Day 315

I was so thankful for my bridge walk this morning. I would need the jump start to get the boys ready for school and out the door on time. Last night was a late one, with baseball and dinner out, so homework was postponed until breakfast. We made it, of course. Barely.

We weren’t sure if Banyan would go to school at all today. We struggled with the decision. Sarasota County is bringing the Flu Mist to its schools, and today it was given at Banyan’s middle school. Unlike the flu shot, the mist is a live vaccine, and can be shed for up to three weeks after administration. Of course it was a no brainer for us to opt out of Banyan getting the mist himself, but we were concerned about him being exposed to those who had, and then bringing that funk home to Benji. Based on our oncologist’s recommendations and Benji’s high absolute neutrophil count (ANC) at the moment, we chose to let Banyan go to school. I doused him in homemade hand sanitizer and gave him a lecture on hygeine and healthy distance. When he came home later, I made him change clothes, scrub down and re-sanitize. We diffused immune boosting oils all afternoon. When Benji’s school offers the Flu Mist on Monday, Benji will stay home.

At lunchtime, I pulled Benji out of school to drive him up to Tampa and see the unveiling of the Children’s Cancer Center 2016 calendar. His artwork will hang during the month of October in many homes around the Tampa Bay area; the calendars are being sold at over 100 grocery stores in the community. The event was very sweet. Among the winners were children currently in treatment (like Benji), siblings of kids in treatment, cancer survivors off treatment and their siblings as well. It was extremely fulfilling for me to watch the children who were one, two, three years off treatment, with their thick hair and rich complexions and carefree smiles. We left Tampa feeling proud, and Benji wanted to head directly to the bank with his prize check and exchange it for cash. I indulged him. He certainly earned it.

Benji requested soup for dinner, so we gathered the ingredients, then gathered Banyan, and came home for a few hours before Banyan’s basketball practice. Tonight, Benji was able to take his oral chemo right at bedtime. We’re getting the hang of this. We’ll change our plans when we have to; he’ll go to school some days, he won’t go others. He’ll take his medicine at bedtime some nights and some nights we’ll have to wake him up. It’s all okay. We are on our way to wearing those carefree smiles.

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