Day 17

Thursday, June 21, 2012

It all started with Rock and Roll Elmo and Ari was hooked.  He had never seen Sesame Street or read an Elmo book or watched an Elmo's World dvd.  But it didn't matter.  There was something about the red furry monster that Ari found intoxicating and addictive.  Elmo made him giddy. 

So we let him watch just a little Elmo on TV.  And when he got sick, a little Elmo became a lot of Elmo.  And during the days prior to diagnosis, all Ari wanted to do was sit on the sofa watching his favorite Elmo episode.  I think Ari believes he and Elmo are BFF.

Since being in the hospital, Ari has become an Elmo collector.  He has:

An Elmo balloon,

 Elmo books,
 Elmo stuffies,

And...wait a that...could it in the it the morphine playing tricks on him...?

No, it's really him...ohmygawd...ELMO!!!

It took Ari a minute of initial shock to piece together who had just walked into his room and that he was standing next to his crib.  But once it soaked in, Ari smiled for the first time all day.  And then smiled again.  And again.  And eventually he reached out and touched him, held his hand, and clapped his fingers together with Elmo's big red furry fingers.  Ari was undeniably happy.  I melted.  I can only imagine how Ari felt.  (And how hot Elmo must have been.  It was only 99 degrees today.  From what I could tell, Elmo did not yet have his summer haircut.)

Ari has pointed to the door at least 10 times since Elmo's departure and said "Aya" (his pronunciation of Elmo.)  And each time, he said it with a smile.  Here's hoping tonight he dreams only of his visit with his good friend and not of doctors and hospital rooms and procedures.

(I'm fairly certain Elmo travelled from Sesame Street to the greatest toy and baby/kid gear store ever, Magic Beans, before learning of Ari's illness and coming to visit him.  A million thanks G's.)

Daily update:

Thank goodness, this morning's lumbar tap came back clear.  That's 2 in a row!  We are trying not to be too optimistic as anything could still happen, but our fingers are crossed that Monday morning makes the 3rd and final test to indicate no more cancer cells in the spinal fluid.

Ari also had a feeding tube inserted during his trip to the operating room this morning.  Surprisingly, he has only futzed with it a few times.  I hope his weight stays steady or increases and they can remove it soon.  Truthfully, I think it bothers us more than him.

That's about it.  Same general malaise as the last few days - a lot of sleeping and a lot of chillin' in his crib.  (And one huge tinkle when Matt was changing a diaper.  Heh.  I was out of the room for it.  Bummer.)  Some agitation from the steroid (nothing a little Ativan can't fix) and some pain in his mouth.  Again, this is all normal and a result of very low blood counts and side effects of chemo.  By this time next week, we will be playing with the train set in the play room and going down the slide in the outdoor playground (I really really hope).

If you're trying to visit and we ask you to reschedule, please do not be offended.  We like to give our undivided attention to Ari when he's awake (and he's not so into many people these days).  But again, this should be temporary.

Goodnight. :)


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