I sat in Starbucks glaring out the window at the wet and cold streets of the Medical Center. I sat with one elbow on the small rounded table with my chin resting on the palm of my hand while I drummed my fingers on my cheek. Though it was a dark and gloomy day I enjoyed watching the cars drive through the colorful mirages of green and red that glowed in the streets from the newly decorated streets for Christmas. I enjoyed my few moments away from a whiny and cranky little boy hooked to a transfusion tower for more than 10 hours. All I could hear were the coffee machines and clanging cash registers but an absence of cries and complaints. Deep breathing, I sit peacefully sipping my banana smoothie.
A total of twelve hours in the hospital today. From 7:20am- 7:30pm little Yousuf was served a buffet of drugs and fluids, and a small nap in between during a spinal tap. Yousuf wasn't too happy when he came to find out that we will not be taking out his needle from his port-o-cath for a while. For the next three days we will have a home nurse visit us with an IV push of a new drug. He will also be taking a new oral medication starting tomorrow. A new way to wipe out his blood counts that did rise a little from last week. All except his hemoglobin which fell to a 9, low but still good enough to pump him with more drugs.
Accessing his port this morning still creates the same stir of cries and fights but afterward they gave him a page of stickers to select from. He chose for himself a rounded Spider Man sticker and a similar one for me. I called us the Sticker Buddies. Throughout the day he kept making sure my sticker was on my hand. Throughout this long day of treatment we both felt a connection through such a simple presence of a sticker.
We were the very last ones to leave the clinic today. About three nurses turned off lights and closed up the infusion room as they followed us to the elevators to leave. I peered down at my hand while we were all tiredly awaiting the elevator to arrive to the first floor. I saw two worn out Spider Man stickers on the back of my hand from all the hand washing and sanitizing. Instead of a 'Buddy', I guess, I'm just back to being mom again.