Monday, October 28, 2013


Much of our time these days is spent waiting. We wait to hear back from the doctor. We wait for results from tests. We wait to find out what the next step is. We wait, and we wait and we wait.

We get to the day clinic in the morning -- early, to beat the crowds. We get a number and we wait for them to call us. We go back and wait for the nurse to get the needle and set ready, we wait to check Adi's blood pressure and temperature. We wait until they reset the chair and Adi can sit on it to be weighed.

We go back to the waiting room and wait for the bloodwork to come back. We check the folder to see if Adi's results are there. We wait for them to call us to see the doctor.

The waiting room is packed, and there are little cliques. There are the Arab families, the women in their colorful headdresses, unwrapping containers of food, feeding their kids, talking and laughing. One of the fathers is shouting on his cell phone about how he was searched at a checkpoint before being allowed to pass, despite having all the proper papers. There is the woman who was our roommate for several days -- we hug each other and ask about each other's children, and then we each return to our respective sides of the room.

The Russian families have a different cadence to their speech, the food is a little bit different, and the children are fairer-skinned.

We sit in our corner, with the other Jewish families, talking, not talking, checking our phones, feeding our kids, and then they call us back to see the doctor. She tells us to go downstairs for Adi's bone marrow biopsy and intrathecal. We make our way downstairs and wait. The nurse tells us there are several children ahead of us. We wait. We talk to the other parents in the hallway. We compare diagnoses, ask how their children are responding to treatment. We mentally rank ourselves. Ahead of this one, behind that one.

They call us in, and we wait while the doctors confer and the nurses set up and we help Adi from the wheelchair to the bed, and we wait until the anesthetic kicks in and he drops into instant sleep, and then we wait outside in the hallway until they open the door and tell us to come into the recovery room and wait for Adi to wake up. Then we have to wait for another two hours before we can go back upstairs, where we have to wait to talk to the doctor about the next phase of treatment and whether we will participate in the current high risk study.

We wait. And we wait. And we stroll by the doctor's office to check what she's doing. She's with another family, kneeling in front of another child, checking closely, talking to the parents softly, gently. We wait. And we wait. And we check again to see if the doctor is still busy, and she is, still talking to these parents, still tending to their child.

And then it is our turn, and the doctor calls us in and explains about the current study, the risks and benefits, and asks us if we want to be randomized. We ask some questions, and she answers them, and we agree to be randomized into the study. She goes to input our information and to take a look at Adi's bone marrow sample, and we wait. She returns and tells us we are in the control group, so Adi will get the standard high risk treatment. She tells us that she saw no blasts in Adi's bone marrow sample, a dash of unexpectedly bright news.

And we go home, and we wait for the next day to start.