Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 21 - Wait. Wait. Wait.

We are simply waiting.

Sam's is still neutropenic, which means that his ANC is basically zero. He has almost no immune system at the moment, yet he is still pretty energetic and appears...um....well.

Except over Rosh HaShanah he spiked a fever, which, as you'll recall, is "normal" here in Cancerland. It has a plan - they say it every morning on rounds: "if he spikes a fever, we will culture him [doctor speak for draw blood and see what grows from it] and give him cefapine and vancomycin [doctor speak for serious antibiotics]." So...the plan was put into place. Sam actually "grew" a bacteria in his culture so they added a third antibiotic. (The nurse-practitioner actually told me she was surprised he had a bacterial infection since he is so "well-appearing.") It's not quite like putting a kid on a z-pack for strep throat, though. Now they check his blood for the antibiotics to make sure that they're working and then tweak the dose. Fun stuff.

Gives us something to do, I guess.

Since we're mostly just waiting.

Have I mentioned how much waiting we're doing? Waiting for the counts to rise. Any day now? Counts? Ya hear me? We're waiting....feel free to rise. Tomorrow some poor lab tech is going to manually comb through Sam's blood (I would imagine a microscope is involved and probably not an actual comb) to look for blasts and neutrophils and whatever else he or she is trying to find. Hopefully the search will not be in vain and tomorrow is the day!

Until then....a lot of elevator-riding and catch-throw-bounce and homework-cajoling and movie-watching and fruit-by-the-foot-eating and antibiotic-administering.

Flipping through the movie choices at the Family Resource Center
Things are so neatly labelled in Cancerland. Isn't that nice and organized?
Isn't fruit by the foot attractive?
Homework. He isn't quite sure how much fun this is.
Playing catch. In the hall. With a fever. Like the ball? It came in the mail. By itself. Who knew!?
Did you know that September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month? I do now.
But it does seem odd that here on the cancer unit we are not always acknowledging Cancer Awareness. I mean, honestly. Do you expect me to believe that one. single. month. is going to go by in my life forever in which I am not totally aware of childhood cancer? Yeah. I didn't think so. You too, huh? Yep. I knew it.

But that doesn't stop them from decorating. I guess a good decorating scheme is hard to pass up. And yellow is a nice color. ("celebrating" just doesn't seem to be quite the right word for it. But they made such nice signs.)
Even Sam looks good in yellow:
I hear stories every day that make me feel lucky.
Lucky that so far....waiting is our biggest annoyance.
Let's keep it that way.
Thanks for the love and the prayers.


  1. Tom Petty said it best.....the waiting is the hardest part. Keeping you in our prayers, as always. I have a question. Is my screen dirty or does Sam have a little shadow of hair? Either way, he's OUR superhero, and we love you all so much.

  2. I love www.sendaball.com
    I've been using them for years, but I'm still a little surprised when a ball arrives. In the mail. By itself. So cool.
    The best is when you see a walking postal worker carrying one around while delivering mail.

  3. Superman Sam is never far from my thoughts, and his English and Hebrew names both continue to be on the prayer list at my synagogue (twice the blessings?). Rise, counts, rise!