Michael is still pretty tired. Last night, he laid on the living room floor and fell asleep within seconds. And he had a terrible time waking up this morning. In fact, he slept an hour later than usual and had a terrible time getting going.
His spirits were better when he got off the school bus this afternoon - that is until I told him that we had to go to the hospital lab to have his blood checked to see if his counts had come up enough so he can have chemo tomorrow. He had made plans with the little boy across the street and was sad that he couldn't play with him after school. He also didn't like that he had to get his blood drawn.
Dr. Kennedy had written an order for Michael to have a finger stick because we thought that would be the least traumatic but he didn't take that well. The last time he had a finger stick, it was by a new nurse and she really hurt him and he remembered. So, even before we got in the car, Michael started crying and begging me not to take him.
He asked me if he could tell me something and I told him he could tell me anything. He told me he didn't know if he could be brave anymore. That he wished that his nose had never felt funny. Or that he had never had a bad thing in his head. And that he was sorry that he had to have brain surgery. Because if none of those things had happened he wouldn't have to have treatments now. And if he didn't have to have treatments, he wouldn't have to get needles all the time and he wouldn't miss fun things at school. And that when the other kids were at school having fun, he could be there too.
You see - they seem to have all of the fun days at school on Friday. And tomorrow is the school's Annual Family Fun Day. That is where all of the kids get to go outside for the afternoon. They have a cookout and play games all afternoon. There are relay races, tug of wars and a host of other fun activities. The parents are invited to come to school and cheer on their little athletes. The teachers have been getting the kids excited about it all week and Michael is heartbroken that he has to miss it.
So I listened to his little broken heart. And I hugged him. And with every tear I brushed away, my own heart broke a little more. Then I told him I understood how he felt.
But I wanted to tell him that I wish his nose had never felt funny. Or that he had never had a bad thing in his head. And that I was sorry that he had had to have brain surgery. Because if none of those things had happened, he wouldn't have to have treatments now. And if he didn't have to have treatments now, he wouldn't have to have needles and he wouldn't have to miss the fun things at school. And that when the other kids were at school having fun, he could be there too.
But I couldn't tell him any of those things so I told him he didn't have to be brave if he didn't want to. And I told him that I would be with him whenever he needed me. And that he could tell me anything I would listen and understand.
By the time we got to the hospital, brave little Michael was back. We had to walk past the Emergency room entrance to get to the lab and he chattered about hurting his port, and cutting his finger, and his knee losing the fight with the rock.
"Remember Mama?" he asked.
"I will never forget little buddy" I answered.
He held my hand into the hospital and pushed the buttons on the elevator. And when the nurse called his name, he went right behind her and got up in the chair. He showed her which finger he wanted her to use so that it wouldn't hurt when he wore his baseball glove. And the nurse didn't hurt him very much.
Afterwards, I took my brave little boy out for dinner and we went to t-ball practice. Then we worked in the gardens until Daddy got home from work. He is now sleeping peacefully in his bed. His emotions are once again under control and he is ready to face tomorrow. Dr. Kennedy will call in the morning to let us know if Michael's counts are good enough for chemo. I will keep you updated. Please keep Michael in your thoughts and prayers, JoAnne