2 Day Hospital Stay
In this post, Time to Get Over Ourselves, Hunter, Alyssa, and I have been at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital for 2 days for his infusion. This is the hospital that misdiagnosed him the second time. Now, after 2 yrs we have found a specialist who has seen his condition.
Now, she has not seen a lot of cases, but at least some. She is willing to learn as we go and she talks WITH me and not AT me. Last time I checked, I am Hunter’s expert. She respects that and I appreciate that.
This is our first infusion at this hospital. It is quite different from the last 3 hospitals we have had infusions in. All three other places (Norton’s, UK Children’s, and UPMC) have all done 1 full day of IVIG. We have always had a private room and meal services. That was nice.
Here, however, is a WAY different ball of wax. We are in the cancer, infusion section. It is one large room with about 12 of those hospital reclining chairs. Each person comes in and grabs a seat. There are private rooms, but that is for different cases.
As I Look Around
As I look around, I see these children that have ranged from bitty baby to 18 yrs old. Everyone here for chemo. I have seen children who have been completely bald, some with sporadic pieces of hair, some with just thinning hair or bald spots, and some that have not lost their hair at all.
Parents…these parents are tired. They are overwhelmed. These parents have bags full of everything that their child/ren could possibly need/want during their infusion. I have seen a range of emotions from irritation to anger to frustration to intense sadness. My heart aches as I wonder which of those categories that I have fallen into.
Sweet Mama Precious Baby
This one sweet mama, her daughter looked to be about 3. When we got here, the little girl was wallering in the chair that is too big for her. Then, mama got in the chair and this baby melted into the warmth of her arms.
She slept. Until she didn’t. Once the meds hit, this little girl cried, screamed, thrashed, and more. The mama tried to get the daddy to hold her and this little peach was not having it. She was angry at her father and did not want him touching her. This blessed little person wanted her mama but then again, she didn’t.
Calm in the Storm
Finally, a nurse took them to a private room where she continued to scream for 45 minutes. My heart ached for them all. Finally, she fell asleep and the mom quietly retreated out of the room for some untainted air.
When she came back in, I approached her with kind eyes and a warm tone. She apologized if her daughter disrupted us. That is the last thing I wanted. I gave her tips on what we do when Hunter rages. The things that have worked for us. We laughed together, quietly. She was able to express herself freely because I got it. I understood. We are all in this together. Honestly, this is not where anyone in this room wants to be.
At one point, the nurses started clapping and singing to the Macarena song. It was something fun they made up to sing to a patient who had completed their chemo treatments. All patients sang, clapped, and smiled at this victory. Alyssa and I fought hard not to have a complete come apart. What a beautiful moment.
Emotions of the People
I’ve seen smiles, perseverance, tears, victories, triumphs, and frustration. The nurses work hard to do their job and they do it well. My heart aches that we are even here. Yet I know that cancer is not what is attacking Hunter’s little body and for that, I am thankful.
Stop complaining about things that are SO minor. Honestly, the mundane crap and trials of life are just that…mundane crap. It will not matter in a week or a month. Seriously, we all need to get over ourselves. These things we get irritated over are nothing compared to what I am looking at.
Wanna see strength?
Come sit in the cancer ward of the hospital. I just saw a 6’2″ man walking with his 18 mth old balding son. This little fry marched confidently to the toy cabinet. Daddy opened it and crouched down with him as he picked something to play with. I could not hold back my tears.
Time to Get Over Ourselves
Love more. Forgive more. Hold your family close, even if you don’t like them…LOVE them. Stop being petty and snippy. It may take a while for me to fully absorb all that I’ve seen. There is a lot that I need to say to people who have hurt me or whom I have hurt.
Stop talking about living a simpler life, loving more, not holding grudges, etc. Do it. People can say or “post” what they do all day long and twice on Sunday. That does not mean they actually live the life they say they live.
Stop talking. Start doing.
This place is where the rubber meets the road for me. Just as I think all people need to visit a developing country to make them appreciate life more and what they have. This place is somewhere everyone needs to visit to humble themselves and be grateful.
Donate your time, money, gently used or new toys to a children’s cancer ward. They need it and it brings them joy for the time they are here. Thank a nurse, dr, EMT, firefighter, police officer, military person/family.
My heart is changed.