We are still in Chicago. The cyclotron in Oklahoma is still not working despite various whizz kids being flown into try and fix it. We are at the cutting edge of medical technology and know we are lucky to be able to get this treatment to Thomas, but living in a hotel for over a week with a nearly 2 year old is challenging to say the least!
The frustrations not withstanding, the two Oklahoma Procure staff who came with us are doing an amazing job of trying to keep this motley band of brothers functioning. Despite the various eating requirements, medical appointments, arrogant anaesthetists (and subsequently upset British doctors), supermarket trips all mixed up with the anxiety of needing cancer treatment have made their jobs even more difficult than normal, but I haven’t seen two people more dedicated to their patients and charges for a very long time.
Ted and Thomas have been in to Chicago proper twice in the last week (the proton centre is about 50 mins away in one of the western suburbs.) The first time we went in for a river and lake tour with all the Oklahoma procure patients and staff. Chicago is a beautiful city with fascinating and ornate architecture, albeit coupled with a reputation for crime and traffic jams! The second time we went to see a family friend who gave Thomas the run of the garden and Ted the opportunity to read the paper in peace – a well earned change of scenery for us both!
We are making new friends here. Each of the families have a brave and normally sad story to tell, but being together in this contained way has allowed us to share those stories and find amusement in the lighter sides of having proton therapy. We’ve also had to say goodbye to Lily and her parents and aunt, who left us on Sunday to return to Birmingham. Lily was Thomas’s age with a similar diagnosis and we had good fun chatting about American idiosyncracies. We wish them the very best and hope that we stay in touch.
The mums swap over today. Kitten (Becca’s mum) is landing in London as we write this and Sally (Ted’s mum) arrived in Oklahoma tonight. All our family has made changes and sacrifices to their summer plans for us and we are so grateful for their help.