Fish in the sea, you know how I feel
River running free, you know how I feel
Blossom on the tree, you know how I feel
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good!
Nico swallowed his last Decadron (steroid) this morning, and this marked the completion of DI Part 1 (of 2). I cannot explain what a relief it is to get a weeklong break from chemo. Nico’s blood counts will hopefully recover over the next seven days, and then we will start the second half of DI, the final four weeks of intensive therapy. Obviously the Decadron is not out of Nico’s system yet, but I think some of the effects of the other chemo drugs are wearing off because today, for the first time in weeks, Nico wanted to play. He even asked to go on a walk and was able to walk on his own for several blocks. This is great progress! You do not realize how weird your life has become until you have these short moments of normalcy and think, “Oh yeah, we used to go on long walks.”
I am continuing my practice of positive thinking. And I realized today while watching my little warrior walk down the sidewalk, pushing his umbrella stroller full of Toy Story figures that he is really a strong and resilient human being. People always tell you that kids are resilient. Well, it is not just that he is a kid. He is a determined, focused, and strong-willed little man. Nico is a fighter. Nico is a warrior. Of course we have no choice but to endure this course of treatment. But the way that he tackles his daily life shows me who he is as an individual. I get to watch him create his own life’s path everyday and it amazes me. When he was an infant, he was always very sensitive to everything – bad sleeper, allergic to food, sensitive to noise and light, etc. I did not view him as weak per se, but as a highly sensitive child, and maybe more needy than other kids. I do not view him this way anymore. Yes, he is a sensitive child. But Nico is not needy as much as he is determined. He is determined to have things his way, on his terms, and no matter what has been thrown at him in his first few years on this earth, he is going to handle it his way, fighting for exactly what he wants. It is not my way, his dad’s way, or his doctor’s way . . . Nico defines himself. He is inspirational to me and I am lucky to have this feisty little pain in the butt as my son. Exhausted, but lucky.
Nico lost all of his hair over the last 48 hours. He clearly does not like the change since he hides his face when he sees a mirror and has suddenly taken to wearing hats. He will get used to it, and when he does, his hair will grow back. That is life. I view the hair loss as part of his metamorphosis. The hair loss is just part of the cocoon. Nico’s body is in the process of change. His bone marrow is learning to make strong healthy blood cells. The chemo is guiding this process, and to me the hair loss shows that these drugs are in his body and doing what they are supposed to be doing – killing the cells that do not belong. The hair is collateral damage and will grow back.
I know I might sound new-agey, but I am telling you that if you cannot spin this process to the positive, you will perpetually live in a dark place, and I do not think that dark places are conducive to healing. So as much as I can, I am trying to gain something from this. And that something is to create a positive environment for my child to thrive and blossom into the person that he already is. I am not going to lie, I am still afraid to hope or look too far ahead. But for today, my bald warrior and I are dancing and singing to Feeling Good.