Here is a dialog that happens far to often in our house.
Any one of my four daughters: Dad, what was I like as a baby?
Me: I don’t know. Where’s your mother? Why do you ask me these dumb questions?
Daughter: I’m just wondering!
At this point, I always have to make a tough decision. I could be honest, and just let them know I have absolutely no idea what they were like as a baby. I could possibly say something along the lines of, “You were stinky and made a lot of weird bodily noises, you know… just like you are now.” I can barely remember what I had for breakfast an hour ago (hopefully some delicious bacon), never mind trying to remember what one of my kids was like years ago.
I’m not sure if this is a flaw that all parents share, but I can never picture my kids at prior ages or stages of life. When they were three years old, I didn’t have even a vague memory of what they were like at age one or two. I could probably blame my own parents, who at least had an excuse because I was the 2nd youngest of 8 kids. One time, I made the mistake of asking my Mom if she had any baby pictures of me. She rifled through a bunch of pictures of my siblings, went through the ads of that day’s paper, then some old magazines, and finally found “my” baby picture. I don’t mean to brag, but I must say that when I was a baby I had a really good tan and the most beautiful afro. Anyway, I usually just decide to answer my kids by making something up in these situations.
Me: Oh, when YOU were a baby your nose was in the back of your head, and you had a tail that any horse would envy!
Today kicks off week number two of Delaney’s “Consolidation Phase”. She goes in for chemo again (only in the spine today). I am not counting on it continuing to go so well, but so far the Consolidation Phase has really been going okay. I say that it may not continue to go so well because the doctors have explained that chemo has a residual affect. So basically the poison they shoot into her spine today gets added to the poison they gave her last week. The more it builds up, the higher the probability that she will start to feel crummy. I’m not smart enough to worry about things like probability, so for now let me just tell you a little bit about the consolidation phase.
Although technically this phase last four weeks, there are only three lumbar punctures. So, since this is already # 2, you could say she is almost half way through this phase (okay, not really because she’ll still have to take the oral chemo every day this month, but let’s think positive). She is doing great! No more crazy leg pains, no more troche (the drug she had to keep in her mouth for 20 minutes at a time), and no more steroids (at least for now anyways)!
Yesterday she had her first home-school class and Monday she gets to go back to her own kindergarten class! If she is feeling well enough tomorrow, she will get to go to a birthday party and then even join her soccer pals to take their team pictures. She is really back to her normal little goofball self and getting to be a kid again! I never thought I would say this, but “Yeah consolidation phase!” Which now has me just wondering. Is the day going to come when I am supposed to remember how these different phases of leukemia treatment were? I can already see it now:
Delaney: Dad, how was I in the induction phase?
Me: Oh, that was the really wicked phase. The side effects of the chemo were so bad that they moved your nose to the back of your head, and gave you a tail that any horse would envy!