Today Noah had chemo. We were suppose to be at HSC for 9am... and we actually arrived at 9:15! Not too bad for us:) It was a bit longer than usual, the clinic was busy. So as we waited, I noticed another mom sitting on the couches across from me. I had seen her several times throughout the better half of the last year as she brought her son in for chemo. They were even admitted the same time Noah was in November. But we had never had the chance to say hello or introduce ourselves.
Her son is a couple years younger than Noah. And he was having a rough day. He was upset, yelling at his mom, not wanting to go in for chemo, all very familiar to me. As he was freaking out on his mom across from me, I tried to not look in their direction (I know how hard it is to deal with a child like this and then have people stare at you). She was trying to calm him down, and then I heard a slap sound. I assumed she slapped him on the hand (yes we have to still discipline our sick children) but it could have very well been him slapping her in the face. He then ran off to the corner and sat very grumpily.
After a minute or so, I looked up at her. I asked "is he on steroids?" because I know very well how kids on steroids act. "No" she said, and mentioned another chemo drug that I hadn't heard of. I asked her if he had leukemia like Noah. She shook her head no, and then covered her face and began to cry. I knew that there was nothing I could say to comfort her, so I got up and sat next to her and rubbed her back while her tears flowed.
She told me he had a different kind of cancer, affecting his nerves. And that he wasn't responding to chemo anymore. They were trying different drugs at this point.
We continued to chat, but during clinic visits, you get a couple minutes to chat with someone and then either you or they are whisked off for a test or chemo or check up. So that was all that I learned of her that day. That her son is not responding to chemo, and they are going to try for another 5 months or so. And yet, we are connected. It's a feeling I have felt with other mothers sitting in the clinic. It's a bond that we all share. We all gave birth to children that have cancer. And we share each other's pain.
Yes, my son has cancer. But he has a cancer that they know soooo much about. They know what drugs to give and when. And for how long. And that the chances of survival are pretty good. And I am so very thankful for that. There is so much unknown in this cancer journey. So much.
Count your blessing people. Count them one by one. I sure am tonight.