ZhuangWei is a boy from Jiangsu Province who had retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer that takes a long time to cure and needs several rounds of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is grueling for adults never mind little ZhuangWei, who started treatment when he was only 16 months old.
During one round of chemotherapy, ZhuangWei began to cough, his face turned blue, and red spots appeared on his skin. I recognized the danger and informed the nurse, who came immediately, and stopped chemotherapy. ZhuangWei’s doctor then gave him emergency treatment; after a few minutes, he calmed down. But when he was on the drip again, the same symptoms occurred. This time I stopped the chemotherapy drip right away and informed the nurse and the doctor prescribed an oral dose of anti-allergic medicine, which allowed ZhuangWei to sleep. Later, when he was on the drip for the third time, he had no immediate reaction. I was relieved and watched over ZhuangWei until midnight when his treatment was completely finished.
During ZhuangWei’s second hospitalization, he had surgery to remove his right eyeball. After the surgery, the first moment I saw him crying and with his right eye wrapped in a gauze patch, I just couldn’t control my emotions -- my tears kept falling and I held him in my arms tightly. When ZhuangWei saw me crying, he wiped his tears away and told me with his expression, “I am brave. I won’t cry.”
After the anesthesia wore off, ZhuangWei was in a lot of pain. I held him in my arms, cuddled him, and tried every means to ease his pain and stop his crying. I started thinking how much bad luck he had had and how fortunate it would be if he had a mom to call his own. So I sang his favorite nursery rhyme, “Mama is the best person in the world.” When he heard me singing, he stopped crying and stared at my face. I kept singing it again and again and felt I was truly his mom. ZhuangWei listened carefully and soon he hummed along with me.
ZhuangWei was quite popular in the hospital ward. When his doctors came, he would give them a big smile and greet them. When his nurses came to give him the intravenous injections he hated, he would not smile. But when his nurses dropped by just to say “hi,” he would smile because he knew they weren’t going to give him a shot, and would wave goodbye when they left.
One morning, I took ZhuangWei to buy breakfast in the hospital cafeteria. There were many people lining up for breakfast, but ZhuangWei didn’t understand we had to wait in line. He saw his favorite steamed egg custard and shouted at the waitress, “Mama, mama…” In addition, he pushed people in front of us as if he were telling them, “Let me get the food first. I’m hungry. I want to eat.” The people around him said, “How cute this child is! Don’t let him go hungry. You first, please.” When the waitress gave food to me, ZhuangWei smiled happily at her and others to express his gratitude.
ZhuangWei finished his sixth round of chemotherapy in January and an examination showed that his is cancer-free! ZhuangWei, who turns 2 at the end of April, will need regular examinations to make sure there are no cancer cells, but he is expected to make a full recovery and grow up healthy.
As I got to know ZhuangWei better I was happy to be able to support him better during his treatments. His favorite fruit is banana and I prepared a lot of bananas whenever we went to the hospital--I loved to see him eat bananas. After eating bananas, he felt quite satisfied and kissed me on my cheek. I also was satisfied seeing ZhuangWei eating heartily! For me there is no job more gratifying than providing some comfort for brave, little ZhuangWei.
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