Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Leukemia: Before, during and After Induction

I wanted to keep a photographic record of my sons battle with Leukemia,  but when he came home from the hospital  life was very difficult.  There were days I did not eat let alone remember to take a picture of him.  But many days I did. What follows is how he progressed from diagnosis to mid induction when the meds were kickin his butt to where he is now in the Consolidation Phase.

Day 1 - When he still seemed like a little boy.

Day 3 - Get the first transfusion. In this picture he is so much my sweet little boy, being silly and  looking so cute. 
Day 8 - First day home and oh so happy.  Soon his smile would be replaced by tears as the hardest part was yet to come. 

This is when it started to get bad.  He was starting to swell, pain would soon have him immobile. 
The day we cut off his hair.  So swollen and bruised. 
A forced smile.  During this time he slept much of the day, and when he was awake he cried.  He couldn't sit upon his own and was left utterly dependent on me.  It even got to the point he couldn't hold a cup.  
On his birthday, the swelling is going away and  hes starting to smile more.

Outside  for a hike, aside from trips to the hospital this is about the first time in 2 month he was outside.  Happy and smiling, hes starting to be his old self.

On a field trip.  Swelling has about disappeared and the pain is gone.  Only residual weakness and hand tremors remain.

Today he is doing great.  His spirits are up.  He is hopeful and encouraged.  He laughs and plays and tries very hard to be independent.  I asked him yesterday if his hand tremors bothered him and he told me, "No. Well only when I play a game and it makes me go somewhere I don't want to."  He never complains.  Not even when he couldn't sit or get himself a drink.

But when it was bad it was bad.  The drugs might save his life, but they tortured him first.  The swelling was incredible.  I will never complain about being swollen during pregnancy again.  And his weakness was humbling.  I watched him try, and fail, at getting a drink of water.  His hand couldn't grasp the cup and it fell to the ground.  He never asked for help, never complained.  And I cried a lot with him because his soul was so strong even when his body wasn't.  He would tell me he loved me and thanked me for my help.

I write this not just so you can have a glimpse of what it is like.  How we manage.  But also so I will never forget how far he has come.

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