Tatsu, a little five-year-old boy I first met in the peds ward, stopped by my office today. Apparently he insisted that his mom bring him here, after his check-up.
The circle bandaid on his arm told me that he had blood drawn. "Did you cry?" I ask. "No," he said, like the question was ridiculous. Sheer pride is the only thing that stops me from crying when they take my blood. How many times must Tatsu have been poked in the past two years...
When I first met Tatsu he was almost totally bald. Now he has a full, thick head of hair, sticking out from under the chic beige riding cap he was sporting. He starts back at kindergarten on Thursday, and can't wait.
Tatsu left the hospital a few months ago. He's been having every-other-week check-ups ever since. He has stopped by the chaplain's office before. But today, the doctors told him he could change to once every three weeks.
Hooray! "So far, so good," said his mother. I wonder if the day will come when she will finally and truly be able to breathe easy, no longer afraid that the shadow of cancer will fall again over her little boy.
"Good job!" I squat down and hold up my hand up. Smack! A good, solid connection, the sound of life and vigor. The manly high-five of a little boy with a future.