Abby's Journey Archive

Another hospitalization

Well, we enjoyed our time together the last few days. Abby felt good enough to go to school and her dance class yesterday. Unfortunately, today she woke up sniffling most likely from the cold that both Daniel and Elizabeth have. She started running a fever of 101 which is an automatic admit when she's almost neutropenic.

They will probably culture her blood to check for bacterial infections and give her IV antibiotics. Then, starting tomorrow I will annoy the doctors daily until they let us take Abby home to administer IV antibiotics from here :)

You can pray that Abby's fever will stay low and that the Lord will lift her spirits. She cried and said, "I don't want to go to the hospital, I want to sleep in my own bed". She is getting soooo tired of being hospitalized and this time she won't even get to go to the playroom since she is probably neutropenic. I'll really push for having them let her walk out to the patio with her mask on. She desperately needs to have a change of scenery sometimes. You can also pray for the rest of us. C.R. and I haven't recovered physically and emotionally from the chemo hospitalization yet. Also, poor Josiah was sobbing when Abby left (Daniel joined him when he started to feel left out).

We're certain God is still in control, but now is one of those times we want to ask, "why?". May He continue to do His work in our lives and in our circumstances.

03:31 AM, 31 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

2 down, 2 to go

Praise God that # 2 of 4 is done! Abby was discharged yesterday at noon feeling homesick, but pretty perky. Her potassium, magnesium and calcium levels had fluctuated during her chemo treatment, but at discharge, they were looking good. If you remember last time she had to receive several infusions of magnesium and potassium because the levels dropped pretty low.

Right now we are in Tucson for her to receive her stem cells and she is feeling much better than last time. She never got a headache (we think her headache last time was due to the sinus infection).

We'll head back to Chandler tonight and she'll have labs 2-3 times a week so we can monitor her counts. Please pray that she won't develop a fever this time and end up in the hospital while her counts are low. You can also pray that her counts will go back up as quickly as last time and that Abby will handle her neupogen injections as well as she did last time.

03:16 PM, 28 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Going great

Sorry to keep everyone waiting so long for an update. I know you all have been faithfully praying...we've been experiencing the answers!

Abby had a great birthday. She had a fun party painting pottery with a few friends and then had dinner at Rubios.

On Sunday morning the hospital had her bed ready by 9 so off we went. Abby has been working really hard recently on dealing with her "pokes" without screaming and her port access Sunday was an amazing experience. We had been praying that her "poke angels" would help her be brave and she likes the idea that they were celebrating with her on Sunday. She barely whimpered when they accessed her port.

She started her treatment with fluids and then received her first 2 chemo drugs. She felt fine. Her first night went well. We decided to give her the anti-nausea drug, Ativan right before bed this time since night was when she got sick with her first treatment. So far, that plan has worked both nights. Not only has it kept her from vomiting, but since she is asleep, she doesn't notice the side effect of dizziness. She was a little tired on Monday during the day, but only vomited once. So far today her appetite is gone and she has been sleeping a lot, but again, no vomiting. Also, they have been giving her magnesium and potassium with her fluids to keep those levels normal. She dropped quite low with her last treatment.

So, our prayer is that she will continue to respond well to everything and regain her appetite quickly once the drugs are flushed out of her system. We should be discharged sometime tomorrow and will head to Tucson for her stem cell infusion on Thursday.

Thanks again for your fervent prayers. He is listening and answering! Praise God!

08:47 PM, 26 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Fun day

Happy Birthday, Abby!

Birthday flowers

Abby celebrated her 6th birthday this morning with her favorite breakfast of "cheese eggs" and fruit. God is good to allow her to celebrate her special day today before starting chemo # 2 tomorrow.

Praise God with us that her counts look good as we begin. Also, praise God that we have a great primary care pediatrition. They have been incredibly helpful in getting our kids on the priority list for a flu vaccine.

You can pray for decent sleep for Abby and mom in the hospital...especially that we'll be able to keep her vomiting under control and also keep her magnesium and potassium levels good.

08:44 PM, 23 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (3) | Attach Photo

Looking great

Abby had an appointment yesterday and everything looks great. They are amazed that she's doing as well as she is.

She gets a whole week off and doesn't need to be back in the office until next Thursday. Yeah!

10:04 PM, 15 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

Counts are Up!

Abby had a great looking blood test today. Her neutrophils are at almost 6000 compared to the "almost 300" last Thursday. Wow! Dr. P says the neupogen shots artificially enhance the neutrophil counts so we can expect that number to drop in the next week (she gets to discontinue the shots until her next chemo round). However, she is looking great. Dr. P and the nurse said the quick recovery was due to Abby receiving her stem cells, but we mentioned that there were a lot of people praying for her recovery. We give God the glory for His hand in her healing!

Of course, when we left today I arranged everything and packed lots of stuff to keep Abby busy anticipating a trip to the POTC for a platelet infusion, but that was unnecessary. I won't complain, though.

Abby is scheduled for round 2 of her chemo to begin on October 24. Keep praying for her to build up her strength in preparation for that.


10:32 PM, 11 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo


Abby and Lindsay

Well, Abby is home and feeling good. She never really felt too sick in the hospital. We're also praising God for 2 areas of incredible progress.

First, Abby is now quite the pro about her self-injected shot. She just goes at it without a whimper and chants, "go away" until the neupogen is injected. She is telling the needle to "go away" instead of screaming :)

Second, as C.R. posted last, she was declared neutropenic on Monday (meaning her counts were below 500...actually they were at zero). However, by Wednesday her counts were almost to 300 already. Now, we don't know how typical this is as every chemo protocol is different and every patient responds differently. However, we do know that the average of the patients who receive this identical protocol from the research study were neutropenic for about 2 weeks.

So, we're home for the time being and enjoying it greatly. Abby was thrilled to enjoy a sleepover with her best friend tonight. She brightens up like a sunbeam when she gets to be a regular kid. Thank God for simple blessings!

04:31 AM, 09 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Long day became a long week

When last we wrote Abby was just admitted to the hospital, officially neutropenic and with a fever of 102 F. It's interesting how God can work--by the time I reached the hospital she had no fever at all, but they still went ahead and admitted her and started IV Cefepime. She has remained in remarkably good spirits despite being confined to her (very small) hospital room. Because of her neutropenia she has not been able to go anywhere, not even to the hospital playroom.

I talked to Amy a little while ago and it looks like Abby will be released today. Her counts are on the way up again, though she might require some more platelets on Monday. She is going to continue the IV Cefepime at home via home health.

It will be so nice to have her home.

07:33 PM, 07 Oct 2004 by C. R. Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo


Abby had a long day today. She left with C.R. and Josiah at 8:30 this morning for an appointment with the oncologist. They discovered that she is nutropenic which essentially means she doesn't have enough immunity to fight off infections.

Her labs also indicated a need for blood and platelets so she was sent over to the Pediatric Outpatient Treatment Center at the hospital (which we will probably be visiting often so I'll start referring to it as the POTC). They returned home at 6:30 and we discovered after dinner that the low grade fever she has been manifesting the past 2 days had gone up to 102 degrees. So, the oncologist ordered her back to the hospital (fortunately they got to go straight to the Oncology Pod on the Pediatric floor).

My guess is that they will start her on fluids and IV antibiotics as well as culture her blood looking for infections.

You can pray that her hospital stay will be short, that they will find and treat the source of the infection quickly and that our family will survive being pulled in different directions once again.

04:35 AM, 05 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

Amazing Kid

Well, our amazing kid gave herself a shot today. We weren't sure she would be able to do it, but she did. She was quite "vocal" while she did it (we are told by Abby and others that the neupogen burns as it is injected), but she inserted the needle and injected the medication with a little help from us.

Also, her headaches have ceased, Praise God. Thanks for praying for that. Her appetite is picking up a little. So, we're not as concerned, but do keep praying for that.

We will visit the oncologist on Monday to check her counts to see if they have "bottomed out" yet (meaning she has fallen below a certain number of white blood cells and other infection-fighting cells). Please pray that once that happens, her stem cells that we infused will do their job and start building up her immune system again.

04:50 AM, 03 Oct 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo



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