From Shelley: October 5 @ 11:47 PM
DAY 1 (Friday)
She had to be put under for three procedures... she had a port put in to do all her blood work and iv chemo treatments through. It will be great once it heals b/c they won't have to keep taking blood with a needle in her arm, but for now she is very sore there where they put it. It's like a small disk under the skin where there is a needle in there that can access blood draws and a way to give her medicine. The needle will stay there for a while and the port will be in there until she beats this completely. They are giving us a time frame of 2 years to 2 1/2 years for her to be cancer free so we have a long road ahead of us, but we are taking it a day at a time (sometimes hourly). She also had some bone marrow taken out and spinal fluid taken out and her first chemo given. After she woke after the procedures she was very sick vomiting... very sad and hard to see. Once she got over that, she was a new person. She had 2 more doses of chemo (they are all different meds... you'll get the picture as time goes on) and seemed to do well with those. We didn't notice too many side effects to those today. God has been at work in amazing ways though... I will share a story on day 2 and we are counting it as a miracle!!
DAY 2 (Saturday)
This morning was a hard morning for us. For some reason the mornings are hard and we think it's becasue when you're sleeping eveything just kind of goes away and when you wake up you realize your still fighting cancer... anyways, we heard pretty early this morning that her test results were back from the bone marrow and spinal fluid. It was hard and encouraging at the same time. The spinal fluid had no sign on cancer so we praised God for that. The doctor said the bone marrow was "full of cancer cells" so that was very hard to hear, but the doctor told us several times that that's exactly what they expected to find. They will repeat the exact same two tests (bone marrow and spinal fluid) next Friday (which will be one week after the first) to compare the two to see who the treatment is working. So, next Friday we will be having a time of prayer at the hospital while she is in surgery... Hilary and Todd or Samua will give you the details (or contact them if you're interested). Please come pray with us... we want to lift her little body up in prayer and pray that bone marrow looks much better and pray for the doctors and pray that she doesn't get sick after, etc... and also be a testimony in this hospital. She had a blood transfusion today, but did great with it and had no reaction when the blood entered her body. She perked up after that and had more energy. The other main thing that happened today was that she had a routine blood draw this evening and after the nurse takes the blood out she always has to flush the line. Well right after the draw when she went to flush the line she could not get the saline through and she was pushing hard and was very concerned about it. She then looked at the blood and saw that it had completely clotted in the containers to send to the lab so she was concerned that there may be something off on the platelets so she immediately sent the blood off to the lab for tests. She came in again after talking to the doctors and used a medication to break up the clot in the line... it worked! We cried out to God (literally) and asked her blood to be normal. They came back after an hour and said they couldn't test it b/c it had clotted too much so she needed to get more blood from the line. To make a long story short, the blood came back completely normal (or normal for what her blood should look like at this point) and they had no idea why it clotted in her line and in the collection tubes, but came back completely normal... we're counting it as a miracle!! Praise God.....
DAY 3 (Sunday)
Today was a pretty uneventful day. We had our family and many friends here and were encouraged by all. Abbey has so many new toys and activities to keep her going so that has been a wonderful distraction to her (thank you everyone... we are overwhelmed by your love). She loves reading books, coloring, playing with her little animals and princesses and just spending time one on one with us (mostly mommy ;) . She is pretty easy to distract so that has been helpful since there are often nurses and doctors in here either taking blood, giving her meds or prodding at her. I don't know if I've mentioned, but the doctors and nurses are AMAZING here! We actually feel like some of them are our family already and we can honestly say that we love them b/c they are helping get our Abbey better. They talk to us and explain things to us 50 + times if needed. We are overwhelmed with info and they know that and are constantly telling us to ask questions and to ask the same question over and over again if needed. It is comforting. The other thing I want to mention in this one is that she will have several side effects to the different kinds of chemo that she is having. Of course we all know the most outwardly visible one which is loosing her hair. The doctor told us to expect that to start happening in about a week to 12 days. Another common one with the one medication is mood swings and cranky, crabby behavior. We have experienced a little of that, but how in the world can we blame her? She can be as crabby and cranky as she wants for the next 2 years. We are going to love her through ever second of it. There are others that I will mention as we go on. Overall today was good though. Jim's parents brought up Jacob and Micah for much of the day so that was wonderful. Jacob and I (mommy) got to take off for a little while this afternoon to the gift shop and lunch. He got to get two new toys and then he picked one for Abbey. We had some good talks about all that is going on and he seems to be doing well. It is helping that he is staying at home with Grandmom and Grandpop. He would be really struggling if he wasn't at home, and although he told me today "I've been thinking about you a lot latley mommy" I think he's hanging in there pretty good. We talked about Abbey's hair loss to him tonight and we are going to shave his head and Micah's head too. They will all match :) He seemed to understand and to him he kind of acted like is wasn't too big of a deal... it's still going to be Abbey. My sister came up today with several picture collages to decorate the room (our room is seriously beautiful with posters and decorations from everyone... thank you guys) and although they are awesome, they also were hard b/c she is smiling and jumping around and just being a normal kid in the pictures and now that will be on hold for a while. Our hearts are aching at times and we see her lay fragile and sore in her hospital bed, but we can honestly say that our hearts too are thankful how God is carrying us though this and we are seeing His hand throughout the day. We have a peace that we can't explain and I seriously don't think I've ever been so close to my Savior in my life. He is sustaining us and giving us the strength that we need. Abbey has been a trooper. She's hanging in there and we feel that she is doing exceptionally well! She is sound asleep now and looks peaceful. Please keep praying for our baby...