Well, a few stitches can’t slow this boy down.  Aside from missing his last week of swim lessons (much to his dismay — not), he’s doing everything normally: running, playing, climbing. Here he is at Horseshoe Lake Park a few days ago climbing higher on the rope structure than he ever has before.

The boys even went to Chautauqua with my parents from Saturday to Sunday, while Mark and I hit the eastern Ohio wineries with some friends, a nice and much-needed break for us. Because, did I happen to mention, that last Tuesday, the day of “the incident,” was also our 8th wedding anniversary? I know, just our luck, right? We had celebrated on Monday by going out for a nice dinner, knowing that we’d be in Kalahari on the actual day. And then were thinking we might get to go out for a drink that night after Mark’s parents came back from their dinner to watch the boys in our hotel room. But no, instead we spent another anniversary in a hospital, three years after “celebrating” our 5th as newly minted parents of a child with cancer. The 8th, while bloodier, was definitely better.

And in the never-slowing-down category, tomorrow we head to the hospital for a whopping five doctors’ appointments. Yuck. First we have follow-up with the radiation oncologist which is no big deal. Then a  chest CT, which he gets every three months to check for possible cancer in his lungs. After that, an abdominal ultrasound to check for cancer in his kidney. Then it’s vascular mapping, a procedure done for the surgeon who would eventually place a dialysis catheter, if and when such a thing becomes necessary. This is not pending, as you know, but in the case of either new growth (cancer) or worsening kidney function, we might need to move quickly to remove the kidney and start dialysis.  This mapping of Austin’s veins will help the surgeon decide whether to place a fistula or graft, which really means nothing to you (or even us) until it happens.

And finally we end our day by visiting the out-patient oncology clinic for a check-up and labs. My big worry (well, besides the big worry) is that he lost so much blood last week that he’ll need his next transfusion sooner than we’d expected. I’m just hoping it’s not next week because the boys are headed back to camp and I’m planning to complete (I mean, start) all the organizing, filing, unpacking, and cleaning that I’ve had all summer to do.

It never does slow down . . .

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