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Sunday, August 10, 2008

We’re in Hunker Down Mode

We made it through chemo officially on Thursday with a quick trip to the hospital on Friday for a blood draw to get his counts and see how his electrolytes were doing to hopefully avoid a heavy backpack of fluids for the weekend. From Thursday afternoon until we got back to the hospital on Friday, we were on Liam every few minutes with a cup of Pediasure encouraging him to drink. “You don’t want a backpack, Liam, do you?” “No – I HATE backpacks!” But the way he says the word hate is almost sweet. His hate doesn’t have years of living and cynicism behind it. His hate is more of an annoyance or something that prevents him from doing something. He is getting more savy about the hospital – “Is this a quick trip or a long one?” “What are they going to do?” “Are there going to be any owies?”

We retreated to New Jersey for the weekend and watched Liam emerge from what we’re now recognizing as his hospital shell. He doesn’t talk as much when he’s doing hospital time, he is still his sweet and inquisitive self but there’s something just a little bit off. The only time he emerged from his shell was on a visit to see Kristine and Pam at the CBS TV station on Thursday where he literally darted around the newsroom, studio and control room while discovering the magic of television. You never would have known on Thursday evening that he had just been tethered to an IV pole for four days receiving chemotherapy. It was at the TV station that we heard the “These cameras are great!” and squeals of delight we associate with Liam to come out. It was also troubling to me, at times, seeing him be more guarded with his interactions with people which makes me wonder if it’s a self-defense mode of his to become less engaged while he’s dealing with hospital time. He has been full of questions about why we have to go to the hospital and wants to know more about is happening, but he hasn’t asked the big question, “Is there something wrong with me?” We are still in the mode of answering every question thoroughly…but only answering the immediate question. Thank goodness it’s summer and he isn’t going from being in school to being in the hospital. I think if it was the school year and he was not able to go because he had to be at the hospital it would force more questions from him