I try to keep this blog about who Bede is and how he is doing rather than just boring everyone with the details or even, sometimes the despair, of what is happening. Sometimes though, I think the details are important at least for the purpose of letting our families know and certainly as a testament to Bede’s strength and the pride we feel for him.
In the last 3 weeks Bede has had
- Severe pain
- Respiratory issues
- Needed oxygen on and off for the whole 3 weeks
- Heart rate issues
- High blood pressure
- Constant Morphine and Ketamine infusions
- A blood infection
- 4 kinds of IV antibiotics
- His permanent line come out
- The lining of his small bowel breaking down
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Tumour growth
- 5 blood transfusions due to the chemo depleting his blood cells.
- The skin around his bottom breaking down and bleeding
- Cannulas and collapsed veins from blood tests
- The hardcore chemo
- Surgery to insert his new permanent line, this time an infuser port
- MRI under general anaesthetic
- And has been weaned off a lot of drugs
In fact the majority of these things unfurled in the first 2 weeks following the new chemo. Each day has been a new challenge and each day we have tried our best as a family to meet it. Day by day. I think rambling off that list is important because it really demonstrates just how remarkable our little Bede is. Through it all Bede remains calmly and firmly himself. I marvel that through all this trauma he has not only managed to continue smiling and shining but he has also managed to grow so much. We are incredibly proud of him.
We had an MRI on Friday which, incredibly, showed the new chemo has stabilised his cancer. Quite a feat really considering the tumour was growing so aggressively, it MAY have even shrunk it marginally.
We have had some positively wonderful times with bede. Uplifting times. Beautiful affirming days. One day in particular was incredible, we had an infant massage session, a music therapy session and a guided play session. He was so incredibly enlivened and engaged. He has definitely re earned his nickname smiley.
Bede has grown within his own mind so much. He has a favourite page of a touch and feel book and reaches out to stroke the animal. He plays kissing games and smiles asking for more.
He freely gives away his joy by smiling indiscriminately. He smiles at everyone now, those jewels are no longer just for his Mumma and that makes me beam. His smiles are beautiful and luminescent, they of course shine so bright. His smiles make everyone else smile and the Bede effect is clear.
He has even managed to fulfill the secret hope I had for before the next chemo started. He is back to laughing.
I think what has brought Roy and I the most joy has been watching Bede discover, develop and explore his sense of playfulness. That purely childlike quality that is in its essence so far removed from his cancer and all that that entails brings a happy balance to his awe inspiring substance. His gentle determinedness remains resolute. In addition to that determinedness he now pauses and basks in the moment, seemingly bathing in his own light. Strengthened by happiness and curiosity.
We have now started the second round of the hard core chemo. We haven’t been home in four weeks. We are hoping to get home for a couple of days this cycle. I think it would so much good for Bede, it would reenergise Roy and I and would do the world of good for Gus.
I know its been far too long between posts by the state of all my inboxes. This has been such an incredibly intense and equally triumphant and traumatic time it has been difficult to update. Each time I tried I was overwhelmed by where to begin. I worry that I no longer have the emotional wherewithal to do justice to Bede with my words but I will continue to try so long as you all continue to pray for him and care for him and are sending him light and love and positivity.