Day 77

It was a very good day.

A bridge walk before sunrise.

A morning bike ride with Benji and the dogs.

A to-do list with all but one item crossed off (and is the laundry ever REALLY done anyway?).

A date at our favorite tea house for writing practice.

Two delicious gifted meals.

A much-needed visit from a classmate.

A playdate arranged with one of his oldest friends.

Football at dusk with daddy and the neighbors.

The smell of angel’s trumpets in the evening breeze.

I am fully aware that we are in a sweet spot right now. Benjamin’s immunity is as strong as it will be for the next month. We are only taking one daily medication, and two on the weekends. His symptoms are minor and his energy is through the roof. And we are HOME.

I’ve had a little more time to research today. My latest concern is the onset of mosquito season here in Sarasota. Dusk is brutal, and we can’t risk bites that turn to scratching that turn to invitations for bacterial infection. Our neighborhood isn’t sprayed on a schedule, so I spent some time on the phone with County Mosquito Control. They’re coming tomorrow to set traps in our yard and discuss our options. When mosquito populations are high enough, they treat with permethrin, a synthetic form of the natural insecticide in the chrysanthemum plant.

I remembered that the complete name for the shots Benjamin has been getting is “Asparaginase Erwinia chrysanthemi,” and started digging deeper into its origin. Turns out the shots were not plant based per se, but derived from a bacteria closely related to E. coli that commonly infects the chrysanthemum family. So no conflict there (we’ve learned that some of Benji’s medications can behave in the body like other agents–methotrexate and folic acid for example, are contraindicated–and it’s important to know what might interfere with any particular medicine’s efficacy).  Now we just need to weigh the impacts of the various mosquito repellents, chemical and otherwise, against the risk of bacteria from bites. Even essential oils have inherent dangers.

The online moms’ group comes through HUGE on issues like this one.

I’m also revisiting research on the chemotherapy regimen Benjamin will get again as we prepare to enter this second half of Consolidation. After a two week delay, I want to be sure that the medicines work as effectively as possible, while being gentle and detoxifying easily from his system. I learn something new every time I sit down to focus on a medicine and the organs it impacts. Again, many of my leads come from the mothers of other children with leukemia. They are such a powerful force.

The laundry, the thank you cards, and the pillows on my bed are all piled high and waiting for me. I look forward to a very good night’s sleep, and a weekend of strength, health, and springtime.


7 thoughts on “Day 77

  1. Re mosquito bites: I can’t recommend a product that prevents them from biting but I can recommend a wonderful product that stops the bite from itching. It’s called Di-Delamine Double Antihistamine Gel, a tube of 1.25 oz lasts for years. It works like a charm.

    Re your Mother’s Group, that’s like the La Leche group I belonged to when my daughter was a baby. They knew oodles more than the pediatrician.



  2. <3 love to you all! Nasty Mosquitos are popping up here like crazy already. I'll send a hug back w/ G2 & Grammy! <3 miss y'all!

  3. So happy for a good day, and a good night’s sleep for you and your family.

    And no, the laundry is never done.

  4. Thank you so much for the updates, Love and Prayers still going Gilkey way.
    We all love you guys.

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