This week Josh reached another milestone when he returned to school on Tuesday. His high school schedule consists of lunch, then English Literature. We are trying a shorter schedule for him to see how he can handle things, and then we will add to it slowly.
This is a momentous moment for Josh because he had actually been out of school since last March when everything started. Initially, it had been a hospital stay, but then that turned into a longer stay at Mary Free Bed, and then it was already summer when Josh came home. We had been in discussion with Shepherd High School about how to juggle his class load with outpatient therapy, chemotherapy treatments, and doctors’ visits. Every month, there was a new development or new information which impacted our strategy.
At the same time, January will be a busy month with doctor appointments and tests leading to what we hope will be results that help to determine what happens next for Josh. Hopefully, there will be no new concerns about the cancer and he will be able to stop chemotherapy. This would definitely help him with school. It will also relieve all of us of a huge burden.
No matter what we find out over these next few weeks, I know that Josh’s struggle will continue. The prognosis from his doctor was that it would take at least two years for the aphasia to clear up. And, there is a lot of work ahead for him with occupational and physical therapy.
So, I think that the structure, discipline, and social interactions that comes from being back at school will be good for Josh during his recovery. It also challenges him in new ways that we couldn’t at home or during therapy.