Friday, April 27, 2007

Saturday April 21, 2007

I am hoping that this will be a cathartic entry and that I'll be able to sleep afterward. Here I sit in Dartmouth hospital in New Hampshire at 4:30 in the morning with my dear sweet Kate. This was to be a long since overdue, "girls weekend" with my best friends Susan and Sarah but the day we arrived Kate became markedly more ill. Her pallor, fatigue and pain brought us to the ER where she was then transfered up to the pediatric clinic. They started an IV, began hydrating her and sent quite a few labs off. The CBC showed several very concerning abnormalities. Her white blood cell count was dangerously low rendering her incapable of fighting any illness and her red blood cell was so low that we were told she'd need several blood transfusions. The differential diagnosis for these gross abnormalities, we were told, was 1. Viral suppression of the bone marrow 2. Aplastic anemia (meaning the bone marrow is not producing any blood lines) 3. Leukemia (which means that cancer cell have taken up the space in the bone marrow where the developing blood cells need to be. After more bloodwork the hematologist/oncologist told us that she thought that ALL (leukemia) was most likely but we'd need a bone marrow biopsy to give a definitive diagnosis. Because we don't live here though, we need to get Kate stable enough to transport back to Atlanta so that we can be admitted to our children's hospital for the biopsy and treatment. Since our arrival Kate has had 2 transfusions, 3 rounds of antibiotics and fluids. After she received the transfusions she began perking up considerably and is not scaring me to death with her unresponsiveness. We have been so grateful for the kindess that we have received thus far. Two church members that are residents came over and gave Kate a blessing. It was a wonderful blessing and did help to ease the pain of it all. Susan's husband, Chris, who is also a resident here was amazing in helping us navigate the system and getting us set up comfortably. Our sweet bishop called the heme/onc physician at Egleston hospital and had a transfer already arranged before we were even seen by our heme/onc specialist in Dartmouth. That took hours of negotiating and worry away. After I spoke with the specialist in Atlanta I knew what the plan would be and she worked with our specialist here to help make it happen. My best friends are meanwhile caring for Ava and checking in on me which was most desperately needed tonight. I seem to mostly be ok but have mini breakdowns when the reality and hurt suddenly wash over me. Kate is really doing much better now. Her fevers are controlled, after a difficult attempt she has a 2nd IV in that is working and she is sleeping soundly. We just want her to get better quickly so that we can get home to Jason and Jackson. Please keep us in your prayers as we go through the next few days and try to get a definitive diagnosis.

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