Thursday, January 1, 2009

I could think of no better way to start off the new year .....





.... than to bring Zoey home.Yes folks,Round 2 is officially over and I didn't even see it coming.Pleasantly surprised to say the least.Overjoyed actually.After a very,shall we say,disappointing day yesterday,today more than made up for it.Yesterday found me rampaging 4 East.I certainly did not make friends on the floor but then again that is not my goal.My goal is to ensure that Zoey and all the kids up there have a chance at getting off that floor with minimal sidetracking.Meaning,few if any opportunistic outside bugs finding there way to their compromised little bodies.If that means making enemies then so be it.It began with me waking yesterday wondering why on earth did every other room,except ours,have isolation tables outside them.Tables holding gloves,masks and robes.Within an hour the nursing assistants entered to do vitals,all garbed up and we were told that the Norovirus was all over our floor.In layman's terms the Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach flu.As the day progressed,several staff members and other families told me of the virus being present or at least suspected since last Friday.No precautions taken completely until yesterday and by then it was too late.It seems as if Zoey and her roommate were almost solely the only ones spared.Even the staff was being hit by it.The day went from bad to worse as more information trickled in and all I knew was I wanted to get the heck out of there.But with an ANC of 10 yesterday,it didn't seem likely.By shift change,Zoey's night nurse came in and informed me she would not be touching Zoey because she called in earlier in the day and told the charge nurse she had thrown up and the charge nurse proceeded to tell her that unless she had intestinal issues to come in anyway.So she did and I was ticked.Night shift,I think,hates me.I proceeded to grab the night manager and ask her why on earth did the 4th floor not have a more stringent policy on keeping that floor as germ free as possible.I took her to 2 other floors where signs are posted instructing hand washing and sanitizing wipes being used upon entering and leaving the floors.Pretty simple if you ask me for a floor where it is literally a life and death situation for these immune compromised children.She posted some temporary signs until she could find more official ones and maybe just maybe it is a simple and easy step to help the spread of viruses like this one.You can't patrol each and every person but maybe this will bring some awareness.I finally went to sleep and was awoken with our little neighbor throwing up at 4am.Poor thing.Although hers was more than likely due to a chemo push at midnight,it did get me started on figuring out how we could get the heck out of dodge.Blood draws are m-w-fri but I insisted we recheck this morning.The very charming,not,night charge nurse was very difficult and would not accommodate my request until a fellow came in at 8 or 9.I was fuming.I went back to sleep only to be awoken by Zoeys attending saying he looked over her numbers from yesterday and felt very comfortable her marrow was in the late stage of recovery.He said of course we could do another draw and after the next test results came back we were given the go ahead to pack and head home.Her ANC is still low but by looking at different factors in her blood they know her ANC will be taking off in the next couple of days and the risk of keeping her on a floor, where it was probably just a matter of time before she got sick,was not worth the price.So home we went.Surreal at that.24 days for round 2.The exact number of days as round 1.I left with a mix of feelings.Nervous about coming home without the safety net of the hospital but absolutely beyond elated to be coming home.We will have the next 3 days together before winter break ends and routines begin again.I will miss our "family" back at Childrens.I will worry and wonder about all the children I have come to love but I will make the very most of our time together before we head back in a week or so for round 3.I left feeling extremely blessed.To be taking home this child that is healthier then she has been in a very long time.A child with a daunting road still before her but a road paved with the love and support of old and new friends and a family willing to walk to the ends of this earth to lift us and carry us when we need it.We are so lucky to have doctors and nurses and staff members to make themselves available to us.To make us feel secure,in most moments, that they too will do anything and everything for us.For Zoey.I may not always agree with some of the decisions or the protocols in place but I do know that in the end,we are in the very best of hands.So tonight my baby sleeps in her own bed.Cozy,warm and safe.And although I have no idea what this new year will hold for any of us,I do know that this very first day of 2009 was magical.Zoey came in the house and turned to each of her brothers and sisters and gave them individual waves.It was precious.She is precious and we are so very blessed.

23 comments:

Sophie's Story by Elaine said...

Welcome home Zoey!!!

Kele said...

So happy your home! Love and miss you guys.

Kele said...

And BTW, you are soooo not there to make friends honey! Believe me, I would of never received the 'Most-loved-Mommy-of-a-patient' award when Pres was in the hospital... LOL!

Kele said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donna said...

I want to hug her right through the computer. What a precious little girl you have. Welcome home....

About all of this said...

Welcome home then ;-)
Good to see those beautiful pics of Zoey. She is amazing. Anyways, tried to fix the translation thing, but it didn`t work out yet...will let you know.

Love
Claudia

Kristy said...

Have I told you how beautiful Zoey is?!?! Oh my Heather-her rosey cheeks are just so cute! I am so happy to hear that your family is able to spend some time together before everyone goes back to school/work. Very happy for you indeed! I'm sure that Floor 4 parents are very happy to have you there as you will speak up for Zoey and all of the rest of the precious warriors. Happy New Year! May God Bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

So happy that you're home!

I agree. You are not there to make friends! Speaking from experience.

Keep up with being Zoey's advocate. Sometimes those in the medical field, just "do thier jobs", that's great and all, but on the cancer floor, they need to have a bit more compassion towards the kiddo's and the rest of the family too!

Joany and Carly (Ds 1-2-02)

Anonymous said...

Zoey so glad to hear that you are home with all your family around you. Heather and Mark to. Fourth floor is so fortunate to have the Warrior Mom!!! Your diligence paid off big time. Love to you all and a Happy New Year. Will be in touch, love, love, love, Christi Harman

Maureen said...

What are mothers if not advocates for their kids? So glad you're all home for a bit!
Mo
P.S. Zoey has the best wardrobe! Everything I see her in is darling.

Cheri said...

So glad you are home!! I can picture the individual waves to everyone when she came in the door....she melts my heart!

Anonymous said...

Happiest of New Year's Needham bunch! I'm proud of you Heather for standing up for what is right and not being afraid to rock the boat. Zoey will be so happy to be surrounded by her whole family. Peace be with you all.
Kisses to Zoey - Christy Pinuelas

Cleo said...

Wishing Zoey Grace, you and all your family a HEALTHY, HAPPY & PROSPEROUS 2009, wishing it will be filled with many blessings!!!.
Sending prayers of strength, love and healing energy your way, every day ~
Much Love.

Anonymous said...

Heather,

So glad to hear you and the "little princess" are back home with the clan.

You have noithing to worry about re: staff at hospital. They need someone to "shake them up" good job.

Happy, Happy New Year and enjoy the last few remaining days until the regular routine begins and Daddy Mark returns to work next week.

I am spending the day with Michelle. We just returned from mall and lunch. Her brother is at day care, so it truly is a "girlie day" Fun being the Auntie sitter.

Take care & hugs to everyone

Bluebelle

Shari said...

Welcome home precious girl!

Reagan Leigh said...

That is just the best news! I'm so happy you got home before the weekend! Enjoy it! And enjoy that precious little girl!

Anna said...

So glad you guys are home! Keep up the good work!

Pam said...

YAY!!! So glad Zoey is home. THAT makes me happy!

((HUGS))

Jeanette said...

Happy that she is home and away from the virus! Welcome home!

just jean said...

Lately, whenever I am in the car, I've heard one of "Zoey's songs". As soon as I hear the intro, my mind instantly goes to Zoey and I offer a quick prayer for her. She has really made an impact on my heart. And so, I rejoice in her homecoming, in her escape from the dreaded virus, and for a few days of all (or most?) at home. And now, are we half way done with these treatments? or do the drs. not say.
Anyway, enjoy the respite.
Happy 2009.

Carey said...

How did I miss this?!!! I've been checking daily but for some reason this post didn't show up until today! Well yay anyways!!! I'm so glad you're home! Happy New Year. Not exactly how you wanted to ring it in, surrounded by a bunch of people puking ... but hey, you got to come home, so I'm sure you've almost forgotten all that right?!

You didn't happen to get a package in the mail did you? I just wanted to make sure it didn't get lost with the Christmas shuffle ...

Kati said...

I was introduced to your blog by Maureen....and I have to tell you how inspiring it is. Your little one is gorgeous. Not a single mother, if in your shoes, wouldn't stand up for her child and make sure that the care facility was doing their best. That's wonderful that you're home for the time being...enjoy it.

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

Oh she is just the best!!! Her jammies are DARLING too!!
Stay strong little Miss Z! You are one loved little baby girl!!!!