Monday, July 18, 2011

This Is Where We Are

One week ago today, my daughter Bailey was laying in a hospital bed, with a 104 degree fever and a ANC count of 1.  A "normal" ANC count is above 1600.  Bailey was SICK.  I was confused and scared and didn't know exactly what all these numbers meant.

The new chemotherapy that Bailey was switched to had severe side affects.  Since Bailey's tumor doubled in size with the previous chemotherapy treatment, her doctor decided to use Vinblastine...a "faster and possibly more effective treatment". 

With her blood counts going down, her risk of infection went up....And that's exactly what happened, while she was at camp.

A doctor explained chemotherapy to me in a really good way.  She said that  chemotherapy was a smart bomb: It only targets certain types of cells, particularly those that grow and divide rapidly. That means it targets "tumor cells", but it also means that white blood cells, which are produced in the bone marrow and have a rapid turnover rate, can be damaged as well. 

White blood cell counts, sometimes called leukocyte counts, drop with most chemo drugs. Neutrophils, which are a specific type of white blood cell, are the most potent disease fighters. The doctor  referred Bailey's low white blood cell count as neutropenia. 

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Bailey was discharged from the hospital with a blood count of 102, which was a BIG improvement from where she started.  While it is still considered low, a rising count is a GOOD thing.

Now I find myself panicking wondering if her low energy is related to a low count again....Does she have a fever?  How can I let her go to CTF camp and be so far away from me?

I am torn between keeping her close to me and basically putting her in a bubble....Or just trusting that she needs this camp...She needs to be a kid...She needs to experience the world, not hooked up to port IV's.

I am having a tough time explaining to people how serious this really is.  Some people think that because Bailey was discharged, that she is "cured"....That God did a healing and she is fine now...And while I do believe that God definitely worked in this situation, Bailey is far from cured.

Since Bailey is having so many bad side affects from this chemo, the drs decided to hold off on chemo, until Bailey returns from camp....Then, they said, we will go "full force" attacking this brain tumor.

FULL FORCE scares me!  Wasn't that what we were doing, when she got so sick?  Isn't FULL FORCE what brought her to 104 degrees and 4 days in the hospital? 

This is why I have no answers when people ask, "what's next?"  

We live in our "today".  We enjoy the days that Bailey feels well enough to swim.  We THRIVE in our "now"....And pray for our tomorrow.

Thrive On!

1 comment:

  1. I can only imagine how hard this is! I understand having a child in the hospital and knowing that they are sick. And I also understand what you mean when you say that when they are discharged people think they are "healed" when they really aren't.

    Bailey is moving in the right direction, and for that I'm very grateful! I know that God is watching over her. Whatever decisions you make for her, I'm sure they are the right ones for her and the rest of your family. Take strength in that. You know best, you're her mother!

    Stay strong! :)