to fill the calendar without the word doctor next to the item. We’ve even spoken a bit about summer stuff, but stop ourselves, since after all, he remains ill and conditions can change.
Robbie will need to go back 1-2 times a week for blood work but won’t go back in for round three until March 24, the day after Easter. This thrills him since it means he will be around to see all his college friends as they come home for their spring break this week and then the following week Kate will be here. As far as the doctors are concerned, he is on track to complete his course of chemo by the very end of May and then we’ll see what happens.