Heather (Melissa’s Mom) and Charlotte (Nicky M.’s Mom) fly in to Calgary from Vancouver. Charlotte’s husband is a pilot for Air Canada. As a family member she is able to get tickets for the cost of the taxes. She and Heather had to fly on stand- by which means after the regular ticket holders have boarded and if there is still room they can fly too. Or, if people buy tickets but don’t show up after last call those on stand- by can then take their seat. We reunite like soldiers who have been together in the trenches.
Nicholas came close to dying. We could have intervened but due to medical advice we did not. We stepped back and didn’t fight with fate. He’s a tired boy and we would have let him go. But, we don’t believe this beautiful little boy of ours will die because we can’t fathom what that looks like. I kind of get how it might feel because the tiniest bit of going there and my chest is on fire and I can’t catch my breath.
The last few hours has changed the status of how the hospital views our child. Remember he didn’t get the chemo Compound 506U78 due to his kidneys being weakened? They didn’t want to give the chemo in case it shut down his kidneys and he died of organ failure. Alberta Children’s Hospital now has the same conclusion as BCCH: Nicholas is not going to survive this cancer.
Alberta Children’s Hospital have petitioned the National Cancer Institute in Washington, DC. I’m being morbid when I imagine the conversation. This 12 year old male will not survive no matter what we do so we wish to try this experimental chemotherapy. Chemotherapy Compound 506U78 is on its way. We could say No, the poor little guy has had enough, do nothing and watch Nick die, because he will if we quit now. Some parents would. It’s compassionate to stop the madness. But we just can’t. Will we regret this? Are we prolonging his suffering? I pray Compound 506U78 is our miracle.
Friday, September 24
Last night, late in the evening on dear Frankie’s epic 15th birthday, Compound 506U78 arrived and was hung. There is no time to waste waiting for reasonable hours. Nicholas barely stirred as his IV line was fished out of the blankets, the lumen swabbed with alcohol and the lines attached. Drip, drip. The bag took one hour to empty into Nick.
This morning, the lab arrived and took blood samples. In an hour, the results are waved in our faces. Charlotte, Heather, FH, Frankie and I huddle over the paper. There is a drastic diminishing of blasts. In two seconds I go from overjoyed to nauseous. Have we done the right thing?
I want to ask Nicholas what he wants. Inside my head I struggle with the words to say to him. He’s in some kind of sleeping state and is difficult to rouse. Maybe he won’t ever wake up.
Charlotte and Heather gather close. My two friends sling their arms around me. Charlotte says, “Follow Nick. He will show you the way.”
Yes. But I can only go so far. Sweet Nicholas, just please don’t give up.