Monday, May 21, 2007

First Outpatient Visit, Part 3

OK, to add on to what I posted before:

Ben's blood also was tested, and the results were good. His white blood cell count is approaching normal, so he can now have some additional foods like carrots and watermelon. His hemoglobin and other counts also were very good, so he did not need a transfusion today. Thanks to everyone who has donated blood. For those of you outside LA, don't worry about trying to donate remotely for Ben. But please give blood where you are, as there are many other kids (and adults) with similar needs.

We'll be spending a lot of time in the Cancer Center at Cedars. It's a pretty interesting place. All below ground, but there are some places with skylights so you don't feel completely weird. Still, it's kind of like going into a spaceship -- everything is white and modern looking. I imagine we'll get used to it.

They have a playroom there where Ben can wait betweens tests and procedures. The playroom is funded by the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Fund at Cedars -- you can click the link in the right margin to donate. Believe me, they need money. The computer used by the Child Life Services people who run the playroom doesn't even have enough memory to load a web page with a photo! I think this place is absolutely essential for kids getting cancer treatment. They have a couple of Starlight Foundation fun centers (see my previous post on this -- you can click a link in the right margin to donate) plus books, games, toys, etc. It lets the kids escape the reality of their situation for a little while. And they can be with other kids going through the same thing. Today we met a 20-month old boy being treated for a sarcoma, a 2-year-old (completely bald) being treated for some other cancer, and an older kid. There is some amazing artwork on the walls, all done by pediatric cancer patients. I might take some photos later and post them if that is permitted.

Lots of people have asked us to post some photos of Ben and David, so we may do that eventually. We started off trying to make this site somewhat anonymous since it is open to the public, but I think we've lost the anonymity anyway.

Thanks again to everyone for reading and supporting us. We're past the initial shock of our boy getting cancer, but it's still not easy. Your support really makes a difference for us and we appreciate it.


mama said...

Hi Ben!

This is your friend Nicole. We all miss you so very much at Turning Point. Percy is sending his special ‘HI’. He told me (but that’s a secret) that he enjoyed staying with you over the weekend the most!!! I know, because you are a GREAT friend.

You are very brave and strong! We are so proud of you and hope to see you soon.


Scott said...

Nicole, Ben had a HUGE smile on his face when I read him your comment. Thanks!