Monday, August 24, 2009
All is Well ...
Miss Zoey checked out fine.A few areas are still lagging in the labs.White count:2.99,normal is between 4.5-11.hemoglobin:She is rocking in that department,normal is 9.5-15.5 and she is 15.3.Red: She is 5.06,normal is 4.0-5.5 and finally,those pesky platelets are 111,000,still below the norm of 140,00-450,00.Her ANC is lower then we would like as we head into what is going to be a doozy of a flu season,especially the swine.My pediatrician warned me of it and our oncologist confirmed it.Our oncologist told Mark and I that two little loves,both with Down syndrome,undergoing treatment for AML,passed away on the 4th floor.I had heard rumor of this a few weeks ago from another parent.Saddened beyond belief,especially because we knew one of them.A sweet guy,3 years old and in his last round.Unfair and in my opinion,preventable but I won't go off on that right now.As for Zoey,she has only a 740 ANC.Which means,yes she has the ability to fight off some of the crap out there BUT she is borderline immunosuppressed or neutropenic.Anything 500 or below significantly increases your chance of infection.A normal,healthy ability to adequately fight off infection would be 1,500.Bummed about this for sure.The theory her oncologists is riding with at the moment is that her Bactrim is interfering with her counts.Bactrim is a prophylactic antibiotic,given during and for 6 months following chemotherapy, that is proven to be 100% effective in preventing a specific type of deadly pneumonia.So for now the benefit out weighs the risk.We will check her counts in one month.Leave her port in for another month and then decide which direction we go.It does occasionally happen that children undergoing chemotherapy and the months following,while on Bactrim, to be delayed in count recovery.The reason is that the components that make up the Bactrim and its effectiveness are actually similar to that of methotreaxate,a chemotherapy drug,which can reduce counts.Strange,but true.It makes sense to me that Zoey falls in this small category.One, because she is Zoey and that's the way she does things and two,during all her rounds,her ANC took FOREVER to come up to start the next.So,I'm at peace with things.As peaceful as I can be having a child cut loose from chemo just a short time ago.But peace,nonetheless.I want to leave you with a a story.Something that happened today while at the hospital.It was a reminder once again of how fortunate my family is and how blessed we are to be where we are and have Zoey, and the rest of us for that matter,doing more then alright.Today, while I sat in the lobby waiting on Zoey's labs to come back,I notice a gentleman that I recognized from the 4th floor.I had never actually met him before but you remember faces when you spend day after day,wandering the halls.I sat next to him and we struck up a conversation.His English was broken but no matter,we really spoke the same one,the deep abiding love of our children.His 8 year old son Steven, has ALL.He relapsed in February of this year.He will be going into the bone marrow transplant unit in a week or so and his 10 year old sister is his match.As we sat talking about our children,I asked how everyone was coping emotionally.He said his son was the rock.The positive one.The one who gave strength to those around him.I asked about his wife and he said she had passed away 4 years ago from an infection that went to her heart.My very own heart broke at that moment.I continued to listen as he told me he also had lost 2 brothers to cancer,one to leukemia and that his mother passed away from a brain tumor.My heart continued to break.He said he had remarried and had an infant son,4 months old .... who has Cystic Fibrosis ... what does ones heart do at that point?What does one say to a man,a young man,who had endured unspeakable sadness and STILL has hope and faith and belief that life is still inherently good?We stood,said goodbye,exchanged promises to pray for each others child and we parted.But I will never forget that man.Or his son.Or his family.Or what I am meant to remember forever and that is this:"Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we know: That we are here for the sake of others ... for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day, I realize how much my outer and inner life is built upon the labors of people, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received." ~Albert Einstein
That's all I've got for now.It's off to do last minute things for the first day of school for the boys and making sure Taylor is all situated to head to college ... tomorrow.I have deja vu,as I did the exact thing when Jess went to college.Jake was going to kindergarten and this year it's Joe going.And when Caitlin went,Zoey was being discharged from the hospital following her heart surgery.I literally moved Caitlin in and headed to the hospital to pick up Mark and Zoey.How's that for crazy.And the craziness hasn't stopped since!!!