I had remembered to bring Rene's snow pants and rain boots, so we put double wool socks on him and went outside. It was such a joy to see his little face beaming from inside his blue hood. He was just glowing. He had a snowball fight with another child in the house and helped build two huge snow men with Luis, who rolled the big balls with no mittens. (We both forgot our own gloves, but had all the other outdoor gear we needed.)
Good News Post Radiation
Rene still hasn't suffered very many symptoms from the radiation. His appetite is slightly reduced (he'll come to the table and eat less food before he says he's full) but he's eating enough to stay healthy. He also gets tired after exerting himself a lot - like the day he played in the snow. But he can still play, though! He helped shovel, then played for two hours in the snow!
No diarrhea or any other difficulty showed up. The effects of radiation are cumulative, so while we don't expect anything new to crop up, he is still feeling them. The radiation oncologist told us that the occasional child won't show symptoms until a few weeks after radiation has ended. I don't expect any surprises, but it's good to have that in mind and encourage him to rest. Luis and I are very glad we had the water goal of 1250 ml per day in place. He didn't meet the goal because he couldn't start until after he awoke from the anesthetic every day, but he was drinking 900 to 1000 ml a day. We think that all the water helped his intestine to stay healthy (it received incidental radiation) and to wash out the dead neuroblastoma cells from his original tumour site.
It's so nice to have the fear of unknown complications from radiation out of the way. Every new treatment brings a set of "unknowns" into our lives. Now we just have to keep an eye on Rene for scoliosis as he grows because the muscles on either side of his spine received different amounts of radiation. Ug. Still, it's manageable.
The snowman they made (I was being a wimp because I didn't have any mittens). At first Luis refused to come out, but soon showed up with a bag of veggies. He had a plan.