Last week, Hunter had to receive cranial radiation because one of his spinal taps showed leukemia had reached his brain. He went in on Monday for the creation of his special "mask" and then he received the radiation Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The doctors told us that Hunter will lose about 5 IQ points and will possibly have a harder time in math and science. And of course, there is the increased risk for secondary cancers. I felt a mix of emotions upon hearing this news. First, I felt a little bitter because Hunter's very gifted at math and spatial skills. It is by all means his strength. But then I felt thankful. Thankful that the Lord had placed this child in the hands of parents who do not push academics, who do not pressure their children to keep up with their peers, and who don't even think in terms of performing at "grade level". Hunter is learning to read right now and that is great. But if he wasn't learning to read I don't think I'd care too much, honestly. Hunter is so blessed to be unschooled. Any child who is unschooled is lucky and blessed but when you are facing the kinds of challenges that Hunter is facing, it's just so awesome to not even have school or grades or keeping up or falling behind to be part of the equation. I love that God knew about Hunter's battle with leukemia long before I knew about unschooling.
On Friday I took Hunter to Vandy for his appointments. First we went to clinic where I met a brave young man who is about to undergo surgery to remove a malignant tumor from his leg. His surgery is the 22nd and his name is JohnMark. Pray for him, please. Hunter and I met with the transplant team and they had nothing but glowing things to say about his condition. They were in shock over his high hemoglobin (for which I credited chlorophyll) and they said that everything looked good. I had to report that Ronin had caught a cold somehow and they didn't seem super worried about it and said that our plan to ship her off for the rest of Hunter's time at home was unnecessary and that was a relief. Hunter and I pleaded his case about his deep desire to get into our hot tub. We discussed the details and the doctor decided that if it was that important to Hunter, we could do it. It needed to be turned down and after the rain and cooler weather came, we couldn't do it. (Luckily the Lord heard my pleas and the weather stayed warm and lovely the next day so Hunter was able to enjoy the hot tub three separate times before it started to rain).
After we left the clinic, Hunter led me to the building for radiation. Wow. I got to see where the damage is done down underground. They took us back into the room where they were to radiate his head. He laid on a table and they placed the mask on his head and secured it with brackets. After that all I know is what he said which was that there were three different machines, one on each side and one above him, and they moved around. He also said that the doctors talked to him and told him to move his nose up but he didn't respond because he knew he needed to be really still. I was told that I could watch him but I didn't want to do that. Instead I went to the waiting room and cried and prayed. I was all done when he was done and we enjoyed our walk back to the van and our drive home.
When we got home he said that he wanted to wear his mask inside to "scare Ronin to death". I asked him to stay in the garage while I went inside to get the camera. I also said that next year he should wear that mask for Halloween and call himself Radiation Boy because that was about the scariest thing I'd ever seen.