3 months, 3 weeks, 5 days since diagnosis
day #11 of current hospital stay
The doctors are calling today day zero because Riker's stem cell infusion was so late last night and ran into the wee hours of this morning. The game is on... the count down until the cells graft is finally here.
I am very surprised at just how much anxiety I had over the impending transplant. I had no idea until the weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Of course, why wouldn't a mother be anxious about something so major? I guess I just though if it was going to be hung like any other blood product and be so simple why should I worry about it? But apparently I was worried. Worried that they day wouldn't come. Worried that Riker wouldn't make it without a serious infection. Worried that Valentine would fall ill and be unable to donate. Worried about my healthy child going through the ordeal of surgery. And then worried about all the irrational things that moms worry about when there isn't anything to worry about at all.
This morning, Valentine woke up around 6 (with about 7 hours of sleep max) and asked me to come back into bed with her. She was lying on her back next to Riker's panda pillow that she likes to sleep with. I told her to move over and she said, "I can't." Typical Valentine being difficult. I didn't argue and I moved her onto the pillow to make room for me. I rolled away from her and started to go back to sleep. After a few minutes, she whined to me, "Mommy, I can't roll over." Poor thing's back was so sore she couldn't move!
I got the nurse to come in and give her some Tylenol. She asked if I thought Valentine needed Morphine but I figured we'd wait and see how the Tylenol did first. About a half an hour later, when the nurse was in to do vitals on Valentine, I asked Valentine to try and get up or roll over. Again, she whined that she couldn't. This time I asked her to just try. The cute thing started to roll over and get up, the entire time exclaiming, "I'm doing it! I'm doing it!" She sounded so surprised :)
Over the course of the day, she felt better and was ready for discharge. By the time they signed us out at 2pm, she was a virtual monster - no longer able to listen or behave. Exhausted and knowing that she was leaving me and Riker soon was more than she could handle. We went to lunch anyway so that we could be together for a while longer before we said our goodbyes. As Jon and Valentine went to leave, Valentine was already crying because she was so moody. When she realized that I was staying in the restaurant and she was going with Daddy, she cried harder. "But Mommy, I need you. Daddy can stay with Riker and you come home with me. You have to come home with us." She broke my heart!!
Eventually, Jon took her and I broke down. I had apologized to the table next to us for causing all this drama over their lunch earlier. Well, those two amazing women got up as soon as my family left and gave me hugs and support. They talked me down from my ledge and gave me words of understanding and encouragement when I needed it most. Sometimes people surprise you - there is so much good in them. They gave me their numbers and emails and insisted I contact them if I need anything at all. And when I needed to get back to the hospital they surprised me again by "stealing" my bill." I protested by they weren't having any part of it. Amazing. I don't even know them.
I miss my family already but the day was good. Riker slept most of the day which is typical for her now. I was able to spend a few more moments with my family together. I got to meet 2 more kindred souls. I'd definitely call this a good day.