We had another night of sound, deep sleep. I am forever thankful to night nurses who sneak in and out without a sound. Michael and Banyan were already on their way to the hospital when we woke up, with donuts for us and for all of the nurses on the floor.
Benji’s platelets got a nice boost from yesterday’s transfusion, up to 32,000. His white blood cell count continues to decline. His hemoglobin is steady. The team is more interested in his chemistry for now; calcium, phosphorus, potassium. Adjustments were made to his fluids and supplements throughout the day.
We’ve been here a full week now. Protocol on 7 South dictates that after a week of being accessed, a patient’s port must be deaccessed, cleaned, reaccessed and dressed. The timing of this procedure was perfect today. Benji took a nice bath without worrying about Press ‘n Seal to cover his port. He got dressed in fresh clothes and was still unhooked when our Sunday guests arrived. Family.
Kathy, Gana, Sarah, Lilye and Lotus walked in at the same time. Kathy and Gana made a delicious homecooked Sunday feast for nine. We took it to the conference room and had a lovely meal. The IV pole wasn’t invited.
When we were back in the room and it was time for Benji to be reaccessed, everyone went to the play room but Michael and me. Benji was a little nervous because of the failed access of a week ago, and he wanted the privacy. Fortunately, we had a wonderfully gentle nurse today who restored Benji’s faith in the process. Once he was hooked back up to his fluids, we joined the others in the play room.
Our visit with cousins, aunts, and Grammy ended around dinner time. Michael and Banyan stayed a little while longer. Benji was super tired when they left, but he had an episode of such sweet sadness over missing his daddy that he couldn’t fall asleep.
I told Benji not to resist the sadness, but to experience it and let it pass through. I asked him to consider what it means to feel so sad at someone’s absence–it means the presence of deep love. I put on a movie and held him closely until he fell asleep, feeling grateful for the privilege.