Sunday, April 11, 2010

Update on today's treatment

Sarah did well with her chemo today. She has to have her blood drawn first thing every time we go for treatment so the doctors can see if her blood counts are high enough for her to get chemo. She is always nervous and has asked to have her finger pricked each time which means they have to squeeze her poor finger for a long time to get all the vials of blood they need and the little hole turns into a long gash by the end of it all. Today they needed more blood for a few more tests, so we talked it over about using the vein in her arm this time. With just a few tears and a few extra minutes to compose herself, Sarah agreed to have the blood drawn from her arm. We love Katrina in the lab and were so happy to have her again today. Katrina did a great job and Sarah was happy she gave the arm a try.
The initial count was borderline today (900) but they thought it would be fine (has to be over 750) when the specifics came back from the lab, so they started the chemo. Later in the day when we were in the infusion room, the specific numbers came back and her ANC, the good white blood cells, was 690. (a good ANC is 1500 and can go as high as 8000 for normal people. Below 500 is really bad.) So it turns out, had they known it was so low, they would not have given her the chemo today. But it was already done, and the dose was upped today according to the protocol. In a way, I am glad that we didn't have the specific numbers back so that we could go ahead with the chemo and not have to wait and come back another day and delay this whole 2.5 year process. But I hope it doesn't bring her numbers down so low that she gets an infection.
Sarah is feeling so very tired, which is normal for a treatment day, and since her treatment this morning, she has only eaten two Dora popsicles, a few yummy organic strawberries and baby tomatoes that our neighbor brought us and a few bites of homemade bread from another wonderful friend we haven't even met yet.
We coaxed her to take her anti-nausea meds tonight, and I hope she can sleep through the night.
We have to go back to the hospital on Friday to get her blood counts checked again. And we are in a tighter lockdown now with her ability to fight off disease being so low.
The best numbers we did get back were her liver enzymes. A couple of weeks ago that was over 600 (normal is below 50). Last week it was down to 430 and today it was 90! So that is very good news. Her liver is working better and better!
A few of you are asking how I am doing lately - I found my phone in the bottom of the washing machine this morning as I was putting damp clothes from last nights laundry marathon into the dryer. That sort of sums it up.
In normal circumstances I am introspective and contemplative to a fault, and I tend to hide away there at times. So now you know where I have been lately instead of writing on this blog:)
We are still in shock sometimes that this is now our life. We thought being on the mission field on an island in the South China Sea was being stretched and molded by God. That seems like nothing compared to now.
It truly has been hard, a hard blow to faith and ideas of love and care. His presence is still here and near to us though and so we wait - for healing, for the other, for Him either way.
But my mother's heart is truly broken.


Corrie said...

I am not sure what this says about me, but I have found my phone at the bottom of the washing machine twice in the last year. The first time, bless the Lord, it still worked. Not so much the second.

We love you and are praying.

Shannon Hilliard said...

I still pray for you all especially on Wednesdays... my heart breaks for you all as you adjust to your new normal. I so love ministry here and empathize with how hard it must be to be there in the "medical mundane manna" plus watching all the physical changes that go one with Chemo in precious Sarah Grace. Waiting on the Lord with you,

Claire said...

Anne, Thank you for sharing this with us. I'll keep praying for you all. Wish I could give you a great big hug. Claire xo

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