Day 16

So many people sent words of support today to check on Benji after yesterday’s treatment. There were gifts delivered in the mail and gifts delivered for the fridge. We shared yet another delicious meal with our family that our hands did not prepare. A friend even ran a race in Benji’s honor this morning. We are so well taken care of as we focus on helping our boy through this. I’m very aware that many families cannot say the same.

We developed a theory during our hospital stay that the effects of the chemotherapy medicines, especially the vincristine, take a day or so to develop. This was true today. After a full night’s sleep for all of us, Benji woke up and got straight to work on his breakfasts. Plural. Then Banyan came home from his sleepover down the road and brought our neighbor friends with him. For a little while, we had five boys, Benji included, playing with video games and walkie talkies and throwing the football with Michael–and laughing. These normal moments go a long way for everyone’s peace of mind. Later in the afternoon, after many breaks for food and rest, there was another stretch of outside play with friends. Benji even went down to the neighbor’s to sit at their bonfire and play with their sweet dog. The weather was gorgeous today. I know it felt good on Benji’s tired body.

As the afternoon darkened, Benji started feeling the tiredness, and the effects of the vincristine. His belly was hurting and he just wanted to lie down. I respect him so much for knowing what he needs and listening to his body. He was still able to enjoy dinner with Grammy and Noni, but wanted a bath and a bed as soon as possible afterward.

Michael and I spent most of the afternoon preparing our bedroom for the twin bed we borrowed from Grammy, and installing a television, so that Benji will have a quiet retreat when he needs it. It’s a very sweet set up, and until he feels well enough to sleep in his room, it just feels right to have him with us. He is sleeping soundly there now. I’m reminded so often of the newborn days, when we would watch the rise and fall of their perfect chests, and marvel at the beautiful creatures with whom we’ve been entrusted.

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