Little man is doing great. Little bit more sleepy than the average bear, but he is as happy as always and eating really well. We are starting consistent solid food times and beginning to wean him off the bottle! Baby steps, but it’s a start!
We went to a stand-up comedy show a couple weeks ago, and the headline comedian did a stint on the post office and how we will explain snail mail to our grandkids some day. Until 4 months ago, our mail was pretty much how everyone’s is – either bills or junk mail. It’s a good day when it’s just junk mail and no bills right? And even though most people just throw junk mail in the trash, myself included, the business I am a co-owner of does some direct mailing because it does still work. The cost to do a direct mailing is low, and all you need is a couple people to respond. Direct mail (aka junk mail) also counts as one of the times you see a business’ name, and “they” say you need to see a business name 5 or 10 or 24 or whatever number of times before it sinks in.
Back to our mail. We’d also get the occasional birthday and holiday cards, and the always entertaining Christmas letters families write. Then when Wes was diagnosed our mail changed drastically in volume and content. Now add in cards wishing him and us well (awesome!!). Also an almost daily letter from the hospital or clinics about something or another (bill, referral authorization, reminder of upcoming appointment, directions for upcoming sedation that we get every time even though we do this every month, etc).
Then on Saturday, we got a letter from the hospital. It was actually from Wes’ oncologist, Dr. Speak Softly. She stated she was leaving the hospital and we’d have a new doctor. As I type that, I can see how you wouldn’t have much of a reaction to that sentence. Doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. Everyone at the hospital is great. And we are almost done with chemo treatment.
When Wes was diagnosed, we went through a range of emotions. And from talking to others about their experience, it doesn’t seem we were alone in this list. You can imagine the main ones – shock, fear, anger, fear, shock, fear, anger, fear, numbness, fear, anger, determination, a need to understand all the details, not wanting to hear any negative-thinking numbers, fear, anger. But also there is trust. Trust that the doctors will do everything they can, trust that your son is not just a number to them, trust that they will be with you all the way. Dr. Empathy even said that at one point – this is a tough road but I will be with you all the way. That trust had to be earned by those doctors – we didn’t give it easily.
AFCH is a teaching hospital, so we see many people for just one appointment – our main folks and then all of the folks who are training with them. So Dr. Speak Softly is just one member of our team, and honestly we only saw her for about 10 minutes each week. But she’s ours. She’s our Dr. Speak Softly. She has a way with me, with Wes. She’s ours. And now she’s gone.
I’ve met the new doctor, let’s call him Dr. Burns (he looks an awful lot like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons). He seems nice enough, and I’m sure he is great at his job. But he’s not ours. He’s not Dr. Speak Softly.