We got a call from Joan at the blood bank in the morning. She said that we didn't have to give Liam a "G" shot and we didn't need to come back in for another stem cell harvesting session. We needed 7 million stem cells, they collected 50. Yes, 50 million. She sounded incredulous and wasn't sure she heard the number correct herself and was thinking that maybe it was 15 million. And then she joked and said he is generating enough stem cells for 10 people.
A second call came in on Larry's cell phone. It was Dr. Kushner. The results of the CT scan showed a dramatic reduction of the tumor. He confirmed that the number of stem cells collected was, indeed, 50 million.
Exactly two months to the day into our cancer war and we have a small battle victory. His tumor is responding to the high-dose is chemo. This is good, right? I'm relieved but also afraid to be too happy because I know we still have a very long way to go. But I can't help the tears from coming when I hear the news. And what does Liam do? As soon as Larry hung up with Dr. Kushner, Liam jumped off the couch with his bag of cheese puffs, announced he wanted to rub Daddy's feet, and started to rub them with his cheese-puff-covered hands. But in order to do a really good job, he insisted on using lotion on his Daddy's feet. What is it about Liam that makes him so loving? It's as if he knows we're working really hard on his behalf and any opportunity he gets, he wants to give us a break. The rest of the day Liam spent running and pushing his dump truck around the apartment and playing with Ella. He was so happy and so alive. Several times throughout the day I saw him giving Ella hugs and kisses. It felt like we took a day off from cancer. There were no dreaded dressing changes today, no trip to the hospital, no tests, no poking/prodding, just a day to be a little boy.
I know in my head that the medicine is working. I know in my heart that the prayers, positive thoughts, blessings, healing crystals, blessed figurines, good wishes and meditations are also working. A friend is making 40 loaves of Challah bread this weekend with a group of women from her synagogue in honor of Liam. It's an old Jewish tradition that brings good health to those in need. We are honored that they would make such a commitment of time for a child whose parents aren't a member of their community. But again, it takes a community the size of New York to heal a sick child.