Taken from my favorite poet, Jack Ridl:
"You know elves
live under your porch, that God loves
puppets, that the wind comes from a witch's
cave, and birds sing just to sing."
(excerpt from "Rainbow")
After the night of excruciating pain, Gideon woke up with an empty and hollow look in his eyes. I stared back at him and practically BEGGED for even the chemically altered/alter-ego Gideon to appear. Sure he can be scary mean, but I would rather have some spunk than emptiness. This version of Gideon was too much for my heart to take. Something had to be done about this Herculean amount of pain this itty-bitty body has had to endure.
And it was. We went for a CT Scan, and the turning point of our day occurred then. It was what I call a firecracker versus firework moment. The cannon releases the explosion into the sky, everyone knows something is coming, and we all brace ourselves for a thunderous explosion. There is instant relief to see a colorful burst of sparks instead of the jump-out-of-your-skin blast. OOoooo-ing and Ahhh-ing is a must. I'd say the CT Scan was a firework moment.
I told Gideon that we were on a mission. We were going to the Space Station part of the hospital and that he was going to be an astronaut. He would have to go through a hole and be scanned with red dots. There would be rocket launchers making noises all around him and spinning, but his mission was to STAY STILL. If he didn't stay still, he would have to be sedated (I didn't tell him that part, of course). We put on his Space Suit and strapped him in for blast-off. That was when the vacant expression transitioned into one of sparkling joy. His multifaceted baby blues showed their depths, once again. The process went flawlessly, and as we pulled him away in his wagon to go back to his room, he begged us for another ride! He was on FIRE for something. I said that we had to go back to our room because all astronauts get something special once a mission is accomplished. After finding the Child Life Team in the Children's Hospital, we begged for something spacey to commemorate the occasion. They came up with "Space Buddies" to watch and planet/star cling-ons for our walls. Once I decorated, Gideon laid on his pillow (still drained and sleepy) with his cloth over his head, but he was SMILING! Oh, the victory of a smile today made my heart leap back to my chest instead of constantly beginning slapped by my flip-flops!
The CT Scan came back clear, and I am thankful for that. We still don't have answers, but at least more bad news did not come our way. Gideon will have an MRi tomorrow, and hopefully we will know more. For now, we are treating Gideon's pain as if they are migraines. Migraine medication will be given throughout the night, so he'll need to be woken up for that. I'll deal with a grump monster who just wants to sleep. That's fine. As long as the main emotion is grumpiness and not pain, BRING it!
Let's also bring on the binge eating I have been hearing happens at this stage of the chemo! (I'm sure I'll look back at that sentence in the near future and roll my eyes at my naiveté, but this is how I feel at this moment. I'm a MOMENT girl, remember, self? And I am talking to my future self. Must end the parenthesis...now) So far, Gideon has been sinking into his skin even further and bones are beginning to be more pronounced. The Polish mama in me wants to FATTEN that boy up! As my baby sister Annie can attest (she witnessed this while she was here today), Gideon just groans and clamps onto his jaw with his little fingers whenever he has to bite into anything! This is one of those heart burst moments. Eating pains him. Something he NEEDS to do for survival hurts. Not fair, Leukemia. So, I begged Annie to go down to the Food Court to buy those all natural Omega-3 smoothies, "Odwalla." She came back with three, the sweetie. Magic worked for the CT Scan, I was going to make it work with getting nutrients in that little body.
I told Gideon that I was going to make him a Magic Potion. "When you drink it, Gideon, it will feel like swirls of magic dancing on your tongue. Then it will go down to your belly and tickle you there. Then, WHOOSH! It'll fight sharks that are making it hard to eat. Do you want to taste magic?"
His eyes got big and he whispered, "Yes!"
So, I poured the smoothie into a styrofoam cup and said these words as I sprinkled the magic inside with my other hand, "SMOOTHIE-WOOTHIE! Go down SMOOTHLY... Make the magic work!"
Gideon drank almost the entire bottle. It was magical. Let's add a layer to our miracle sandwich: He sat in his bed with the cloths on his head and talked to us. He chatted up a storm! Auntie Marianne, Uncle Greg, and grandma came and the kid cracked us up with his sweet banter and gestures with his hands (WHO do we know who talks with her hands?). I would watch that performance above all other concerts offered me.
He fell asleep at 7:30. This is a great thing since he'll have to wake up periodically for those meds. Pray that we ONLY wake up for meds and not for pain.