A loud thump against the glass door and an image of Yousuf’s body imprinted on the hazy glass was all I could see from the other side of the door during Yousuf’s administered pentamidine, the alternative to Yousuf’s once a week antibiotic. I could only stand on the other side and try to give an illusion of a sympathetic mom through our blurred barrier. His attempt to escape was unsuccessful as I could see his image fading away as the nurse drug him back. I sat outside the door starring at the note attached of a pregnant woman with an X over it communicating quite obviously that pregnant women were not allowed. This room was specifically for pentamidine breathing treatments only which can differ in duration of time depending on the child’s age. Yousuf’s will be for 30 minutes. The nurse has to hold the mask over his mouth the entire time taking breaks throughout. They play a movie to entertain the child, which obviously was not enough to convince Yousuf in the beginning to sit still. Afterwards, Yousuf came out happy as ever and ready to leave. Since they already had taken his routine blood count we were ready to go! On the way to the car Yousuf was telling me all the people he loved, which eventually became loving everyone. I must of broke his “happy state” after I roared with laughter when he told me he loved the valet guy after getting in the car. He demanded that I stop laughing at him but continued in his list of loved ones. I hope this will always remain a “happy drug” for him.
It reminded me of when he was getting all those blood transfusions. Sometimes we would leave the hospital and Yousuf would be the biggest grouch and I would blame it on the person’s blood being “bad blood”. There were times that he would leave ecstatic and happy and I would jokingly say, “Can we get more of that person’s blood!”
I got a call later giving me the blood count results (CBC) and his ANC was a whopping 4.0! It’s sad how a high number (which is normally a good thing) has to be alarming in a cancer patient. They increased his methotrexate to 3 pills a day now. Which is fine by me since it used to be 5 ½ before his continuous low counts. I would much rather start low and steadily increase rather than the other way around with the continuous low counts and seclusion. The doctor’s obviously agree since too low of a blood count would mean kicking him off the medications until the number got back up. It is more important to have a steady (even if lower) dose of chemotherapy drugs than continuing to get off of them.
Throughout all of the highs and lows of his blood counts he has remained well and out of the hospital, alhamdulilah. May Allah (swt) continue his journey through cancer treatment always as an OUT patient.