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10/10/05 12:50:00 - Aren's Morale Machine

Aren's been able to keep his spirits up really well. I’m sure that it helps that the chemo isn’t messing him up as much as we were afraid it would. As of today (day 8 of chemo), he’s only thrown up three times, two of which were after downing about half a bag of pretzels. He was pretty upset about puking, but he recovered his mood pretty quickly. After the nurse took away his emesis basin, he looked at me and said, “I can’t believe I threw up in that thing. THAT WAS AWESOME!”

We have noticed a pretty steep drop in his appetite, though. It’s pretty typical for him to have cold cereal and chocolate milk for breakfast and nothing but chocolate milk for lunch and dinner. I can't say that I can really blame him, though, considering it's hospital food. Up until today the only other things he woud eat were pizza and macaroni and cheese. Ordinarily he loves any sort of chicken nugget/strip/tender/processed food. He's not into these as much though. I think that part of that is because they squeak when you chew on them. Most people don't really like having someone watching them eat. I think it's even more irritating to have someone walking down the corridors of your mind (in step with your jaw) with squeaky new shoes.

The thing that is really saving his (and all of our) sanity is his GameCube. Before I came he told me over the phone that he really likes Ultimate Spider-man, and could I please find out how much it costs and could I see if we have enough money for it. After I found it in town and bought it, I made the mistake of telling him so. From then on, he wouldn’t tell the nurses, “My dad’s coming to see me in three days”, it was “My dad’s going to bring me Ultimate Spider-man in three days!”

It didn’t stop with the nurses, either. I walked into his hospital room Saturday at about 5:00 PM. When Aren saw me, his eyes lit up. “DAAADDYYY! Did you bring me Ultimate Spider-man?” I gave it to him and we played it for a while. We had lots of fun. As he tells everyone he can, “It’s much more enjoyable than the regular Spider-man!” About three hours later, it was time for him to go to sleep. (He had been doing well enough that we were able to just leave him at the hospital.) As I was walking out the door, he called after me.

“Hey, Dad?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I tell you something?”

“Yeah.” A smile crept across my face as I thought of all the sweet things he usually says when he starts with that. I love you, dad. I missed you dad. I’m glad you’re here, dad.

“Thanks for bringing me Ultimate Spider-man.”

“I love you too, Aren.” At least he’s grateful.


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