Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Cycle 3, Day +12: Escape to Target House

Steven had his third post-chemo hearing test yesterday. It shows a mild-to-moderate hearing loss in his left ear since the previous cycle of chemo. The hearing loss is most likely induced by the cisplatin. Steven was born with no hearing in his right ear.

We are still pondering this piece of not-unexpected but most certainly unhoped-for news. The next round of chemo might make it worse, or it might stay the same. Chemo-induced hearing loss is permanent. Steven's neuro-oncologist, Dr. Gajjar, is on vacation. The man, however, is a workaholic and I'm confident he will talk to us before his next round of chemo begins.

Steven has been doing well since starting on antibiotics after his wee-hours-of-Friday-morning fever. So well that we find ourselves spending most of our day wondering why we are in the hospital rather than enjoying the sometimes hot, sometimes freezing-cold weather of Memphis. But the doctors said we must remain until his blood counts rise.

This evening an author and illustrator of children's books, Todd Parr visited Target House for a pajama party, reading of his books, and book signing. Steven knows of the author, and was looking forward to this visit two weeks before he came.

Not wanting to disappoint Steven once again, I tracked down his doctor and asked him if Steven could be allowed to leave the hospital this evening to attend. This prompted the doctor to ask me if we'd be comfortable managing Steven at home (he's still neutropenic) if he were to be discharged.

So, we're out of that place where they're so fascinated with every tiny thing that goes into and comes out of his body, and Steven and Sean both got to meet Todd Parr, whose book is dedicated "To courageous children everywhere, who battle catastrophic diseases.".

Doug's parents and sister Wendy are visiting this week, one more reason that Steven is glad to be out of the hospital.

- Kathleen

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