“There is no place like home. There is no place like home”
A month passed and in that time Szymon mostly stayed inside, with rare occasions when we could go outside and visit nearby forest or playground located next to the building. During our first month we had one exception, which happened just before starting second round, where we had a chance to visit home for few hours. Something that you would not even consider in any other circumstances to be a reason for worry, here generated thoughts and emotions that we needed somehow to bear with. How he will react to his first home visit after spending so much time in CSD? Will he want to come back to the facility? Will he cry wanting to stay home? All of those question brought back fear into our hearts. Something that is so much needed by us, small break from those walls and corridors, may cause more issues than intended.
Road home was full of those questions and the hardest part was, that since it was first time we were put in this kind of situation, we did not know what to do. It was impossible to predict what will be his reaction seeing his room again. Based on the talk with CSD psychologist, we were advised to emphasize the fact, that this is just a small break, that we are coming home only to pick up more toys, and need to come back to the facility. We had already scenarios in our heads how to facilitate the discussion. Ensure that the suffering, of him needing to come back to the Center, will be minimized. As proven also later, the youngest one is the most mature in the family, he was the first one to say that we need to come back after we rest a bit and pick up the toys. That there are new friends there, other cadets, and day-room where he have even more toys. He was young at that time, barely talking, but in his heart he knew already, that there are things you need to be do and the best way would be to find some positives in them.
Second round consisted of 24 hour chemo injection and 24 hour rinsing. Thought of whole day watching our Son, to ensure nothing wrong will happen, brought additional stress. We envisioned that during the night he will turn stretching the tubing, forcing the needle to come out and chemo will burn his body. That something else may happen, which we cannot even think of now, as all is new to us. This was even more stressful to M, as she was the one who would need to stay up all night and watch if all is fine. Luckily nothing bad has happened and time flew very quickly. After those two days we finally heard some good news.
“Unfortunately due to good blood results, we need to take a short break before third round. This means you can go home for couple of days. Your son is in better condition that we initially expected. Nevertheless if you see any worrying signs please come back. Otherwise we will see you in few days for the third round” Said Captain Blind before giving us pass to go home.
At first we did not believed what we were hearing. First of all, we did not thought that he will take the chemo so well, and second we were told that we will not leave the premises for next three months, and here we are being told different. Once the information reached our consciousness we were fulfilled with euphoria. It is really hard to explain, but I can imagine that it can be somehow compared to what a prisoner may feel when he is about to leave jail after serving his sentence. You finally have a break from those walls, corridors, break from having a need to use common bathroom, kitchen, and finally can have some privacy. You finally can feel your home again. I know that this was mostly felt by M, as she was the one spending all her time in CSD, for me it was more a feeling that my family is back home. Three of us can lay in same bed, close our eyes, and for a second forget about this whole nightmare. We knew, that it will be just split of a second, soon to be forgotten, that we have to come back to the next round, but we put that thought somewhere deep in our minds. Deep enough not find it quickly, and just enjoy the moment.
When I was young I treated my house a bit like that prison, trying to spend there as little time as possible. I felt that the world is waiting for me. Therefore either with my friends or alone, I preferred to be outside. Exploring the streets of my home town or open field where my grandparents lived. From dawn to dusk, any weather would be fine, just to leave the house. This changed a little when I started to work, and home was a place where I wanted to rest after work, but still weekends I chose to be out in the world looking for adventures. Time passed and having recent experience, now I see it more, as a sanctuary, place of return, place where you can hide from the world, from all that is troubling you, and for a short moment in time you can pretend that your life is different, your life is normal.
“Ready for the next round?” Captain Blind looked at us hoping to see some kind of confirmation. We were still terrified and not willing to cope freely, hoping that this is just bad dream and with just one blink of an eye we will wake up from it. And that we don’t need to agree to anything as it is not really happening. Reality, as always, was differed. Expecting from us to be part of this process. Forcing us, sooner or later, to be ready for what is about to come. But can you really be ready for it? Can you really prepare yourself for what is inevitable? Thing, which you try to push away from your consciousness as much as possible. And only moments like those reminds you, that this world is not your home… this is just a place where we are for a short period of time, hoping that once we leave it, we finally rest in peace. Rest in a place where we would want to stay forever, place where we will not pretend to be happy as happiness will be our new home.