We took a slightly different route to our appointment today. We usually park valet but today the line stretched all the way to the main street -at least 10-15 cars ahead of us. Time left us no choice to wait; we had only 10 minutes to get to the 14Th floor. The waiting room was packed with patients, volunteers and toys. Despite the overload we were seen pretty quickly.
Last week Yousuf underwent a blood and platelet transfusion from extremely poor counts. This week, alhamdulilah, his number was high enough to send him into the maintenance next week -if his counts continue to look up. Yousuf could feel the difference today. He looked up at me and said, "Mama, I'm happy." After discovering they are taking out his needle without infusing anything in it.
Even with all the excitement echoing between the waiting room walls I had to take some time and hide myself in tears. There were a lot of new faces today. I saw older teenage girls who looked newly diagnosed. The new diagnosis usually look completely normal with lengthy hair. Patients in the maintenance phase can look pretty normal, too but they usually act as though they are home while being in the waiting room. There hair is also usually shorter. I guess I just couldn't hold it in today.
Yousuf threw his fits during port access again making me feel as though he was the newly diagnosed one. His fits seem to be the same since day one. They had a curtain separating Yousuf and me from the new pretty teenage girl and her father. Both of the patients, in which, were suffering their own tests through their blood being drawn. Yousuf doesn't like the smell of the alcohol wipes and feeling vulnerable with his hands being held down. The teenage girl was moaning and almost fainting. It took her time to recover. Meanwhile, her dad was making jokes to think of boys and alcohol the way she feels about the needle. She didn't make any noise from trying to keep herself from throwing up. I, on the other hand, was giggling to myself.
The good news about Yousuf sent a wave of happiness over my previous sorrows. However, I'm still scared. I remember once a person told me a bit of advice, when I was a teenager, the key to life is being able to subject yourself to change. I always remember that but hardly ever act upon it. That part is difficult for me. It took me almost four months to cope, accept and to adapt to this new way of life. I know it won't be as it was before but many of the rules can go back to normal.
The truth is I don't want it to go back to normal. I don't like who I was before and how I was as a mother. The situation, in many ways, had changed me for the better. It has forced better time management skills for us to be together as a family, too. If I stick my foot back into the "well" world again I won't be the same person. The changed perspective on life in my old surroundings could create discomfort. What that person said was so true, "subject yourself to change". Because life is always changing, not only around us, but within us. The only control we have is to allow these changes to evolve us in positive ways and not destroy us.
I'm not really sure now what a "normal" path would even look like. I will still have to take that step in some direction and no matter which path it happens to be I hope and pray it will always be a guided one.