On Pride

Midway through the day, Jordan called me from Children’s Hospital, where she was having her weekly blood work.

– Dad, I got two shots and I didn’t cry!

– Two, shots! Why did you get two shots?

– Oh, I had to get a flu shot and a shot to help my body make more white blood cells.

There wasn’t the slightest bit of concern in her voice, only pride at her accomplishment. I hadn’t seen the two text messages Jeanette had sent me; the first to tell me Jordan’s counts were very low and the second to tell me she was getting a dose of GCSF to boost white cell production from her bone marrow. I didn’t need those texts. I had already pieced it together in my head and my heart kind of sank. Nevertheless, Jordan brought me right back up.

– Hey, Dad. Will you do a favor for me?

– Sure. What?

– Can you go into my Facebook and tell people that I got two shots and I didn’t cry? Because I want to be healthy for Thanksgiving.

I was only too happy to oblige. I’ll get the full download tonight. This is the expected consequence of Jordan’s chemotherapy protocol. We expect it, but it’s never very comforting. We now go back to becoming germ-phobic. Jordan’s ANC is below 500, and her white blood cell count is dipping but her pride is over-abundant.