June 2, 2017
This week is finishing up a lot better than it began. Calum had started to develop a cold last weekend and, sure enough, it took its toll on his compromised immune system, making his blood counts too low to begin our scheduled treatment on Tuesday. Though our doctors reassured us these things will inevitably happen from time to time, it was our first hiccup in his treatment and it caused a lot of anxiety. His vulnerability made us nervous, and we worried about other potential infections and how long it may continue to postpone treatments.
Luckily, we came back in today to check his blood counts which had recovered enough over the last three days to begin our treatment. I was considering ending that last sentence with an exclamation point, but it seems a misuse to express excitement over getting chemotherapy. We are very relieved, however, to get this show on the road. By June 15, barring any unplanned events, we will be done with this intense cycle.
Don’t unfasten your seatbelts though, compadres, because this freaky ride isn’t over yet. July and August will be a whole new cycle of wonders. Actually, the upcoming cycle will be less novel because we went through the same set of treatments in March and April, which Calum tolerated quite well. After the summer, our long-term maintenance will begin and continue for the remaining 2.5 years. When we get there, I will explain a little more about what that entails.
Today is a good day, and not only because it’s Friday and you can shamelessly have more drinks. The last few days were hard, and I was feeling a little weak. It’s obviously monumentally more difficult to feel strong when you don’t hear the best news, but it is all about perspective. To anyone who hasn’t dealt with something like this before we probably seem strong, and to anyone who unfortunately has, we probably sound like wimps. Our treatment delay would be the least of a lot of other families’ worries at MSK but a problem is a problem and, no matter the scale, it can feel paralyzing. The best way to get over this feeling though, no matter where you are or who you are with, is to have a dance party. Never forget that.