Saturday, November 26, 2011

November 24, 2011 - Day 54

5 months, 2 weeks, 5 days since diagnosis
63 days away from home

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have a lot to be thankful for. I have had 5 amazing months with my youngest daughter. I've gotten to know her better than I ever would have if I had been living my normal life and working away from home nearly 50 hours a week. I have 2 brave, strong, phenomenal daughters. My 3 year old is smart and healthy and growing. My husband is by my side no matter what. We have a lot more to be thankful for than we have to be bitter about. I think most of us do, when we really look at it.

It was a good day. We ate warm sticky buns and cheese and pepperoni. We spent time together and we almost never get to do that. We had no where we had to go and nothing we had to do. That almost never happens.

Unfortunately, in the middle of dinner, Riker needed a diaper change and there was mucus in her stool. So, in the middle of dinner, we ended up making our way with a dirty diaper to the ER. Such is the life of a cancer family. I knew that we'd likely be sent home but we still had to sit in the ER for hours before we were released. They wanted to test her diaper and draw her blood for some testing including a blood count which in routine for oncology patients.

At some point, I had a nurse sit with Riker so I could use the bathroom. As I came out of the bathroom, I heard the doctors discussing low blood counts. I said, "you're not taking about, Riker, are you?" They seemed almost embarrassed that I had heard and told me that they were, indeed, talking about Riker. When I asked what was going on, they told me that her counts where all very low. I must have turned white as a sheet and I could feel tears burning hot in my eyes. I felt panic wanting to creep in.

They reassured me and told me they were drawing again. They thought the first draw might have been over diluted with saline. I gathered my wits for a moment and asked them if the oncologist had seen the results and he hadn't. I had to remind myself that ER doctors do not understand cancer, let alone bone marrow transplant. I shouldn't be worried until the oncologist is worried. But the thought was already there.

THIS is my worst nightmare. Any mother of a child with cancer will tell you... we hang all our hopes on those blood counts. They HAVE to be ok. The cancer CANNOT come back! I know people who's children have relapsed only months after a bone marrow transplant. Cancer is not fair. It plays dirty.

In the end, they weren't worried... in the end they sent us home because we were going to clinic first thing in the morning. They'll run cultures on her stool and it's not likely to be anything. We might need a blood transfusion in the morning because although her counts are low, they're not overly low for a bone marrow transplant patient. But, will I every really be reassured? I'll always be looking over my shoulder for this monster who's chasing after us.

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