This time he drank the "juice" (protects some internal organ, probably the kidney, from the radioactive tracer) without complaining. He then sat still while the technicians put an IV in his elbow and stayed still on my lap for 10 minutes while I read him a Berrenstain Bears book as they slowly injected radioactive MIBG (it binds to neuroblastoma -- if there is any) into his body. He cried when it made his tummy upset. It can cause nausea and we hadn't had time to eat a full lunch before we went to the appointment so I think it was more uncomfortable. He managed to handle it and talk to the people to help distract himself from the discomfort.
The next day he held perfectly still on the little mobile bed in the machine. They didn't sedate him and I'm so glad because the sedation process is very taxing. He even held still when his nose itched. He just wiggled it and asked me to scratch it for him!!!! He can handle it just fine when the lens of the machine comes to within a centimeter of his nose. The scans took 2 hours and they even had to redo one bit because there was a spot of urine on his clothes -- he's a boy -- and that would "glow" in the images.
He got to watch his top choice of the movies they have in the Nuclear Medicine area: The Letter Factory. He's patient and "listens" to the movie while his head is being scanned. When that was over he chose Pokemon and fell in love with Pikachu. He has this plastic Pikachu from McDonalds (There's no excuse, I know. We all work so hard to save his little life and then we parents take him to McDonalds) and ever since he's been telling Luis and I that he'd love it if he'd fall asleep and wake up and his Pikachu would be real. When we tell him that might not happen (we're such wet blankets) he says Luis and he can make a robot Pikachu.
On the third day he did the quick comparison scan and only got to the "B" on "Letter Factory" because the scan was so quick. The day before we went to Vancouver, I had him in stitches when we did our usual conversation about what was going to happen when we went back to the hospital. The second day scan is so that they can compare to the one from the day before and rule out any stool that they see in there. I guess it "glows" too. I told Rene that he'd have to go poop so that they wouldn't have to look at his poop on the screen. He giggled and giggled and asked me to tell him more. I figured out how to say "poop" in a funny voice as many times as I could while talking about the scans.
The whole time at the hospital and Ronald McDonald House he enjoyed hugging people and re-connecting after not seeing them for a while. One volunteer who had spent hours playing with him in evenings at the Ronald McDonald House came by just to see us. We were so honoured. I couldn't believe it but a year had gone by since we'd seen her. We've had colds on some of our most recent trips to Vancouver and haven't been able to stay at RMH. It was good to see and hug everyone.
Rene enjoyed seeing his doctor, "favourite nurse," and others. He gave his doctor a painting of a turkey he'd done at school.
We tell ourselves and everyone tells us that Rene won't relapse and not to even think about it, but the fear creeps in anyways. I was bouncing around after we got the results. What a relief. The cancer will do what it does, but every time we go, we have it in the back of our heads that we could get devastating news. It's a real relief NOT to get that news.