Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 20

Caregiving AS A PARENT
The Hospital Party
BY LAURA LANG-REE
" I'm gonna miss this place! " That's a quote
we'll never forget because it ended up being
a testament to our goal of making treatment,
particularly hospital stays, as positive as possible
for our daughter and us. Cecilia's ALL
five-month consolidation phase, that series
of six three-day in-hospital chemo treatments
was long. Nasty. Seeing that huge yellow IV
bag labeled " biohazard " as we walked into her
room for the first treatment was....daunting.
But on the very last day of our five months of
consolidation, we rolled Cecilia and all our
gear out of the hospital in her little red wagon.
My husband Arne and I looked at each other
with huge bags under our eyes and silently
mouthed, " omg, we made it " ! Meanwhile,
Cecilia had wandered off to look back up at
the hospital, spinning around slowly, and declared
wistfully... " I'm gonna miss this place. "
WTF. We knew we had done something right!
As we looked over the entire treatment
B
20
eing in-patient, scheduled or otherwise, can really suck. It sucks for the patient, the
caregivers, and is especially brutal during those extended hospital stays. When our
3-year-old was diagnosed with childhood leukemia, we were told that during the first
month she'd likely be inpatient - a lot - depending on how she handled the volumes of
chemo pumped into her little body. Then, later in treatment, there would be six scheduled
hospital stays, lasting anywhere from three days to a week, again depending how she metabolized the
chemo. Oh, and that's just the schedule for when she's healthy - add more hospital stays like this for
fever, super low ANC, or chickenpox (us). As you well know, these kinds of hospital stays are pretty
standard cancer-fare. But I don't care who you are - caregiver or adult, teen or child patient, these visits
make for a long time to be stuck in a little white room pondering your (or your loved one's) existence.
If you're 'lucky' it's not COVID times and you are well enough to do laps around the ward, or visit the
playroom, take a walk outside. And if not? Yipes. You're STUCK. And at the beginning of our journey,
that kinda freaked us out, so we decided to shake things up.
ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
SEPTEMBER 2021
schedule and processed the enormity of this
particular phase I am not gonna lie, we felt a
whole lot of fear and despair. How would she
handle the huge doses of chemo? Would we be
able to sleep in the hospital? What would we do
all day?! How would we handle missing Madi,
our 15 month old, and Madi missing us? And,
how could we be sure she'd get out after three
days and not four, six, or seven? Once we had
accepted the inevitability of this next phase
of six planned hospitalizations, we decided
to just make it fun. Yes. FUN!
Enter: The Hospital Party.
In anticipation of this part of treatment, we
started hoarding all those little gifts people
were showering on our family and collected
crazy, inexpensive activities that we thought
might be fun in confinement, especially with
an IV in hand 24/7 - party decorations, window
painting kits, special movies, coloring,
puzzle books, trains and little animals for
pretend play on the floor. Next, we set up a
routine with our own parents who blessedly
lived nearby. My Mom and Dad never failed to
arrive with bags full of required fun and hearts
full of love. Dad was the Happiness Captain
http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants And Tea - September 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - September 2021

Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 1
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 3
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 4
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 5
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 6
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 7
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 8
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 9
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 10
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 11
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 12
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 13
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 14
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 15
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 16
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 17
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 18
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 19
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 20
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 21
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 22
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 23
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 24
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 25
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 26
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 27
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 28
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 29
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 30
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 31
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 32
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 33
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 34
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 35
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 36
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 37
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 38
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 39
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 40
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 41
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 42
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 43
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - 44
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - Cover3
Elephants And Tea - September 2021 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com