So close

Because Daddy says journal entries are better with pictures, this was taken on 12/6/12 in the clinic while we wait for lab results.

If it’s not one thing, it’s a dozen. Monday’s appointment was Andy’s last chemo until he starts maintenance. That was really exciting for us because we finally feel like the end of the super hard stuff is really near. Unfortunately, Andy’s appointment turned into six hours because his hemoglobin and platelets were both low again and he needed transfusions of both on top of his chemo and AT3 infusions. It worked out okay because we were there until 7pm and didn’t have to deal with rush hour traffic which I always like. His labs on Monday also indicated he had no anc/immunity which puts him in a very fragile state and is extra vulnerable to getting sick over something as simple as a hangnail because he has no ability to fight off any infection. It can only go up from here, right?

Fast forward to yesterday morning (Wednesday), I was excited we had no appointments and the day was really our oyster. Tuesday he had to have blood drawn in Vancouver at 1pm, but yesterday was a day full of possibilities. To embrace the day, the kids and I gathered around the kitchen table to make cute little candy houses out of graham crackers. It was quite amusing how difficult it was to keep them together while we waited for the royal icing to harden, but the kids and I persevered and were rewarded with some adorable Christmas cheer.  I’ll share some pictures of our creations soon.

Even tho we had a bit of fun and normalcy yesterday, Andy complained early in the day about his left index finger hurting him. Upon inspection, there was nothing but a little scab the size of a dot on his finger and it was red and slightly swollen. I offered a band-aid and figured it was just a little owie he acquired somewhere along the road of life. He continued to complain about his finger throughout the day, but it looked no different to me, still red and a touch swollen. Around dinner time he wanted me to read him a story, so we cozied up in daddy’s chair to read the Velveteen Rabbit. When I was done reading, his ear brushed the side of my face and felt hot. Of course I immediately took his temp and it was 100.6 – ugg, two of those in 12 hours and we have to take him to the hospital. We waited until daddy got home from work to retake it and it was 101.9 – hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to Randall we go.

We got to the hospital about 9pm and it was like lightening getting everything going. I later found out that they are supposed to begin antibiotics within 30 minutes of a neutropenic patient’s arrival, so the clock was ticking the minute we walked through the door. They did a CBC when he arrived and his anc was still zero last night and his platelets were down to 19, so he got another platelet transfusion around midnight. His finger looks more swollen to me today and his doctor peeked at it this morning. It could very well be the culprit of his fever since he has no ability to fight anything off. She told me this morning that the Ara-C he had a few weeks ago can suppress counts for weeks, so it’s hard to say how long it will stay this low. She said kids usually bounce back quickly after the first round, which he had in June, but now his bone marrow is extremely tired and it’s harder to recover very quickly (hence the name “Delayed Intensification”). It literally could be weeks before his immunity rebounds.

So for now, he will be residing at Camp Randall for a few days and is on IV antibiotics, one type is every 8 hours and one type is every 6 hours; both are broad-spectrum and will treat a multitude of things and hopefully whatever is ailing him. His doctor said this morning that usually at the 24-hour mark is when you’ll start to see improvement, but they also drew a blood culture and something could grow in that anywhere between the 24 to 48 hour mark, but of course nothing may show up at all. Today he will also get his next dose of AT3 since that was already on the books in his treatment plan.

I was reminded by his doctor this morning that we are “so close”. Yes so close indeed, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are all getting so weary battling all these ailments on top of cancer. AT3 infusions and blood thinners to control his clotting, extra lab draws to check is blood consistency, platelet transfusions, red cell transfusions, low anc, fever….it seems like the list just goes on and on. I pray that through all these trials Andy and our family is facing, that those we come in contact with will see the light of Jesus reflecting from us. That this dreaded illness will only bring glory to God. Will you please lift up Andy in prayer? Praying specifically they can find the cause of his fever and are able to treat it swiftly so he can go home. For his finger to feel better and the swelling to go down. Also for his anc, that his body will recover so he can not be in such a vulnerable position. Please also be praying for Andy’s siblings.  They are in such a tough spot too as they trying to juggle the crazy schedule we have.  I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to go home in a few days. He is still battling the fever and just had another dose of Tylenol to bring it back it down. On a bright note, Andy got a visit from the therapy dog, Bailey, today. She was a sweet golden lab with a gentle and calm disposition. Her “mama” was just as lovely and it was a bright spot in our rather dismal day.

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

This entry was posted in Andy Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to So close

  1. Kim Lindell says:

    I’m not sure how you are bearing all of this sometimes Missy. My eyes fill with tears the minute I hear that things are tough again and my heart breaks for you. Yet, you are so strong and your little boy is so brave. I send you all the love and support I can from far away. I hope that the holiday season will lift your spirits and things will calm down soon. Love you friend. Our family will pray for Andy and all of you!

  2. Sharon says:

    I agree with Daddy, the entries are better with pictures. Andy has such a sweet smile on his face after facing so many obstacles. I pray for the infection to go away and his numbers to increase. I pray for your family as this has to be hard on all of them too. Hang in there Melissa, he’s almost there.

  3. Cindy says:

    Someday, someday this will not be your family’s life, Melissa! They are right– so close. I am praying for a smooth ride on the road of life. Love and peace to all of you. XOXOXO Cindy Lou

  4. Maxine Rodman says:

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////wow, what a heavy load, but I know that Jesus is right there with you, willing to carry it for you. So admire they way you are all hanging in there and I pray each day brings healing and new hope to Andy and all the family.

  5. Great Grandma Fanony says:

    I too will also be praying that this will just be anouther
    bump in the road,sending love to all, grandma F

  6. Cheryl Erickson says:

    You are a Light! Thank you for being real in the midst of your real life situation. I know God sees you and is right there with you. He will not leave! I’m praying for you and your family as you head into this season of Advent and Christmas. May you continue to sense God’s presence in the midst of the fog.

  7. Going through all of this is not easy – it is taking babysteps all over, sometimes you wobble, sometimes you go with more assurance; then the real steps come and you are off. You are almost there – keep your chin up! Yes, just give it all to God; I sincerely pray for you and your family. Your family is such an example of strength. God says to let our light shine and you and your family have certainly showed the world what strong faith is, and what the true meaning of family is. Soon, you guys won’t be walking – but running!!

  8. Debbie says:

    Once again I find that you are an encouragement to me when I feel like I should be encouraging you. You are all bringing much glory to God through this, Missy.

  9. Grandma Jeannine says:

    Hang in there…blessing to you all. Love the smile on Andy’s face:)

  10. Aunt Lesa says:

    I pray that things start to get easier soon. Maintenance is in your sights. right??? I pray you get there soon. I’m sure sorry you guys are going through all this. Hugs n kisses to Andy!! Love you guys, Aunt Lesa

  11. Valarie Sadler says:

    It breaks my heart to read this. I am SOOO SAD to read that you have to stay at the hospital. You’ve all been through SO MUCH, especially Andy. Please get some Betadine (iodine) and if you notice ANYTHING red or swollen anywhere, swab it in iodine. It will kill any bacteria on the spot. If you can catch something before it gets in the blood, it could save a trip to the hospital. The chemo is just so destructive, which is what you want, but it kills the good stuff with the bad. I will pray diligently for Andy to rebound quickly.

    I hope and pray that you can go home in soon so everyone can have together time before Christmas. I know you are weary, but take heart, you are almost there. The last few steps are always the hardest. I love and miss you all with all my heart. Wish I could be there. Keep trudging as you all have, the reward will come.

  12. Grammie says:

    Your other “3 amigos” are doing well and we are praying for you and for Andy. Keep your eye on the prize Melissa (and Chuck), soon you will be home and back in the reading chair. Thank you for sharing your wonderful writing talent, we all appreciate you. Love Grammie

  13. Sheila Speck says:

    I leave for a few days and my computer doesn’t work and things happen. Praying for you all to continue to be blessed. God has something great in store for you all. Sad to read, but you are such an inspiration to us all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>