“Remember to laugh.” These words were spoken to me by a friend who is also currently navigating a medical hardship, and she is spot on. Without laughter, these hard and scary days would be much more difficult.
Over the last three days, Carter has rocked his rATG (rabbit anti-thymocyte globulin) infusions. This is not the first time Carter has received an ATG. During his Immunosuppressive Therapy (IST) in November of 2021, he received hATG, the horse version. Each is part of the standard regimen for their respective treatments.
Unlike with his hATG, Carter did not have any strong reactions this time, only some nausea. We were watching closely for hives, headaches, and fever. We will still monitor him for serum sickness for a while. Thankfully, Carter has been feeling well enough to attend school and do all of his hospital daily “jobs,” including his required laps around the unit and physical therapy.
When we were in Boston during IST, we had a morning routine of sharing "horse" jokes during rounds. As the days went on, our jokes got really good, and our Attending’s jokes got even better. We looked forward to it every day. So it only makes sense that this time around with rATG, we needed to have our “rabbit” jokes ready. We have had some good ones and even received a couple from our friend with her reminder to laugh.
Carter enjoys the jokes but is also often embarrassed by his parents and our mom/dad jokes. As it goes with tweens, most things we do or say tend to embarrass him these days. Tim and I take great pride in our ability to embarrass our kids, whether it is the jokes, singing, dancing, or carrying on in some fashion. We are just doing it to see them laugh.
Like laughter, music is also medicine for us. If you have been to our home, you know the music is always on, the volume will likely increase as the day (or night) goes on, and a dance party will ensue. So, naturally, we brought our speaker to the hospital with us… and of course, the music has been on! While we are trying to get Carter up to join us in some dancing, he has yet to shake his new cotton tail! 😉
Today, day -7, is Carter’s first day of chemotherapy with a drug called fludarabine. We have heard that it is generally tolerated well and aren’t expecting too many harsh side effects.
We will keep you updated, and in the meantime, please help us keep laughing - send us any good PG jokes you have!