Hey guys, heard about Max's story on Orangebloods so I started reading your CaringBridge. I posted there already but my wife and I know what you're going through. We recently (august) finished 133 weeks of treatment for our youngest daughter who is 20 now. She was originally diagnosed when she was Max's age with leukemia and went through 123 weeks. Then "got it again" 13 years later so we've known children's cancer quite a bit over the years. We always hate to tell families she had it twice because it scares them. Let me just say she had a completely different type plus what happened with her is extremely rare. Her doctors at TCH had never seen it before her so don't worry.
You have your little guy in the best place and I'm sure he will be fine. We completely understand your fears about how he will handle it weeks from now and all kids are different but most have no problem with that. Kids are just so resilient. Just look at all those kids the next time you're in clinic. How many are smiling and laughing and just being kids. And then realize that most of them have been doing this for months or even years and have already been through more than most adults can handle. They just take it in stride.
Devin had a big fear of needles and getting poked when she was treated at 3 but after a month or two she was asking if she could do it herself. They all do that so I'm sure Max will be fine. (Word of advice, if they want a quick blood draw and don't want to access his port, do it in the arm, not his finger. Fingers have many more nerve endings!) I also noticed that you said his jaw was hurting...probably from vincristine...heating pads work well if you can get him to sit still. Some people use little bags of corn heated up in a microwave. Those work even better as long as he isn't nauseous. If he is the last thing he'll want it the smell of popcorn that close to his face! Another thing we tell new parents, as this goes on he may get more nauseous with each dose. Tell the doctors. They really do want him to be comfortable and there are many different meds they can give him but won't step up to the next one until you tell them what he's taking isn't cutting it.
The main thing we wanted to tell you is to look into the Sunshine Kids. It's a fantastic organization for kids with cancer (and their parents) they have various parties and events that really help these kids forget about the "treatment" and just be a kid. The best thing I can say about them is that Devin, my daughter, went through 2 1/2 years of chemo when she was Max's age and looking back at that time in her life, mostly all she could remember was the fun things she did with SSK! True story, they're that good. So get an application at clinic or better yet just call them up and ask for Jennifer or Rita and tell them Devin's parents, or just Devin for that matter told you to call. We've known them a long time and have sent many kids (too many) their way. I promise you won't be sorry.
Other than that, just hang in there. I always said I could handle anything except something happening to one of my kids...until it did. It was a kick in the gut at first but you adapt and just keep plugging away taking things as they come and next thing you know you're doing it.