This is how it is in the life of a two-year-old fighting leukemia — On Friday, Sept. 14th, Emily was in the middle of her last two-month treatment protocol before entering the two-year Maintenance phase. Instead, she ran a temp of 101.8 and had an ANC of zero, meaning no immune system at all to fight infection. She was admitted to the hospital – along with Chrissie, of course – labs were drawn, and she was started on a general antibiotic. When labs are drawn, if they show a bacterial infection, further cultures are run to determine what bacteria has invaded her body and which specific antibiotics will kill it. Early this morning, Emily spiked a temp of 102.2 with a fast heart rate and respiratory rate, which is not good considering that she’s been on an antibiotic for two days. More labs were drawn and Vancomycin, a really powerful antibiotic, was started. So far, the original labs have been negative for bacteria but the doctors say that some bacteria can take longer to show up. Emily will now be in the hospital into Wednesday, enough time for the original cultures to come back and for the new labs to show results. If all of the cultures are negative and Emily doesn’t run any more temps and her ANC starts to trend upwards, she MAY get to go home on Wednesday. If the cultures are positive, she will be on Vancomycin for a total of ten days. In the meantime, she is not feeling well and she is acting like she is feeling!
This is how it is for family and friends — When Emily was admitted on Friday, the other four children switched hands two or three times, then were home at night, once Jason got home from work. Auntie Gaby and Uncle Jay took over yesterday afternoon and had them last night – Gaby took the kids to the hospital this afternoon and traded places with Chrissie – Chrissie took the kids home and had a chance to shower, regroup, and help the kids catch up on some missed schoolwork. Once Jason got home, the plan was for Chrissie to return to the hospital to relieve Gaby – and the kids would be home tonight. Rebecca, Jason’s Mom, will go to their house at 4:30 am tomorrow morning so that Jason can go to work. She will watch the kids all day then Gaby will pick them up at night, after her work, and take them back to her and Jay’s house, where they will stay until Chrissie and Emily are set free from the hospital. Other family and friends will be taking care of the kids and their school lessons during the days. As you can see, it is quite the juggling match and it involves a lot of people for each of Emily’s hospitalizations.
This is how it is for Chrissie — Right now, Emily’s Momma is going through a rough patch.She is feeling emotional, tired, and discouraged. Being stuck in a hospital room with a sick, temperamental two-year-old on top of worrying about said little girl’s health is mind-numbing and can wear you down quickly. She, like the rest of us, had figured that Emily was on the downhill portion of this journey and that other than her out-patient chemo treatments and maybe some random blood transfusions when her counts were low, this whole cancer journey would be getting easier. We all got a big dose of reality this weekend – plus, this time is harder logistically. When Emily was first diagnosed, Jason was out of work and more available to help with the other kids plus Auntie Elisabeth was home and able to shoulder a huge, huge chunk of the load. This time, Jason has a job – which is a big praise to the Lord, but it makes him less available – and Auntie Elisabeth is in Africa – of all the far-away places – and Grammie is typing this from the middle of Yellowstone National Park on a strange computer, unable to physically help Chrissie – and the kids’ home school is in full swing, or at least it was before this happened. So, although Chrissie said she’s not giving up hope, that she knows that in the future, this will just seem like a blip in the journey of life, she is stuggling a bit more this time.
This has been a long post but this is how this whole process feels – long —-
Please pray for all of the concerns listed above – and in advance, we thank everyone for praying for Chrissie and Emily and everyone involved.
P.S. This blog post is being typed quickly and on a strange computer and trying to get it done before my prepaid time runs out(!), so please excuse any grammatical or spelling errors. I will try to add the pictures at another time but cannot seem to figure it out now!