Two months ago Joel and I left Armstrong and drove down to Children's Hospital in Vancouver. Joel was happy and joking…. he was off for an adventure. I remember arriving at the hospital, dropping Joel off at the emergency department and driving off to find a place to park in a very big lot. I read through the parking rules but at that point my mind was mush and they made no sense to me. I got a ticket, parked the car and hoped it would still be there when I came back and I hoped that I would remember where it was that I had parked it. When I found my way back to the emergency department, Joel was registering at the front desk and then we were put into isolation since his blood counts were so low. If I remember correctly his white cell count was .80, his red cell count was 80 and his platelets were either at 45 or 65. We were then asked what felt like a thousand questions. Later in the afternoon Joel was admitted onto ward 3B, one of the oncology wards. Doctors and nurses came in and out continuously, tests were ordered and much blood taken. A lumbar puncture, first round of chemo and another bone marrow test were ordered for the following day. Everything was moving so fast and my head was spinning. I did not know where I was in the hospital or how to find the car and if I did find the car….. would I be able to find Joel again? I felt like a mouse in a very large maze.
The next day our nurse took us on a tour of both oncology wards as well as the oncology clinic where Joel would receive most of his treatments. I was more lost and confused than ever. When it was time for Joel's procedures, we met the surgeons and nurses and they talked us through what they were going to do. One of Joel's nurses said how lucky he was that the leukemia had been found when it was. She said that in a month from now (end of December), Joel would have been very sick and in two months from now (end of January), Joel would not be here anymore.
Anyway, here we are at the two month point. Joel still here and we are very thankful. He is at home until Wednesday and very grateful for a few days of normal life. He is doing very well with treatment and has been given a very good chance at beating this. Driving and parking in Vancouver has become old news. I can even venture out sometimes without using the GPS. I have no troubles now finding my way through all the hospital corridors and I have not lost our car yet.
But the point of all my rambling is, it has been two months and Joel is still here. For that, I am very grateful.