Three weeks and one day, that’s how long Dylan’s first round of chemo lasted. Yesterday, around 9 am, Joanna came into room 1266 and said to Dylan, “Well, Bud, your counts are up to 1800. Want to go home today?”
“More than anything,” Dylan said.
1800 was a great number, we had been waiting to move over 500 and the progression from 0 to 30, to 60, to 100, to 190 was long and then, just as a few of the nurses had said it would, it jumped and we were suddenly out of the super-dangerous zone and into the go home zone.
I called home to get a ride, ate my last breakfast special in the cafeteria (until March 6th), and began all the detail work to prepare to get home. There were prescriptions to pick up, confusing directions about which meds to take and which ones were there for emergency situations, appointments to make (back to Seattle Thursday for a check-up), and then I began packing up all our stuff.
The nurse came in to remove the needle for his port (the port will remain under his skin until we finish chemo) Dylan took a shower and lost more hair (no pictures allowed, he is down to whispy-77-year-old man hair) and then we took some Oncology ward laps. All of the nurses heard we were going home and there were lots of congratulations and hugs as we ran into Kelly, Nicole, and the rest of the staff.
The jeans set aside for Dylan to wear home no longer fit, losing 45 pounds does that, so he stole a pair of my basketball shorts and around 1pm we left the hospital where Howie Myers was born in the rearview.
The drive home was long. Dylan’s sensitivity to light and headaches have not gone away so he spent the last hour of the drive with a shirt over his head like a kidnapping victim. Getting home meant shaving the rest of Dylan’s hair and running out to buy several gallons of hand sanitizer and other “Dylan Only” supplies.
Then evening came and it was nice. It had been a long time since we all sat on the couch and watched The Daily Show. Dylan had an appointment to keep with his buddies on his gaming system and the rest of us went off to sleep.
The next week will be one filled with rest and reflection before we hit round two. Round two…let’s get ready to rumble.