Sunday, March 23, 2008

Day 3 - The day of the surgery

Seattle, March 21th, 2008 - We are now slowing learning more about this monster of a disease. Shivam is having more medicine than food. He has almost become more quiet. Maybe he will laugh once a day, give his old sweet smile once...

We informed his daycare and his teacher, Ms. Leah cried. It was touching. There is so much love in this world. We just need to open our eyes a bit more. Another very close friends of our, Rutwick and Shilpa were making many trips every day to support and help us.

We had now not seen Meera, our 9 month old daughter for over 48 hours. And we were missing her. Badly.

We had also called Bapu and Mummy in Bangalore and Pramod, Jaya and Usha didi immediately booked theor tickets. They were leaving from India tonight.

The doctors told us about the various options by which they could admister the chemo therapy that would be apart of our lives for the next 3 and a half years. We selected the "port under the skin" thingy. Shivam was scheduled to go into surgery tomorrow. We also talked to the doctors about his ear infection and ear tubes. An ENT doctor was promised to us.

Morning time and a resident surgeon walks in and starts telling us about the surgery scheduled in the afternoon. We don't understand what's going on. After some "strong" discussions we find that Shivam has been re-scheduled for today and that ear tubes are not on agenda. This time, I fight back. An ENT surgeon comes within 1/2 hour, examines Shivam and gives the go ahead for the ear tubes in the same operation.

Shivam again has to stay without any food and water. This is the hardest part. On one side, he is on drips and is not eating. And then in those rare moments when he asks for water, I have to refuse him. I am literally bleeding blood from my heart. But I know, this is for his good.

By the way, because of all the fluids his WBC is down to 30,000 now.

He is again wheeled into surgery for hour and a half long operation. He is scared and wants us. Oh God, this is painful to write. The doctors give him a sedative and take him away. We are given a pager and told to go wait. WAITING... THE HARDEST THING IN LIFE.

At this point, I would like to introduce our fellow MD, Dr. Rabi Hanna into the picture. He has been there from the start, but I feel this is a great moment. He is a wonderful doctor and wil be our prime contact during the next 3 1/2 long years for Shivam's chemo therapy treatment. In the morning, we had already been "explained" all about the standard treatment. Dr. Hanna used this 1 hour to explain to us a clinical trail that we could take part in. Well, in which Shivam would take part in. More out this trial can be read here. More on this later.

Our beeper buzzed. We ran like madmen to the 4th floor to the surgery department where our life was being opersted on. After another 1 hour of long and painful waiting, he was brought back, still sedated and barely concious. He was tired and extremely sore from the surgery.

The rest of the day seems to be a blur right now. I remeber Dr. Hanna coming by in the evening and talking a bit more about the clinical trial. We decided that we will enroll Shivam there and informed Dr. Hanna late in the evening about it.

That night, was the first night in 72 hours when we slept for 4 straight hours.

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