Today marked the third full day of Caemon’s intravenous chemo. He is handling it quite well, actually. His nurses have been wonderful about staying on top of his nausea, so he really hasn’t felt it much at all that we have noticed.
On top of his chemo, he is also still receiving steroids for what is now confirmed as asthma (made more difficult by the cold he carried with him into the hospital this time). The steroids make Caemon a little crabby and less agreeable, but they also increase his appetite. His appetite, however, is for one food and one food only: pizza. He is upset when the kitchen won’t send it up for breakfast, but as soon as 11:00 rolls around, he is ready for his first pizza of the day. These are small pizzas made on pita bread, but for a little boy his size, they’re a pretty good-sized meal! Both today and yesterday, he ate three of these. He cannot get enough. While normally we might encourage him to eat a wider variety of foods, now we are focused on quantity. Children with his disease have a difficult time gaining weight (due, in part, to their enlarged liver and spleen, which cause quite a bit or crowding in the belly), so we want to take advantage of any craving and any appetite he has to put as much weight on him as possible right now.
Because Caemon came into the hospital with yet another cold, he is under what is called “Droplet Precautions.” This means that until Caemon is released from the hospital, he is quarantined to his room, and hospital employees who enter the room must wear masks. This is true even after his cold is gone due to his compromised immune system. I mention this because this hospital room can begin to get very small, and our boy is a very curious boy. Today he longed to go walk around the hallways, but all he could do was look out the window in his door. There is a wonderful playroom here that Caemon has yet to experience because he is always under this same precaution. On days like today, this is harder to cope with, and while we try to come up with new ways to entertain him, sometimes he succumbs a bit more to a gloomy state, and we just have to wait it out with him.
Fortunately, our boy really does want to be happy, so he will find humor eventually. Apparently today was a very quotable sort of day, and he remarked at one point that his line was occluded. He has heard the IV machine beep so many times, has heard us mention to his nurses that his lines are occluded, that he now lets them know himself. Always the precocious one, everyone is quite taken with our funny, smart, and articulate little boy. We learned that the nurses and nursing assistants fight over him. That’s kind of lovely to hear.