Being at the hospital stinks. There are hard days … and then there are really hard days. However, mixed in are these little rays of sunshine—memories you want to hold onto—fun things you have done.
Here are 4 of my favorite memories from when my son, Cooper, was getting cancer treatment at Children’s.
1. Making Those Little Legs Motor Forward
There was the time Cooper took his first steps—again. During his first few weeks of treatment, he forgot how to walk. So, Physical Therapy was helping us teach him again, and progress was slow.
We were in the toy room playing at the train table one day, and Cooper surprised us all by taking one step and then another.
2. Babes In Toyland
When the weather was nice and Cooper was feeling well, we liked to take him to the second-floor veranda at Children’s. We made that place our playground with bubbles, soccer balls, and hide and seek.
I’ll never forget the sight of my husband, Justin, chasing 2-year-old Cooper around with the IV pole. Justin was so quick and fast on his feet that I think Cooper forgot he was even hooked up to the pole. He could move around wherever he wanted, and Daddy could keep up with him. When I tried to do it, I wasn’t fast enough and always had to tell Cooper to slow down!
When we couldn’t get outside but Cooper was feeling restless, we’d walk the halls. Cooper figured out he could ride on his IV pole while Justin pushed him around and around 6th floor. It might not have been the best exercise for Cooper, but man, it sure was fun!
3. Paws-itively Delightful Visitors
When the volunteers brought the therapy dogs around, we all got excited. We have a dog at home, and we missed her. So, the volunteer dogs gave us a little boost.
Each week, they would take a picture of Cooper with his favorite dog. We saved those pictures, and it’s amazing to see the changes in Cooper throughout his treatment—from losing his hair to starting to look more healthy. I only wish I would have written the dates on the photos when we took them.
4. Making A Grand Exit
But hands down, one of my best memories from when Cooper was at Children’s was his last day of treatment at the Infusion Center. There were two nurses who had taken care of Cooper since he was diagnosed, first on the 6th floor and then in the Infusion Center. We had a special relationship with them, because they had been there the entire 3½ years of Cooper’s treatment.
To our great joy, they were both working on the last day Cooper was at the Infusion Center, and we had a mini pizza party together to celebrate. It felt so poetic having them there at the beginning when Cooper was first diagnosed, and then at the end to celebrate with us.
We are so grateful for the people who work at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, and for all the many ways they made that hard time in our life feel special.
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