Wednesday, August 15, 2012


"Sam is a 6 and a half year old boy on day 22 of induction round 2 for AML. He is currently awaiting counts recovery. From a HOT perspective, he is awaiting count recovery. From an ID perspective, he is afebrile and on blah blah antibiotics. He is on day 12 of oral flagyl for C.Diff. From a GI perspective he is on TPN and Lipids, adjusted for his PO intake. He is on Zofran and Hydroxizine PRN. From a neuro standpoint he has morphine available but hasn't made use of it so let's take that out."*

This is an almost word-for-word report from the resident every. single. morning.

Today, a small change.

An ANC of 15.

It's not much.
But it's there.

A "rising count" as it were.

I just took a moment to read through our last chemo round's posts. I didn't record what the "low" ANC was on July 5, but I read through the posts and FIVE DAYS LATER we went home. (In case you've forgotten (why would you remember?) we are aiming for about 200 before we can go home.)

I am NOT getting my hopes up.
I am not GETTING my hopes up.
I am not getting my HOPES up.
I am not getting my hopes UP.

Just a teensy little bit.
Let me celebrate, okay? We did a little ANC dance this morning, me and Dr. L.

I know that the subsequent rounds of chemo often take longer for recovery. So did I mention that I'm NOT getting my hopes up? But I am thinking about packing. I'm just sayin'...


Today was another "good" day in Sam's estimation. Not only did David visit again (he stayed overnight with Bubbie and Zeyde), but Grandma came to pick him up and brought Yael. All three big sibs in one room. Ahhh....there actually was a little bit of "normal" in there, if you can imagine.

And when they left? Sam handled it in a much better fashion than yesterday. That famous kid-resilience? Definitely showing through. He bounced back from the disappointment and slipped back into his routine of sword-fighting and wii-playing against nurses and residents and other helpers. (Including me, but he said that I was too "boring" because I don't like to get hit. Duh.) A remote-control helicopter didn't hurt either.
Learning to land the remote control helicopter while Bubbie and Dr. L look on.
This is A, our "care partner," which is a fancy word for nurse's assistant. He played a mean wakeboarding on Wii. (He also wakeboards in real life on Lac LaBelle, which was a big deal for Sam and I - that's the OSRUI lake!)
His sparkly and snarky comments continued all afternoon and into the evening, when Tante Anne arrived with a Lou Malnati's pizza. Oh how Sam has longed for some local Chicago cuisine. Seriously, it makes me (ever so slightly) regret that my children are attached to their local restaurants and stores. Why can't he yearn for a cookie-cutter-chain-restaurant item that is easily acquirable in another state!? Darn kids and their high-falutin tastes.

 And then another bounce. Sam and I got a little cocky...he offered to take his evening meds with water instead of Sprite to avoid an extra mouthwash after the Sprite....and back it all came up. Lou's pizza and all. Sigh. There was definitely a parenting moment of "oy, I shouldn't have let him..." but in the end, it just was what it was, and I think we both learned a lesson. He handled it well, bounced back, re-brushed his teeth, re-took the dose (with Sprite) and after a last few chapters of Mercy Watson, headed off to bed.

Bouncing boy....bouncing mama....bouncing day. Ups and downs....but so many more ups than downs. And for that we are grateful.

Here's hoping for even higher numbers tomorrow!

*Translation: This kid is here for his second round of chemo. He's been here an ungodly long time and we can't wait to get rid of him. He doesn't have fevers or infections except the darn C.Diff and he takes medicines cuz it's fun. He's not eating very much so we give him nutrition by IV and he can ask for his nausea meds. He doesn't have any pain, whew. (Did I get it right, doctor-types?)

I'm trying to add "Doctor" or "Leukemia" to the languages that I speak on my Facebook profile but it won't let me. Probably because it knows that I don't really know anything...but I play one on the internet!?


  1. really quite good, mama rabbi doctor :)
    Very minor misspelling - it's hydroxYzine - and I'm sure ID is happy to know about the new blah blah killer antibiotics!!
    Love, Dr-type Liz

  2. Oral meds on water can be tough, but it was worth a try. Nice to try in the hospital where there's clean up help. Glad he bounced back!

  3. Good for the ANC dance! You've earned it a million times over. (What about the lizard pics?)

  4. We are ANC dancing for you here. And how does he take that oral flagyl without ralphing? Thinking of you.

  5. The doctor types love the great news. Love to see his smiling face!!!

    Dr. P

    PS, nothing was lost in translation.

  6. It's a good thing to be attached to Chicago pizza!!! That's how you know your kids will come home again! Keep at it Superman Sam, thinking of you every day. No, really!