On Wednesday Xavier started radiation therapy at the Juravinski Cancer Centre beside Henderson Hospital in Hamilton.
It was a family affair. Mark, Mackenzie and I were all there as Xavier took a step closer to becoming cancer-free.
Arriving just after 7 a.m., the radiation department was still dark -- much like our thoughts that morning. I was scared and I am sure Xavier was too. He started off smiling as nurses told him how cute he is and handed him toys. It wasn't until we went into the radiation room and sat him on a table in front of a machine that looked much like a CT or MRI machine. That's when he broke down and I began to crack. The poor little guy had been stripped down to his diaper while strangers hooked him up to a monitor, taping leads to his chest and feet. His mask, mapping out where the eight radiation beams will strike was beside him. An IV had already been started and before I knew it he was being sedated. His head and shoulders fell limp in the nurses hands as she layed him back on the table. I stood beside him for as long as I could. Mark and Mac stood behind me.
I held back tears as we left the room.
Every time I see Xavier sedated, which has been many times, I want to cry. He is so helpless, so innocent and so precious.
The radiation itself was quick but a few adjustments to his mask had to made on day one, which kept him sedated for more than two hours. He woke up happy, but became very irritable in the afternoon until he went to bed in the evening. We were told not to expect to see any side effects for about two weeks, however the sedation can make him cranky.
Our entire routine/schedule has been thrown out the window again. I can't help but feel defeated. I worked so hard to get the twins on the same schedule and form good sleeping habits, but now it is back to square one. All for a good cause, I suppose, but it's hard to remember that when you see your son struggle every day with treatment.
I will continue to take this day by day and only hope it doesn't take long to carve out a new routine that works for all of us. That is until treatment is over -- 31 sessions to go.