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

Friday, May 21, 2004

Trying Out Our Wings...

This has been our first "real" week at home.

Back to reality, grocery shopping, laundry, school schedules.

Steven woke with a little wheezing Monday, so we kept him home. Tuesday he was better, so we sent him back to school as usual, it was his first full day.

He did well, much better energy than when he was here in November and December. Then homework, routine stuff except Steven didn't know what some of it was referring to, material covered when we were in Memphis.

Doug and I helped him (mostly Doug) and he got through it pretty well. He's behind, but maybe not so far behind he can't catch up, we don't really know yet.

Steven's oncologist tells us it's too early to see the effects of his radiation yet, but watching him so far, we're pleased.

After homework, Steven has been enjoying riding his bike and scooter, playing baseball with Sean in the cul-de-sac, all that stuff he's missed for so many months.

Yesterday (Thursday) Steven was riding his scooter down the street when a neighbor's dog ran out the open front door of their house, chased after him and bit him on the inside of his leg below his calf, Steven didn't even see the dog until it had already came up to him.

Doug and I were inside and didn't hear him cry. Sean pounded on the front door, saying, "It's an emergency!"

When Doug and I came down, Sean said, "I just want to cry. Steven just got bitten by the mean dog down the street."

We ran out, a neighbor was walking Steven home, blood dripping down his leg, crying loudly.

I've seen this dog before, he gets out almost every day, he's growled and snapped at some of the neighbors before. I'm also furious, I'm trying to clean Steven's wound at the same time as calling the pediatrician on call, then his oncologist at St. Jude to find out if we need to take special considerations after his recent treatments.

The owner of the dog shows up, a registered nurse and mother of three, she cleans Steven's wound under Doug's supervision while I talk to the doctors.

Basically, the consensus is that no special considerations are needed. The dog is up-to-date with shots, Steven should get a tetanus shot and have his blood counts done.

I took him for a blood draw and tetanus shot today. His pediatrician put him on antibiotics, prophylactically.

So, he's OK. Doug, Steven, and Sean left for the last Indian Guides campout of the year. I'll be joining them tomorrow, staying home tonight to nurse a slight fever and nasty case of conjunctivitis and wait for the antibiotics I started this afternoon to work. My eyes looked so terrible that Steven's pediatrician was going to give me medication for it.

So, our first week at home without our St. Jude safety blanket hasn't been uneventful, but overall things are going well.

We are thankful, all the more so with the arrival of two pieces of bad news from friends today.

One, an 11-year old boy named Mo with medulloblastoma (very similar to Steven's tumor) just suffered his second recurrence. The second piece of news is that another friend from St. Jude, a little boy named Zach, also with a brain tumor, is in the hospital right now having had emergency surgery to repair his shunt.

Our prayers are with them.

-- Kathleen

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