Sunday, March 6, 2011

Hospital Stay

Abigail was in the hospital until late Monday night. I was impressed at how well things went. There was a cancellation and surgery was earlier than expected. She had to have her bone marrow biopsy in both hips because her bone marrow was so crowded they struggled to get what they needed in just one side. It turned out (if I understand this correctly) that about 70% of her bone marrow cells were cancer. It is a really high percentage. Her bones hurt because of all the crowding. She looked so awful for that first 24 hours that it was hard to believe she was the same girl that was playing just a few days before. I tried to find photos to show the progression over the 5 days. It took 2 platelet & 2 blood transfusions to get some color back into her face--even then it is still pale. She got her first dose of chemo during the surgery. They did a spinal tap to see if the cancer was in the fluid and then added some chemo back in for good measure.With the chemo comes steroids which cause her to swell & retain water. She came home from the hospital about 4 pounds heavier than when she went in.

We were so impressed with the care that she was given. It is hard to force needles & meds into a child who is so young and does not understand. They were able to do it in the kindest way possible. It has been so hard as a parent to watch and hope she doesn't hate us for putting her through this so we have more time with her. Josh and I don't think she would have lasted more than a couple of weeks because she was fighting a horrible virus and her body didn't have much immunity left to fight with. It is amazing how advanced our modern medicine is. I love that we have as much hope as we do.
I find that I want to be with all our kids even more now. It is so easy to take what I have for granted. We cherish every smile from Abigail and every time she perks up a bit. We try to hold her as much as she wants even though it is impossible. She is probably being held and cuddled about 20 hours a day already. Since her twin and baby brother are sick she even sleeps between us at night. According to the cancer clinic, she will probably be this clinic for at least this month and then some. The hardest part of the process is the beginning month, so we are just trying to hang in there until the next round.

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