While the nurses helped Jason and Christina prepare for the discharge, getting medications from the pharmacy and learning how to clean and dress Emily’s Broviac line, Emily enjoyed a day of visitors with exciting time in the playroom.
Emily’s appetite still has a long way to go before being considered normal, but she continued to consume more solid foods throughout Sunday and to have more regular bowel movements – two things the doctors have been watching for. Her blood counts are at the best levels we’ve seen since her admittance to the hospital eleven days ago. Those counts will continued to be monitored several times a week and transfusions given as needed. There will be a post soon about how you can support Emily and other blood and platelet receivers by donating in Emily’s name.
The doctors have said there is a high probability that Emily will have to be readmitted to the hospital more than once over the next 2 years. Leukemia weakens Emily’s immune system, making it harder for her to fight infections and also diminishes her blood’s clotting factor. Any high fevers or cuts that bleed are likely to lead to trips to the E.R. and possible return stays on the Pediatrics floor. Precautions will be taken at home to keep Emily healthy and strong and the family will need everyone’s help to prevent exposing Emily to illness that could complicate her progress toward health.
Caring for Emily at home will be a fulltime job, made more daunting by the fact that there won’t be a nurse or doctor just outside the door. The Loves have a color-coded schedule of all Emily’s appointments over the next two months (3 a week for the first month alone!) and a list of the times and amounts of each of her daily medications. These were added to the already monstrously large binder of information they have received from the doctors over the past week.
Emily was thrilled when the time finally came to have her last tube of fluids unhooked from her chest and to be able to put on “street” clothes once more. Her nurse, Heidi, who has been a tremendous support to Christina and Emily, even went in search of a pretty bow after it was discovered that all of Emily’s accessories had already gone home with Daddy!
Auntie Elisabeth drove Chrissie and Emily home, where Daddy, the boys and Sophia were waiting with big hugs!
Thank you to everyone who has prayed, written cards, drawn pictures, visited the hospital, brought gifts, cooked meals, cleaned the house, watched the kids, met financial needs, and offered words of support and encouragement. It is hard to believe it has only been eleven days since we first received the news of Emily’s diagnosis. All of our lives have changed in that short time and will continue to change beyond anything we can imagine. Your continued support and prayers are greatly needed and appreciated as the Love family faces each new challenge ahead. God has his arms around Emily and her family and he is using each of you to show his love in this time of trial.