….As Zayne and I joined Jess in the small little exam room the atmosphere was heavy. Even though my sister gave Zayne the biggest smile ever saying, “Hey buddy, are you ready for the doctor to check you out?” I knew that she was only shielding her baby from anything she possibly could at this point.
“Yup.” Zayne responded in his “big man” voice.
I watched Zayne go through the routine of the doc listening to his breathing, heart rate, check in his ears, and doing what looked to be reflex and strength tests. Afterward the doctor when to track down his blood levels. They always check his white blood cell levels. If they are too low they will not give him his chemo treatment until they go back up, to avoid risk to his bone marrow. Zayne sailed through last years treatment with phenomenal levels, never had to miss a week.
When the doctor walked back in Jess was surprised to see him, rather than the nurse who should be coming to give Zayne his Chemo.
“Well.” The doctor said. “His levels are at 750 according to the machine. If they are below 700 we would need to wait on chemo. So I am waiting for the hand count to come in just to be sure it’s safe.”
By now Zayne was running out of steam. He and Jess we snuggled up on the exam table, so when the tears began to stream down Jess’ face he was unable to see them. The doctor went on to reassure Jess, poor guy, I could tell he really doesn’t like to deliver bad news, but comes with the job I suppose.
“It’s ok. He began. Nothing to worry about yet. Odds are the machine is close and it will be just fine, I just need to be…..” mid sentence the nurse walked in with a slip of paper Jess receives every week with all his numbers on them(most I don’t even understand, but she does, that’s just crazy to me) The doctor just stared at the paper without saying a word.
“What.” Jess said sternly. “I know it’s bad ‘cause you aren’t saying anything. But eventually your gonna hafta just tell me…so what is it?”
“678” was all he said.
Jess’ previous tears had finally died to her cheeks only to be washed away by a heavier stream. She knew there would be no treatment today. So not only did she have to worry about the tumor growing as they experimented with this new treatment(new to Zayne) she added the concern of his blood levels, and the possible need for a transfusion to her backpack of worries she walked in her with today. It was in this moment I knew why I was summoned to come today.
After the doctor spent a couple minutes sitting with Jess to be sure she was ok, he left the room and the “deaccessing of the port routine” began. As the needle was pulled out, Zayne again expressed his “displeasure” with the process, and then hopped off his chair not even aware that he didn’t get his treatment today. To him it all looked the same.Jess and I talked of the stop we planned to make at Meijers on the way home. Both of us knowing that wasn’t at all what we were thinking about but now was not the time, we needed to get outta there. As we walked across the indoor bridge back to the parking garage Zayne repeated what I said on the walk in….
“This is a beautiful walk way mom.” He said “Yes it is sweetie.” She responded with a giggle.