Today marks one month of being here at Cheo. What I thought would be a quick visit and then off to take Aiden to get Bayblades (he had not been feeling well and I thought it would be a good way to meet friends on the playground at the new school) has turned out to be much longer then expected. Encouraging enough, everyday he is growing much stronger from his surgeries. This weekend we were able to make it down to the gift shop where he got a pair of cozy slippers and a zebra stuffy (there is a story behind the stuffy). Although, I know he is still waiting to get to the “Big Toy Store” (before he lost his speech, he kept asking when are we going, when can we go to the store). I told him that we are that much closer everyday.
“Everyday you work at it, we are that much closer to getting out of here!”
It is all the small steps I am trying to take the time to appreciate and see. The “teacher”, Redg, came on Friday morning and said “WOW, not sure if you notice as much because you are here all the time but Aiden’s ability to follow around the room has dramatically improved!” And after he said it, I saw Aiden was following perfect with his eyes when someone would talk or come into room. Such sudden changes. Just as I said in the first post his face had changed somehow, I see it is changing again.
I am not sure if our families knew ahead that today marked one month (I did not, I had stopped count right after his second surgery) but it seemed everyone decided to visit today; and it was GREAT! As first when the room filled with Josh’s parents, brother, his friend, and aunt Elli and I knew my mom was coming too I could feel anxiety building (I get weird like that sometimes, the organizer, controller and pleaser in me I think?). Then not much longer I get a text from my brother, “where are you?”. He is downstairs with my mom, his wife, and my two adorable and loud (because girls are just louder then boys) nieces. Oh god that’s allot of people and we had Declan and Baby Lynk here too! 15 people including Aiden, Josh and I. I would like to send a HUGE thank you to CHEO and RONALD MCDONALD for allowing that many visitors! We took turns alternating people in the room and on the 5th floor in the McDonald Family Room and the Playroom where the cousins had a great time making Halloween crafts and playing games. My brother even ran into good old-time friend (and who gave me my first ever job picking corn one summer) 2 doors down the hall, who was here since Monday as his sons appendix had burst.
The highlight though was being able to give Aiden a hair cut, or buzz cut as you could call it. I had to take off his pressure bandage they put on on Friday and take the scolding from the nurse after but it was worth it. Up to this point he has had half his head shaved from where they went in. All week I just kept thinking that he would feel so much better if he looked more like himself. Instead of looking like someone who escaped a psycho institute and got in a fight with a shark! I also thought it would be less dramatic when he started lossing hair from the radiation (sceduled to start October 24th). Aiden showed so much great control with his neck, getting a hair cut was almost as much work as a physio session but I think more fun?! Aunt Christine helped get him situated and drapped and tucked the sheets around him to keep as much hair off his body as possible. Auntie Elli, the hairdresser by trade, had the professional tools and quickly went to work. I held his hand and told him to squeeze of uncomfortable. There was some jokes, a couple laughs, a couple groans but it went great and I think Aiden really enjoyed it and feels much better. I was told Aiden he was very luck to have such great Aunts and that this was probably going to be one of those memories he will have forever! His too Aunts, in the hospital, giving him his haircut (the last before he starts treatment, and although I did not say this part to him and he did not understand the significance, he will when he looks back on the memory I am sure!) it was a priceless moment. It is a memory I know I will hold forever!
We are told that on Monday Aiden will be heading to 4 North, the oncology ward. I asked if we could stay where we are one more week until he actually starts treatment but was told no and asked why. I did not want to say in front of Aiden, I just said we like this room but in reality I know it will be much different, VERY strict on visitors AND I want to shelter him from what Cancer looks like for as long as possible. It really is not pretty in the slightest. I spot the children going through treatment at the McDonald House and hold back the tears knowing what is to come. So even more so I am so thankful for today! Thankfull for our wonderful and supportive family who we know loves us so much and are there for us. I know they are all feeling this just as we are and each in their own way. So I hold onto the memory of Uncle Izaaq’s Boots, the Elephant to join our Jungle, the Hair Cut and all the laughter and the smiles.
“We may not have it all together, but together we have it all”