On Wednesday, February 8, 2012, Emily Anne Love was taken to the Emergency Room at the U.C. Davis Medical Center by Mom, Christina, and Grammie, Genie.
Over the previous six weeks, family and friends had begun to notice changes in Emily’s behavior, most notably a significant decline in her normally boisterous personality. Despite previous trips to the doctor to determine the cause of Emily’s lethargy, swollen eyes, and loss of appetite the symptoms were increasing with no diagnosis evident. After a pretty serious fall and the discovery of a number of random bruises, Christina knew more medical help was needed.
Based on Emily’s presenting symptoms and initial blood tests, the E.R. doctors said one word: Leukemia.
Over the next 48 hours, the Love family reeled from the news. Even though the diagnosis was still only tentative, the possibility was terrifying. Friends and family were asked to pray and the response was immediate and global. While we prayed for an answer other than Leukemia, we also knew that God would protect Emily no matter what. Fear turned to peace and to trust in the Lord.
Emily was moved first to the ICU and then to the pediatrics floor, where she was given the Penthouse – a large private room, no doubt due to the high probability of a long stay. She underwent her first major procedure on Friday afternoon, undergoing a bone marrow biopsy to determine the definitive diagnosis.
By Saturday morning, the doctors were able to say with certainty that Emily has Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). A more precise diagnosis and treatment plan will be made as more tests come back over the next few weeks.
In the meantime, Emily was scheduled for a Broviac catheter placement on Monday. The purpose of this central line is to allow medications to be given and blood taken from Emily over the next few years without the discomfort of a needle being inserted into the vein.
A lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, was scheduled for Tuesday morning. Leukemia cells are always present in the spinal fluid of Leukemia patients but the doctors need to know how much is in Emily’s fluid in order to determine her course of treatment. Tuesday will also mark the date of Emily’s first chemotherapy treatment.
As Emily’s treatment continues, her family hopes to use this blog to provide ongoing information to family and friends who wish to follow her journey. In addition, they will share stories of the work God is doing in providing for Emily’s care. Already we have seen amazing examples of the way God has created a network of love and support around Emily and the entire Love family. These are the stories we want to share with all of you.
Posts will be made as regularly as possible and will provide information the family is comfortable with making public. We hope that people will come here first to receive updates on Emily’s treatment and will leave messages of encouragement for the Love family.