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Ugly Doesn't Begin To Describe It
Jaymun is not doing well today. Not well at all. Yesterday he began throwing up and had a pretty bad night as well. He's dealing with a fever on top of that. And it's quite possible that the mouth sores are on their way in the near future because his throat is looking rather red. His ANC count was 750 just two days ago (hence the zoo trip) and now it's at a mere 8. If you've got a sensitive stomach, you may want to stop reading this entry. I'm about to give a little picture of what we're dealing with and it's not for the fainthearted. Consider yourself forewarned.
Since he's at the tail end of his chemo treatment, this is when all the nasty side effects start to rear their ugly heads. It's not similar to an ordinary flu situation. This is projectile vomiting at its worst. I can't even begin to explain how exhausting it is to deal with, how utterly vile this cancer is. It's taking its toll on our baby, slowly but surely. He is so brave, so very brave. I don't know how his little body can endure all these toxic drugs being pumped into him. If it was me going through what he's had to endure lately, I'm pretty sure I would give up. I can't even stand being sick from the common flu. I thought four months of really bad morning sickness was torture--that was a piece of cake compared to chemotherapy.
Yesterday and last night, he would vomit up what seemed like gallons at a time. It appears to be his stomach acid from the color. All I can do is hold him and clean him up. And myself as well, because I get soaked in the process. After I change him into the umpteenth clean outfit and get him settled a bit more comfortably, the best I can offer him is soothing words. I find myself chanting, "I love you, I love you, I love you," over and over again like some useless mantra. There is nothing else I can offer to comfort our baby. It's the epitome of helplessness. When Dave came to visit for a bit last night, after I had been dealing with the vomiting all day long, Jaymun threw up again all over himself and me. I put Jaymun in Dave's arms and I fled to the bathroom. And sobbed. Here I am, in clothes drenched from my son's vomit, in a hospital room far away from home, and there is not a thing I can change about it. Not a thing. People ask,"How do you do it? How do you handle it?" The truth is, I handle nothing-our baby is the one going through it. He's the one who has to handle it. And because I refuse to even think about leaving his side, I'm the witness to this anguish we call cancer.
I think it's important that you know the nitty gritty "behind the scenes" part of what we're going through. It's not just chemotherapy, it's unbelievable sorrow, because the shadow that hangs over it all is our fear of the unknown. There is nothing I wouldn't do to help him. But there's nothing I can do except be here. There is no going around this leukemia. We have to pull on our hip waders and slosh through it. It is messy and agonizing and cruelty to the nth degree to be here, watching and waiting for how Jaymun's story ends. I hope it has a happy ending. But if it doesn't--and I say this with tears welling up in my eyes--if it doesn't have a happy ending, then the least I can do is make sure this baby was not alone. At least he was not alone.
After he had thrown up yesterday and I got him cleaned up, I laid him down for a bit in his infant seat and I kid you not, he smiled up at me. I know it sounds too good to be true--so I took a picture to prove to everyone who reads this that the real fighters in life aren't found in the boxing ring.....the real fighters come in small packages call babies. Our Jaymun's already a champion, no matter the outcome.
Some of the nurses here wear buttons that say "Cancer Sucks". I couldn't agree more.