Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Day Like No Other

Hi everyone. Heather's husband Mark here. I know that any post I write will not even come close to those my wife puts together on a nightly basis.....but here goes. Poor Miss Zoey.
Her day started at 5 am and hasn't really ended yet and it's 11:40 pm as I write this. She has literally been poked and pricked from head to toe. Heather drove Zoey to the hospital while I got the boys together for their day. Taylor stayed home to help out and she did a fantastic job! I eventually met them at noon, just in time to get the bad news from her oncologist. That's right, her oncologist. We used to call him her hematologist but that all changed today after the results of her bone marrow biopsy came back.....AML. We knew the second he walked into the room by the look on his face. That just added to the already messed up day. (Heather will fill you in when she gets the computer in her hands...watch out!) The short version is that no one walked us through the bioposy procedure, one nurse attempted to use a dirty pulse oximeter she had picked up off the floor, another nurse asked, "Does she have a central line?" The answer was no. "Oh, well, I have to draw blood." OK. This is a children's hospital. You would think they draw blood on a regular basis...right? WRONG. Heather asked is she was comfortable with it, and her answer was a resounding, "Been doin' it for 37 years!" Really, then why were you not able to get it on the first or second try and have to eventually give up and send us to another floor to get it done. Heather was bitter to say the least. I'll leave it at that. Then Zoey gets the biopsy done. Heather didn't know what to expect because nobody explained anything to her. They basically just took her away and said they'd be back in 15 minutes. Nice Job people. Way to make a nervous mom feel at ease with this "let's find out if she has cancer thing" we're trying to figure out. It gets better. We meet with the Doctor, and he gives us the news. Just as we suspected. Shocker! The Doc then tells us they don't have any beds available on the cancer floor and that we might have to go home and come back tomorrow. I don't think so. We have already turned the family inside out saying Zoey wouldn't be home for a while. We can't go home and then do it all over again the next day! We waited for three agonizing hours for a bed, and went through the gammut of emotions during those three hours. At 6:15 we got to the room and met some very nice doctors and nurses. We were told by the Oncologist on the floor that they weren't going to touch Zoey tonight. There was no need. We'll just let her be and catch up on her much needed rest. HA! As of the time of this posting, there have been three attempts from different people to draw blood from arms and ankles. Another long needle stick in her arm for a TB test. She loved that. And to top it off, the reason for the problems is because of all the previous botched jobs. Wow. And because they don't know if the line they eventually got will still be good in the morning, they may have to do it all over again because they will need more labs. Phew.....I'm exhausted thinking about it and getting it out for you. I can only imagine how Heather is doing. She is amazing. The best Mommy any child could ever have. The best wife a man could ever have. Love and Faith....her foundations. I can only hope and pray that tomorrow is a better day. That she manages to get a little rest. As for little Miss Zoey ... she will get a port put into her chest in the morning for all of her meds to be administered. While she's sedated they will also do a lumbar punch to check her spinal fluid for any leukemia cells. The Oncologist said that they could start her first round of chemotherapy in the afternoon. We want to make sure that there are no conflicts with her seizure medication before we start. They tell us to prepare for four days per treatment. She then has to rebound. Depending on how long that takes, we could stay 2, 3 maybe 4 weeks. If she responds well we can bring her home between courses. If not, we'll have to stay through until the next course starts. I believe they are planning on five or six rounds. Time will tell. Please, please continue to raise our family up in your prayers. Thanks to all for your support. Without you, this new journey would be even more difficult.

Did this post actually turn out to be longer than one of Heather's? I don't know if that's possible. I only hope that it comes remotely close to hers, and let's you all get a glimpse of what today was like. Stay tuned.....

27 comments:

Mia hat eins mehr said...

Dear Mark and Heather, I was really shocked while reading this post. The memories how Mia was attended in one hospital came back so clearly. It can drive you crazy, indeed, you are shocked, nervous, full of fear about your babys life and people just do their job there, sometimes not even that. I hope you`ll find some nurses and doctors there that treat you and Zoey with respect and wish you all strength and hope amd faith that you need. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts.
Love,
Claudia

R from Otisco said...

Mark, Heather & family: As I have read the last couple of posts with tears in my eyes and a very heavy heart I want you to know that everyone in our little Otisco Lake community has you in our thoughts and prayers. Feel our prayers of hope and strenght for you, and Heather and Zoey and all the Needham's, from the West Coast to the East Coast.
We miss you here.....and Mark, your post was very good (sad but a job well done)
HOPE...STRENGHT...COURAGE... and LOVE BE WITH YOU ALL

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your post every since you told me about it at church. I have forwarded it to many people including my mom's prayer chain. May you continue to have your AMAZING faith, most importantly at times like this. I feel there is a connection with Zoey's little soul because of your messages. We continue to pray.
Love,
Dana and family (from Padre Serra)

Gabriela said...

Dear family
I can't understand everything in your post, but I'll pray "in German" for you all.
Love
Gabriela

Christina said...

I was so hoping for better news. I am so, so sorry that did not happen. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Carey said...

Oh man, I was hoping things would have gone a little smoother than that. Just remember, you're the boss, and you have to tell them how it's going to be. You CAN go w/ her for future bone marrow biopsies!!! That's crazy, yes they're a little barbaric, but I always went to hold her hand. You can't go in for surgery (for line placement0, but that's nothing new. Also, just tell them to get an iv in and leave it, why are they drawing blood over and over again? Hello? I.V.??? Once you get the line, all the pokes will be over, it will be so much better. OK, don't want to ramble, love you all, and SHE CAN DO THIS! Remember AML is easier for our kiddos w/ T21 to kick.

Anonymous said...

Dear Zoey, I've read the blog your dad wrote late last night and, my goodness I just have to say that you have the best parents and family that any precious girl could have. I have tears in my eyes. From other families I have learned that blood draws on kids are an art. If you find one person that does a good job, stay with that. Your mom and dad are such awesome advocates. I hope you come home between courses. We all love you so very much and continue to raise you and your family in prayers. All my family, friends and neighbors and work associates are holding you all close. We'll all be checking in. Remember how much we care and love all of you, Christi Harman

Bluebelle said...

Mark - your posting was well done altho it was sad, oh so sad to read. Love to you my nephew and I want you to know prayers are flowing from the East Coast - many from people you and Heather have never even met.

I hope the hospital staff is top notch today.. Doesn't seem fair that all that bad stuff happened to little Zoey yesterday.( and also to Heather & you)

Hugs to all....

Bluebelle

PS Yes Heather is the best mommy!

Cheri said...

Tears pouring down my face as I read that. Poor Zoey. It takes me back to our time in the hospital. You just want to wring the neck of the nurse who has been drawing blood for 37 years yet can't get the line in!! You are All in our prayers!!! We have fallen in love with little Miss Zoey!

kristycantrall said...

Needham family- I was so upset when I read the post, not only for the outcome of the testing but what Princess Zoey and you as parents had to experience yesterday. I only hope for better nurses in the future of this battle. Keep strong sweet Zoey and show the world how you are far more resilient than anything put in front of you. Many prayers are coming your way.

Merk-Great job on the post and please give Heather a great big hug from me..she truly is a fantastic person.

Sophie's Story by Elaine said...

Reading your post broke my heart into pieces. I cannot believe Zoey had to go through all that in one day. As if things aren't already hard enough on all of you...to receive that kind of care is so disappointing. I will continue to keep Zoey and your family in my prayers.

Kele said...

Hard to type a comment through the tears. Stay strong Needham family, you guys are being lifted in prayer and basked in love!
Mark, I couldn't agree more on H being the best mommy and wife, and I think those kiddos and H have a pretty amazing daddy and husband as well.
ZOEY.WILL.BEAT.THIS.

Anonymous said...

heather and mark - I hope this was just an off day for the staff at the hospital and the sailing will smooth out today. I want to help....please ask me to do anything I can to help your family. Keep the faith, you will need it. We are all praying for Zoey and the whole Needham family.
Kathleen

heidi marie said...

mark and heather...i followed a link from kele's posts only to find out about the new rocky path you will be embarking on. my heart and prayers go out to you, zoey and your family.

you have such an amazing family and i know that God will take care of His precious gift - Zoey.

Reagan Leigh said...

Mark,
Thank you for posting. I know Heather is physically and emotionally worn out. Take good care of her. She is such an amazing person. Such a rock for others in their time of need...I only hope we can all return the favor to her now. Zoey is such a little fighter...I KNOW she's going to kick this in the butt. It just breaks my heart that she has to go through yet another thing (and your whole family for that matter). Hang in there and know that so, so many are praying for you all.
Lots of love,
Tera

Just Another Ordinary Miracle said...

Heather,
Sometimes you do get more than you can handle, but that is why God made friends. Lean on us now. Your entire family is in our prayers. Be a strong mama, which I know you are. Much love to you-Gwen

Tammy and Parker said...

Heather is such an amazing Mom.

And our Zoey. One amazing little girl. She's going to come through this and never need to look back.

Our family motto is BELIEVE. You can borrow it if you want. :D

We are keeping you in our prayers.

datri said...

I am broken hearted. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Mandy said...

Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.....

Evalena's Mom said...

Dear Mark, Heather, Zoey and the rest of your amazing family,
As Evy and I say our bedtime prayers, we hold you all up to God. May He give you strength during your journey, wisdom to the doctors caring for beautiful Zoey and compassion to every nurse or tech who touches her. Know that you are included in a prayer tree which spans from at least Georgia to Illinois...by the time you read this, it will probably cross-country. God Bless! Kathleen and Evy Holst

Elizabeth said...

My goodness what an ordeal you guys have been through, my heart is in pieces for Miss Zoey. I am praying first for a miracle in Miss Zoey's body - to be cancer free, for complete and total restoration of her body. Also for peace and strength for Zoey and family, many hugs to you guys!

Elizabeth & McKayla

P.S. just a reminder... I know you from Presely's blog! :)

Anonymous said...

Mark and Heather have you read the book "My Sisters Keeper"? If not you should. It is a story about a familt and their struggles with a daughter that has a form of leukemia. After reading the book I found that many of the terms in this post were in the book. Its a great book.
"I don't know what to say about Zoey" as my mom would say good luck.
Michelle Brown

Monica said...

Praying for you all~

Christy said...

Dear Mark, Heather & Family,

Our entire family is praying for Zoey. We will continue to lift your family up in prayer. Our hearts are heavy for you but we know that God WILL make a way and there will be a light ahead.
Love,
The Chell Family

Jackson's Blog said...

Praying for Zoey and your whole family! So sorry to here her first day was a rough one with the staff! Praying for much better days and the strength to beat this too!...Meghan

Theresa said...

Mark and Heather,
You don't know me, though I feel like I know you. I'm a friend of Kele's. I look at your blog as often as I can and feel like I know little Zoey as well. Her smile lifts me up everytime I see it and your posts are always so good. I love the ones your daughters wrote also, what beautiful children you have. I wanted you to know that I will send prayers for her daily to fight this ugly "bug" that is attacking her tender little body. I can't imagine what emotions you must be going through, but I know God is walking with you through this journey and giving you stregnth to make it through each day. Keep your chins up and know an extra someone is praying for Zoey and your family.

Pam said...

OMG, Heather, I am just bawling. This CANNNOT BE. I have been so out of touch reading my blogs the last few days. I just don't know how I missed this.

I am so sorry. Zoey has had way more than her fair share. YOU my dear friend have had way more than YOUR fair share.

PLEASE, PLEASE know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. If you need anything at all let me know.

Zoey is a fighter. She WILL fight this. She is amazing, and she has your love and everyone else's love for that matter behind her 110%.

Give that sweet baby girl a kiss from us. We love you guys.

Rhett sends lots and lots of sweet kisses to his Zoey girl.