My son's G-tube fell out this week.
He was at soccer practice.
I was at work, but my wife said he nonchalantly handed her the "tubie," as we called it, its anchor balloon deflated by a lengthwise tear.
"Here," he said. "This fell out."
One of the other players' grandmother is an ICU RN, and she was kind enough to clean and dress the site.
The whole event wasn't the emergency it might otherwise have been.
The g-tube had outlasted its usefulness, Brendan hadn't had a feeding from the tube in months and we were planning this week to ask for its removal.
Fate took care of things, and after a brief inspection by a doctor revealed no problems, the GI clinic at Children's Hospital in Boston signed off on our request to get on with life and close this particular chapter.
We're happy for practical reasons.
The tubie, as far as I'm concerned, was just another route of infection.
It was a constant source of worry, and caused my son a good amount of pain when hit by soccer balls, baseballs and errant limbs while wrestling with his brother.
But it was more than that.
Now 7, Brendan was starting to feel self-conscious about the device.
Most importantly, though, it's another in a progression of mileposts that puts some distance between the now and the then, not that long ago, when Brendan was fighting for his life against medulloblastoma, a highly malignant brain tumor.
And it was a good week to create some more of that space.
September, after all, is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
You can read more about it here, at the Web site Curesearch.org, a wonderful resource, and here, on the Web site of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, home of the Jimmy Fund and the Stop & Shop Pediatric Brain Tumor Clinic, the people who directed the care that saved his life.
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