Friday, January 13, 2012

The Last Few Days...

 Here's a little glimpse at the last few days of our lives: 

Tuesday Night:
We learn that based on blood test results, that Spencer likely has leukemia
We call our Bishop and home teacher.
Glen and Brother Smith give Spencer a priesthood blessing. 
Spencer is admitted into the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology floor of the hospital
IV was placed into his left arm
Nine plus vials of blood were drawn for further testing
Fluids are given continuously
Spencer received 2 units of blood to make sure he is strong enough for his coming procedures.
All in all, it was a restless night with getting used to all the beeping monitors and nurses coming and going all night.

More blood is drawn (thankfully out of his iv line, so there weren't any more pokes)
We meet the oncologist who will be in charge of his care
Spencer's bone marrow biopsy is moved from 2:30pm to 11:00am. 
Spencer was wheeled down to the pediatric sedation department and sedated while I watched.
They escort me to a waiting room where Glen joins me and I bawl and bawl. 
The biopsy is completed and they inform us that Spencer had an adverse reaction to one of the anesthesias that was used.  So now his medical alert file says he allergic to Ketamine and penicillin.
The oncologist calls Glen and I in for a conference and confirms that based on the bone marrow biopsy, that he does have Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
We learn that AML is a less common and more aggressive type of leukemia. 
She outlines an in-depth aggressive treatment plan which will include several months of in-hospital chemo and a possible bone marrow transplant if necessary. 
Spencer's best friend, Ryan, comes to visit and they agree on a plan for letting their friends know about his diagnosis. 
We agree that now that his diagnosis is confirmed, that it's time to share it with people. 
The anesthesiologist meets with us and discusses more procedures that Spencer will need. 
We sign paper after paper after paper, each with its own list of possible horrible side effects, the least of which will be losing his hair. 
We go forward with trusting our first-born son to the world of medicine. 


Spencer has an iv line surgically implanted into his chest (it's called a "central line").  This is a long-term iv through which the chemo will be administered. 
He has a spinal tap to determine whether there are leukemic cells in his spinal fluid.  We haven't heard  the results yet. 
Spencer is showered with love...via messages, gifts, and visits. 
Chemo is started.  So far he is tolerating it well. 

More chemo.
More friends.
We feel loved.


Deon said...

Love always - you are in our prayers, dear family.

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Lara I just found out. I can't believe it. I'm so so so sorry. Please know that I will be praying for Spencer and your family. I know you know this already, the Lord knows Spencer and his individual needs. Angels will be round about him. {big hugs}

Deanne said...

I appreciate the time you're taking to make the updates. Please let me know how I can help. We'd love to have any of your children over to play. I'm free tomorrow (Saturday)! Spencer and all of you guys are in our continued thoughts and prayers.

The McArthur Family said...

Thank you for taking the time to share with all of us. You are wise to keep detailed notes. My sister was hospitalized for a year--in a coma for most of that time--and there are 4 things I'm sure you're already doing, but I want to reinforce their importance given my experience: 1)keep a notebook on hand at all times and take notes on everything a doctor or nurse or administrator tells you; be sure to note the name of the person, the date and the time; as questions occur to you later, keep a list in the back of the notebook so that you can remember to ask the next time you speak with someone; do your best to keep it chronological and organized; 2) keep a separate notebook to use as a journal; this will be an emotional and spiritual roller-coaster and you will be so grateful later if you can find the time to record what you're feeling and experiencing as it happens (I would encourage Spencer to do the same); 3) be a presence in that hospital room!; leave no doubt with the staff that there is someone on top of Spencer's care who will hold people accountable; do not be afraid to be assertive; do not be afraid to question the doctors' judgement; view yourself as an active advocate for Spencer's care and have a friend or family member around as often as possible (you may even want to consider a sign-up sheet for volunteers and have them keep notes when they're there, too); and 4) ask for help when you need it; people want to help; let them. You are all in my prayers and will stay there!

Saimi said...

I came over via Lisa's blog. I can't even imagine what you must be going through with your son. My heart is breaking for you and your family.

angela said...

I really can't believe it. What an unexpected shock. We will keep praying.

Steve-Rosanna said...

Thanks for the update Lara. Although I have cried numerous times over the past few days, the reality of his situation did not really hit me until I saw the picture of him through the rails of his hospital bed that you just posted. I had the opportunity to speak briefly with him late this afternoon and he sounded so strong and so brave.

Your friends are right-you are surrounded with both angels and an amazing amount of love and emphathy. You must be thankful for such great advice that you received from the McArthur Family and others.

We continue to be amazed with your strength and faith in the healing power of our Loving Heavenly Father. What a blessing we have in the atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We love you guys and you are in our continual prayers.

Andie said...

Thanks for taking the time to update, Lara. We are thinking about you guys constantly and praying for Spencer night and day in Minnesota.

Charlene said...

Lara, We have been praying for Spencer and your family. We admire your faith, trust and strength and see it in your son as well. I know you have family and friends taking care of you and your family, but if their is anything we can do, please let us know.

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