We went for Joshua's check-up today and his blood counts were all very low. His eyes were starting to have dark circles around them and as you can see from the photo he was starting to look slightly coneheaded. To remedy this a blood transfusion was needed or he would not be ready to receive his next round of chemo. Staying on schedule with his regimen is important because the doctors don't want to give the cancer any chances to begin growing again. Our choices were to be admitted and get it done today or come back tomorrow on Friday to do it. I figured since we were already here, we chose to just do it today. Joshua had to have his port accessed and then they did what they call a type and cross so they could order the blood. The numbing cream did it's job and he didn't cry when the nurse put in the needle. His room wasn't ready yet, so we were given a voucher worth $5 to take him to the cafeteria and get him some lunch, also when we have to stay at the hospital they give me a pin that entitles us to a 20% discount. Nikole came with me to Joshua's appointment, so she got to hang out with us the whole day and it turned into a long day. It was nice Joshua wasn't connected to an i.v. yet, so we didn't have a pole to drag around with us.
Joshua's appetite comes and goes so I never know what he'll eat, also the chemo causes his likes and dislikes to change. He has funny quirks about eating sometimes, for instance, he started liking Happy Meals at McDonald's because he can get juice and apples with his cheeseburger. He doesn't like french fries anymore, he used to like them when he was younger, but suddenly one day he decided he hated them. The last time we went to McDonalds, though, it turned out to be an "Un" Happy Meal, he didn't like the Shrek toy that was included, so he wouldn't eat any of the food. He also loves pancakes, but when he eats them the server must adhere to a strict system. The succulent rounds must be cut into squares and placed on one side of the plate with the syrup carefully drizzled on the other side. The community of pancake squares is not allowed to co-mingle with the pool of syrup until just moments before consuming, any prior co-mingling causes the breakfast to become null and void. One square at a time is placed onto the fork and then, and only then, the morsel is permitted to bathe in the golden sweetness.
At the cafeteria Joshua decided he wanted a cheeseburger and they serve a great burger, fry and drink special here. The cheeseburger comes on the plate with fries on one side and lettuce, tomato and an onion slice on the other. I should have known better by now, because when Joshua saw the the lettuce and fries on the plate touching against his burger he got upset no longer wanted "that" burger, he insisted on having a new one. At this point you can't reason with him, if I try it will only escalate the situation, so I simply picked up the plate off our table, took it out of his view around the corner where the spoons and forks were, placed the offending cheeseburger solo onto a new plate and returned to the table with the "new" one. He was perfectly content and proceeded to eat nearly the whole thing, which made him very happy and me ever happier.
Once we checked in his room, the transfusion took several hours to complete and then we got to go home. His appointment started at 10am and by the time we left it was 9:30pm. A long day indeed.