Sunday, January 20, 2008

4 of 8

Half-way there....

8 Updates on Vampboy

1. The seizures seem to be under control, as he hasn't had one in over a week. He's also sleeping better, so we're hoping that the increase in his medication dosage has done the trick. There's lots of wiggle room (he's not even getting half the allowable dosage), but a little seems to go a long, long way.

2. This past week he had an LP (Lumbar Puncture). The purpose was to "close the book" on the seizure-related drama we had in December when we thought it might be a cancer relapse. The LP came back negative, so we're still in the cancer-clear. However, his next MRI is February 1st, so we'll panic again in about two weeks.


4. Last night he enjoyed a dinner party with some friends from school -- followed by a sleep-over! I know I speak for many when I note that VB is a favorite amongst ladies in the 2-3 year range (and beyond). While it was amusing to hear him running about excitedly talking about how he and he friend J were "going to go to bed together", they did end up sleeping in separate rooms. My script for "the talk" just isn't ready yet.

5. One of the most profound therapeutic interventions we received towards the end of VB's treatment wasn't chemo or an anti-biotic -- it was a sticker chart. During our final stay in the hospital one of the "child life specialists" popped by at the opportune moment to see something people outside of my wife and I rarely witness: the Vampboy Meltdown. This is most often caused by the trauma of changing a diaper or getting dressed -- a toddler's version of water boarding, I suppose. The specialist asked if we had tried a sticker chart to reward him for compliance, and quickly whipped up a grid on blue construction paper. I am happy to report that, after a month of use, Vampboy this weekend got to pick out a new train at the local toy store for filling his sticker chart to the brim. Today he excitedly made a new one, and the process begins again. Believe me, spending $20 on a new Thomas train is worth it if it means not getting kicked in the mouth again by a screaming child.

6. We have begun the road towards "independence from foreign diapers". We figured we'd wait awhile before engaging in any further dramas, but VB has taken the lead of his peers and started to ask to "use the potty" without us mentioning it. It'll be a long journey filled with reading books on body functions, but I can't wait for the day we don't have to spend $30 on a box of nappies.

7. It is remarkable to see photos of the little guy even from a month ago. Not only has his hair returned, but his chubby cheeks and tummy are back with a vengeance, thanks to a solid appetite. In addition, he's wowed us by trying some things we never thought he'd try -- including sweets, which he used to ignore completely.

8. VB will be 3 years old next month -- a miracle by any standard that should be celebrated. However, how we recognize the event is up for grabs. He's at the age now where you can transition from adult-oriented parties, where the child is on display covered in chocolate, to kid-friendly fair, where parents hide in the corner while screaming little ones cover themselves (and your most expensive duvet) in chocolate. Vampboy has made his intentions clear, stating that his birthday will take place at the "Moose Restaurant", complete with animatronic hunting victims and a puppet moose head that sings "Happy Birthday" to unsuspecting patrons. I don't know if that can symbolize the momentous event, but it reminds me that VB is not really a cancer survivor, caught in the "miracle of life" glow -- he's just a kid who likes his mac and cheese while some Buffalo head makes a joke about not having a body.


Anonymous said...

VB sounds like he's doing wonderful! I am so glad you gave us details of what's happening with him. It is hard to comprehend what he has been through, and he's still under three! I am a friend of Grayson here
in socal. Just hoping he continues to beat this ugly disease, as VB has. I will continue to follow VB's progress.Your writing is clearly a gift for your readers. I wish you,VM and little VB the very best for the future.


Anonymous said...

So wonderful to hear about the progress of the little one! And he has good taste, Bugaboo Creek is a lot of fun. I'm partial to the racoon who pops out from a barrel and whips around. :)
heather a~*

Meg said...

oh my gosh, declan is just about the most adorable thing i've ever seen with that little cupcake in his hand. :)

Papa Bradstein said...

Every update has been a miracle, and these eight are no different. And that hair, and that smile...those are little miracles too!

Henitsirk said...

He is a cutie patootie! Three is such a great age. I'm sure my girl would swoon for Vampboy. How wonderful that everything remains in the clear for him.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I forgot to comment on VB's snap shots.
He is adorable! He is indeed a miracle! Thanks
for sharing. Joanne

Lainey-Paney said...

It DOES INDEED sound wonderful...

...and, boy, do I ever know those fits! Sometimes Gage will throw a fit b/c there is a speck of dirt on the floor. No---seriously. I will have to stop what I'm doing--inspect the speck, remove the speck so that we are all free to move about the cabin.... UGH.

...but...we love it. We love them & their little quirky things. The kicking & screaming...well, we could all live w/ a little less of that! Am I right?

Potty training: good job. I'm trying to let Gage take the lead pressure...all in his own good time. Some days---he wants Big Boy Underwear. Some days---he'll tell you that he wants a diaper.
And I too am very tired of paying for them!

...a sleepover already??? I'm very impressed.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that Vampboy has gotten even cuter, but it's true. Those pudgey pink cheeks are soooo cute.....


Anonymous said...

He is soooo cute! I am so anxious to see all three of you! VampMommy, Happy Birthday! VampDaddy, Happy Belated Birthday!
Love and Miss you!
Aunt Anna

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading about VB's progress. Hope to meet him.

Your marathon bud,