First thing this morning, I patted Jacob's cheeks, celebrating the fact that they are the same size--not like last Christmas morning, when he was lopsided and I was worrying.
That was the sweet.
Then I read my Rhabdo-Kids email digest after opening gifts this morning.
That was the bitter.
When Jacob was diagnosed and I joined the Rhabdo-Kids list, a little boy named Diego Fuentes, 4 years old, had just come off treatment a few weeks earlier. I remember reading his mother's emails and rejoicing for his apparent healing.
When he had his first set of off-treatment scans in February, they discovered that he had relapsed. They amputed the arm where the tumor was growing for the second time and started a different chemo protocol.
But the rhabdo kept growing, first in his lungs and then in his brain. For the last six weeks, Diego has been in the hospital as the doctors treated both his cancer and his side effects. His parents made arrangements for all the medical support necessary to let him come home for Christmas before resuming treatment. They planned to bring him home yesterday.
Instead, Diego died in his parents' arms on Christmas Eve at the hospital. He was 5 years old.
Pray for his family tonight, and for as many nights as you think of them. I am.