This is how we started the morning – eating cereal while Momma researched Immunoglobulins on her phone.
We’ll chronicle the hope first – because hope is definitely appreciated when you’re still stuck in the hospital and wearing these very-NOT-Egyptian-cotton gowns and masks! In Emily’s case, her hope will come from Immunoglobulins. They tested Emily yesterday and she is low on Immunoglobulins A and G. Our bodies produce antibodies, or immunoglobulins, that help us fight infection. Emily’s body is not producing enough of the immunoglobulins A and G so when she’s exposed to a virus or bacteria, she can’t fight it off like everyone else. And this is the second time she has been felled by a “simple” Rhinovirus. Sometimes immunoglobulin deficiences just occur and sometimes they are due to leukemia or chemo. In Emily’s case, it’s probably either the leukemia or chemo – especially considering that antibodies are produced by the B-cells and she has B-cell leukemia. Her Oncologist is going to start her on intravenous IgG (Immunoglobulin G) infusions today – and then she will get them every three to four weeks throughout the rest of her leukemia treatments, and maybe longer. She’ll be tested periodically to check her level. At this time, IgA infusions aren’t medically possible because IgA hasn’t been able to be reproduced to be able to infuse. However, IgG antibodies make up 80% of your antibodies so the hope is that this will help Emily stay out of the hospital. As her Oncologist, Dr. Ducore, told us, there isn’t a lot more that Chrissie can do at home than she’s already doing to protect Emily from exposure but there is maybe something that they – the doctors – can do to help Emily.
As I type, we are still in the ICU, mostly because there hasn’t been a bed available on the Peds floor for Emily. Her O2 saturations remain mostly stable – unless she’s screaming or having a two-year-old moment – and she has been off of oxygen for almost a day. Her heart rate and respiratory rate are mostly normal. She is still tired but then she did had some spots of inflammation, or fluid, in her lungs so we know that although she doesn’t have pneumonia, she’s not moving air as efficiently as normal. That will just take time to resolve and she is doing better every day. We are now waiting for the IgG infusion to come up from the pharmacy – it will take two to four hours to infuse – and then Emily and Chrissie might be able to go home later today. We are hanging onto that hope – and very, very thankful for the medical treatment that Emily has been getting at U.C. Davis that can give her hope to beat all of this.
Now, for the tea party! Sophie turned five on December 28th and Chrissie wanted to give her an English High Tea for her birthday party. Of course, it was all set up for yesterday, January 5th, and then Emily landed back in the hospital. It took a lot of planning and phone calls and prayers but all of us arrived at Tea Anytime (in Fair Oaks) as planned – although, a little bit late. Chrissie, Grammie, Auntie Gaby, Sophie, and Sophie’s best friend, Abigail. The girls were dressed in their best finery – and the adults did their best, after dealing with all of the logistical problems of even getting there! When you walk in, you are instantly transported into an English tea cottage – all dark and antiques and cloth linens. Absolutely amazing for five-year-old girls and their entourage! We were served wonderful hand-blended teas in teapots with cloth tea cozies – and trays of scones, sandwiches, and desserts. We left, cozy and full. A little bit of magic in an otherwise, all-too-often, abnormal life.