Yesterday was the big round of doctors and staff who helped Damian recover. His blood work came back normal. As he said, he is now officially a cancer survivor! We went to the Hassenfeld Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders where he had been treated. I met the pediatric oncologist, the nurses, endocrinologist, social workers, massage therapist, physical therapy therapists, and probably a few other important supportive staff. The warmth, compassion and clarity of expression was evident on all interactions. I was very impressed.
The place itself is well organized, with pods for tests, interviews, treatment, and whatever else needed. It was cheerful, buzzing with activity. Lots of parents and children, doctors, nurses, strollers and grandparents, coming and going. They have a games room, a library, kitchen, general waiting room. Nevertheless, it was hard seeing so many children undergoing treatment, some maybe successful, as was Damian’s, some maybe not. I suppose the staff get used to seeing bald children, children with tubes running into their bodies, concerned parents. I found it hard.
Then we took Damian to the 92nd Street Y for a two hour photography class. That gave Tamar and me a chance to hang out In nearby cafe. A little down time after an intense few hours at the Cancer Center. They, Tamar, Dan and the staff have done such a wonderful job helping Damian through this process. He’s strong, resilient and cheerfully engaged in the process of healing. It’s not easy still. There is more. He needs to regain his strength. As well, now Tamar needs some time for herself. The psychology fellow at the Center said that’s what I am here for. But I live in Canada. That’s not next door from here.