Valentine’s Day was big all around.
Emily started the day going back into surgery for her lumbar puncture (also known as a spinal tap). This procedure is done to obtain a sample of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord that will be tested to help determine which type of ALL Emily has (there are 6 types of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia).
The doctors have informed us that all ALL patients have some amount of Leukemia cells in their spinal fluid and it is important to treat this fluid so the Leukemia does not spread throughout Emily’s body. That treatment began today, as the doctors administered Emily’s first round of chemotherapy drugs directly to the spinal fluid. Throughout her treatment, Emily will undergo several more lumbar punctures for this purpose.
Emily woke from the surgery in relatively bright spirits and was reported as laughing and smiling….possibly from the anesthesia, which has a rather entertaining effect on the little tyke. However, her high spirits waned as nausea, which had plagued her throughout the previous night, returned. Accompanied by high fevers, the nausea put Emily in a fowl mood and had parents and grandparents worried throughout the day. The doctors are running a series of blood tests to check for bacterial infections (so far none have been found) as a possible cause of the poor symptoms. As the day progressed into night, this question still remains and Christina has asked for prayer that Emily’s fever not spike to dangerous degrees and that her anti-nausea medicine would help calm her body so she can get much needed rest.
The holiday brought some special moments for everyone, too. Jason was able to be there for the surgery, bringing a rose and valentine for Christina and then returning later in the evening for a double-date night with Ben & Melissa! Emily and Christina were treated to a visit by Team-Will, a Sacramento-based cycling group that raises money for pediatric Leukemia. Three cyclists brought wristbands and a t-shirt for Emily that they signed, “You’re our hero, Emily.” Volunteers in the hospital also gave Emily a surprise – a sweetly wrapped shoebox with Valentine goodies. And before her surgery, the surgical doctors gave Emily a Valentine pillowpet – a must have for every hospital-princess!
In the afternoon, Auntie Elisabeth was able to bring the elder Love children for a brief visit. After a busy day at Classical Conversations, the kids were eager to talk to Mom and to see how little sister was doing. To the familiar sounds of her brothers and sister (and a little help from a new-favorite Winnie the Pooh dvd), Emily was finally able to fall asleep in her crib for some much needed rest.