Our clinic day on Friday was uneventful and everything went as planned. Her blood looked great. Her neutraphils were well over what they needed to be and all her counts looked really good. She had her spinal tap and chemo in her spine and then she got her chemo through her port. She was in good spirits the whole day while at the hospital, but is always excited and ready to come home by the end of our time there.
She started a new oral chemo that she will be taking everyday for the remainder of her treatment (the next 2 years, 5 months). It is once a day, in the evening and she needs to take it on an empty stomach. We have to be very careful in the handling of this medication and we need to wear gloves when holding/crushing and giving her the medicine. They explained that since it is chemotherapy, we need to make sure that it is not being absorbed into our skin. We also cannot wash the utensils or dishes that come into contact with the medicine with any other dishes or utensils that are used for other things so it is kind of stressful right now as we get all of this down to a science. Please pray that we would get used to this new part of our days. It is hard to think that we have to give her this every day, yet it is so powerful that we have to wear gloves while handling it.
On a funner note, Abbey has quite a hat collection so far. My sister, Stacey knit the matching hats in the pictures above for Abbey and I and she also knit the orange ribbons (they're for leukemia awareness/support) on them. A good friend of ours from church has also knit some beautiful ones for her and we have gotten several other store bought cute hats and beautiful scarves from people. We are thinking that a 'hat tree' to put in her room would be a cute idea so her hats can be out since these will be a new important part of her wardrobe :)
This month should be easier than last month for her body. We will go in every Friday for her to have her spinal chemo and she will also be on her oral chemo everyday. We are so thankful that we have not had to be admitted to the hospital even one time yet for a fever or illness. When we left the hospital, they said to expect for her to get fevers and/or infections at times during her treatment, yet she only had one very low grade fever one night that worked it's way out and she has never had to be admitted back into the hospital.
I think part of that has to do with this story that I'm going to tell you. This is one of those 'God things' where I really feel like this was and is totally from Him. I will try to make this short (I know I get a little wordy sometimes). Micah was 9 months old when Abbey was diagnosed and I was still nursing him. I had never left Micah for more than 3 hours ever in his life since he would not take a bottle so the night that Abbey was diagnosed I knew we were going to have to change that and switch him to bottles and formula since we were going to be away from him a lot (I actually thought we were going to be living in the hospital for 2 1/2 years the first night we were there and did not know that she was going to be outpatient until about 4 days into our time there..... that was an amazing blessing when I found out we were actually going to be going home in a week and a half, but that's a whole other story....). Anyways, my sister's neighbor is a lactation consultant and Stacey called her to tell her what was going on with Abbey and to get some advice on switching Micah to a bottle. The first thing out of the lactation consultants mouth was "that's so awesome that she is nursing the baby... breastmilk is amazing for cancer patients." Stacey told her that the baby wasn't the one with cancer, but our middle child. She proceeded to tell my sister that it would be so wonderful if I could pump and give Abbey some of my milk everyday. She said that there has been a lot of research done on the positive affects of breastmilk for people with cancer. She told her that there is some research being done in Sweden and they are finding that breastmilk kills cancer cells (we now have the article and it's pretty interesting). So, when Stacey told us what she said, I decided to continue nursing Micah (even though it was really hard while we were in the hospital since he didn't stay there with us) so I could give my milk to Abbey (and of course Micah). I give her 3 ounces every morning, mixed with regular milk and I add Nesquik. She has no idea it's in there, yet we truly feel that it is keeping infection and fevers away and possibly even helping in other ways that we don't know (only He knows :). If God did not lead Stacey to call her neighbor that night, I would have probably weaned Micah (which I know I would have regretted) and would not be able to be giving Abbey 'Liquid Gold' every morning (at least that's what Jim and I call it) :) God is healing her body, and we are so thankful.... You can be sure that when I get to Heaven I'm going to ask Him if my milk helped in any way. One things for sure... we know it can't hurt and we'll do anything to help!