Theoden king of Rohan said it in the movie awkwardly but well, “No parent should have to bury their child”
No preparation can ready the heart of a parent for the death of a child. Bands of anguish constrict the chest like steel strapping. The heart aches not from bittersweet memory, but from the crushing boa constrictor of grief. There is but one desire, one overwhelming and unfulfillable plea; that the parent’s life might be exchanged for the child’s. We ache for Hector’s mother.
We finally hear from Dr. Paquette that Aaron’s white cells, having multiplied exponentially for the last few days to over 20,000, are bona fide. The are our allies. They fight with us against the enemy; we laud them and give thanks. Their numbers are testament to the defensive battle they wage inside Aaron.
Aaron spends all day weaned from the ventilator. A little extra oxygen and no extra pressure work just fine.
Anne reads to him from “Princess Bride” for much of the day. The reading is interrupted by intermittent coughing fits and trembling fits. The trembling fits look like panic attacks: Eyes sometimes wide and terrified, various limbs shake with involuntary tremor. Perhaps it is panic. The survival drug of overstressed middle class America is prescribed: Vallium
Aaron inflates the concept of twenty questions to 26; he gets Natalie to spell “Turn”….Turn down the bed.
More searching for the source of the fever reveals new developments. Leukemic blood, while often low in platelets and not clotting where it ought, sometime clots where it ought not: there is a clot near the top of Aaron’s right leg. Because of the bleeding in his brain and the whole platelet issue, he cannot be given thinners. A clot catcher will be installed in the inferior vena cava to make sure clots in the lower extremities do not find their fatal way to the heart or brain.
It appears that the gall bladder may be badly infected. There is discussion of extraction or drainage. No decisions are made.