Thursday, May 17, 2012

"I Can't Think of a Good Title"

In the middle of exercising, loads of laundry, scrubbing the house, and plowing a path through the kids' room today, I had  a couple of very worried people get in touch with me to find out why I hadn't blogged anything yet and if everything was okay.   After feeling cool for a minute thinking that someone actually cares if I miss a day or two blogging (a new phenomenon, I tell you!), I realized that cool or not, it's wonderful to know that there are so many people who care about our family.  

So now I am blogging to say everything is fine and dandy.    It was a long process (the vast majority of it spent waiting in windowless rooms in the bowels of the hospital), but Spencer's central line was successfully removed by Dr. A on Tuesday.    The poor kid wasn't able to eat or drink the entire day (until 10pm), because he was being sedated, but he took the lack of food better than his mom and has been eating nonstop since then to make up for the lost calories. 

Spence let me take a little photo shoot of his line before it was removed (but has yet to let me take a picture of it since it's been removed).  You can see that it was stitched into place on the left side of his chest near the shoulder.  It went in a large vein that ran alongside of his heart.  It was kept covered with a sterile dressing, which was very carefully changed once a week. 

For the past few months all of his blood has been drawn from the line and all chemo and meds administered through it.  Normally they would keep it in until a week or so after he was released from the hospital for the last time, but because he is essentially done with his treatment and just waiting for his counts to come back up again, it was easier to just take out the source of the infection and administer any fluids and meds through an IV in his arm instead.  Spencer did not enjoy getting the IV in his arm, but since getting the line out meant that he was one step closer to being done forever he didn't complain a bit. 

Lab results identified the bacteria as one that is easily treated with an antibiotic (Cefapime) and it was confirmed that the bacteria was confined to his line and was not in his peripheral blood stream, which would have made it a little more serious. 

Yesterday Spencer had a visit from one of his cancer buddies.  Sean recently finished his year-and-a-half course of treatment and was already sporting a great head of hair.  He told us all about the amazing Make-A-Wish trip he'd gone on with his family where he got to swim with the dolphins on a Disney Cruise.  It made Spencer all the more excited for his Make-A-Wish trip which is still in process of getting approved.   (Can you guess where he wants to go?)
As happy as we were to see a healthy, energetic Sean and his mother, we've been sad to hear in the last couple of days that two of our other cancer buddies are not doing well.  Both fellow AML patients, a 12-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy, are not responding well to treatment and it's breaking my heart to hear of the pain they (and their families) are enduring .  Cancer is a horrible, horrible disease for anyone--old or young, but it seems even moreso for these young kids who have barely lived their lives.   :( 


Changing topics now...I received this card in the mail a couple of days ago...

I thought it was cool that they sent the card to say that they'd used the blood that I donated a couple weeks ago.  There's no way of ever knowing, but with as many blood transfusions as Spencer's received in the last week or two, it's a definite possibility that he's got some of his mama's blood in him now. 

More than he already had.  :)


"...the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points to each of us. At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow. No one is exempt . . . Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training. These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others . . . The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude."
                                                                                                              - Joseph B. Wirthlin


Charlene said...

I received one of those cards yesterday too!! It was wonderful to know that my blood made a difference in someones life!! I'm glad to hear his infection is treatable and that he is on his way to recovery!

Momma Nielson said...

The picture of Spencer and that adorable little guy makes me very happy.

Chelsey said...

A Disney cruise with your family?! I hope you go and love it...or is it to play basketball with Jimmer? Ha, ha. Cancer is heart breaking..praying for your family!

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