Today as we were walking from the doctor’s office to the infusion room we bumped into the Child Life specialist in the hall. I can tell Yousuf gets excited to see her, though he tries to hide it, I can see the smile he is trying to conceal. He can't help it, he loves the excitement and good ideas she always approaches him with. Today she asked him for help. They are making a mural in the infusion room hiding part of the glass wall that exposes other hospitals that we are surrounded by in the Medical Center. She needs help in decorating it. Each child is to write their dream on a star and she glues it on the huge Mural that consists of mountains and Jerusalem style land marks. Not apparently a Christmas project but still presents that feeling if you do wish to celebrate it.
When trying to explain to Yousuf what a dream meant in this sense he looked down at the huge bulge in his side hiding under his shirt, from the needle in his port, and was probably thinking about having that removed as a dream. Instead he said nobody else to be sick and that he wanted to go to space. That’s what I wrote on the star.
When I saw Yousuf’s star hung on the Wall I began to read the other dreams:
No more PET Scans
No more blood transfusions
A cure for Leukemia
Not to take medicine everyday
A mother must have written one because it said, “To see my daughter grow-up and live a normal healthy life.” They aren’t asking for the luxuries in this life just something we tend to take for granted a lot: our health.
Yousuf’s hemoglobin dropped to an 8.2, which is low enough to need a blood transfusion. His ANC also dropped tremendously. She said it will continue to fall, too. The most critical time is now and if he were to be hospitalized due to some complication or sickness, during this phase, it's more likely in the coming days.
After the doctor’s visit and Yousuf's round of chemo, they transfused him for three hours. He seemed to be much happier today, though. He played with the other kids in the waiting room that we are familiar with now. I walked around in my socks back in forth from one room to another. There are almost five different areas or rooms separated by large glass windows. They try to separate it by age mostly. Depending on which room is age appropriate is where you will “lay your blanket” and picnic for the few hours you’re there in the infusion room. We all made ourselves at home, talked with one another, and the kid’s even enjoyed playing board games with the volunteers. I see it as a day camp for all of us, though we are all from such different parts of the world, we still share many hours together sharing the same struggles. Since the highest ethnicity for leukemia’s to strike are Caucasian and Hispanic, that’s what we mostly see there. Some patients are from other states, or drive several hours, or come from the other side of the world and we are different religions; Muslims, Christians, and Jews. We set aside our petty differences and I have seen the nicest people sitting right next to me. They don’t hesitate to help assist me with comforting Yousuf or grabbing a blanket or pillow to make us more comfortable. Though our common ground is on the 14th floor of a hospital, it has made us in many ways feel related.
My dream: to allow this test, and those who share it, to continue to unfold opportunities to win rewards, erase bad deeds, and change the world.