Closing the book on 2010
Real sense of relief with the onset of the weekend. Sereen completed two consecutive days of radiation treatment and will continue next week Monday-Thursday to complete the six total sessions. But we are relieved with the temporary reprieve between now and then. No radiation, no new chemo. Hopefully this will mean that we can have a quiet couple of days before Yousuf and Maaria have to go back...
Setback in Staging
Yesterday the oncologist called with the disappointing news that the diagnosis from the central national pathology center for wilm’s tumors was to downgrade from a stage II to stage III. Means that we will have to do radiation and also means that the chemo regiment will change to be more aggressive as well. Also means the duration of the treatment will be longer. I write this while waiting in the...
Today my wife and I took Sereen back to Hope Children’s Hospital to begin our 18 week regiment of chemotherapy to rid her of the effects of the Wilm’s tumor she was diagnosed with last week. I tossed and turned all night in the lead up to today. Although we had been given a tour of the clinic prior to our leaving the hospital, the unfamiliarity with the whole chemo process had me...
My late night conversation with PICU Nurse
Me: So how long have you been working here?
Nurse: Less than a year. I jumped on the opportunity to come to this hospital. The attrition rate here is less than 1% per year.
Me: That seems counter intuitive. Pediatric ICU isn't a place people would associate with happiness.
Nurse: I wouldn't trade this job for anything else.
Me: (pause as I absorb the statement) So have you finished your Christmas shopping?
Nurse: (laughing) Not even close.
Me: (attempt at making joke) Don't worry. You have plenty of time. Less than a week.
Nurse: It isn't that big of a deal anyway. 80% of the gifts I buy for Christmas are for the kids on this floor. They become a part of my family, more so than my real family.
With the onset of being able to eat solid foods, we were thankfully discharged from the hospital and sent home. Prior to leaving, we were given the pathology report from the Oncologist. The tumor was diagnosed as a Stage II Wilm’s tumor with favorable histology. We will be beginning an 18 week chemotherapy regiment on Monday with high hopes that she will be 100% cured but at the same...
Day 6 - Steady Recovery
The focus of today was continued recovery from Friday’s surgery. Highlights: Sereen began to drink again and eating clear foods like jello and chicken broth. She wasn’t too big a fan of any of it until we started to put small pieces of Arabic pita bread in the soup. You should have seen her grab that piece of bread out of our hands and chomp away. We had to pry it out of her hands,...
Day 5 - Out of the ICU
Day 5 started with me taking my turn on the night shift with Sereen in the ICU (my wife and I have moved to alternating the night shift with the other spouse at home trying to give as much a sense of normalcy to Sereen’s siblings as possible) and ended with Sereen out of the ICU and into a regular hospital room. In between those two bookmarks, the following reflections: If sleep is such an...
I am a progeny of Abraham - I will make my way through the fire– Rumi
Joining the Club
From the minute that my daughter was checked into the floor primarily made up of cancer patients I can’t help but feel that we have joined a club. Up until now, other people’s kids had something like this happen to them. To add to the feeling, the people who most passionately have responded with phone calls and messages are those adults who have fought or are fighting cancer...
Health is a crown worn on the head of a person but it is only seen by the sick– Arabic proverb
Your World Can Change in a Minute
It is close to midnight as I sit in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Hope Children’s Center Hospital next to my two and half year old daughter who has just come out of surgery to remove a what looks like at this point a Wilm’s tumor growing from her right kidney. It was a little over 48 hours ago that my wife and three kids were at home finishing packing for our winter family...
My Top 5 Artists (Week Ending 2010-12-12) →
ALO (2) Dinletir (2) Mary J. Blige (1) James Taylor (1) Zach Gill (1) Imported from Last.fm Tumblr by JoeLaz
Traditional ethics saw action in terms of it’s immediate effect on others...– Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, the Dignity of Difference
Email and the Bystander Effect
With each passing day, I find email more and more inefficient as a communication vehicle. One of the biggest examples of this impotency is the dreaded “cc:” and what can be labeled as the bystander effect. First a definition on the bystander effect. The bystander effect is also called the Genovese Effect, Genovese Syndrome or diffusion of responsibility. The theory behind this...
We have ‘just enough religion to make us hate one another but not enough...– Jonathan Sacks, in his book “The Dignity of Difference”, quoting Jonathan Swift. Current book I am reading.
What made him do it? →
Piece by leading founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel, in the Washington Post where he astutely presents an theory on the evolution of a young naturalized American of Somali descent with no clear thread of alienation running through his adolescence becomes the “Portland Christmas Tree Bomber”. Eboo compares and contrasts his own search for identity with that of Mohamed...