Abby's Journey Archive

Abby is Home

After a long day of waiting, Abby was discharged late this afternoon. Once again we are glad to be home together again.

Abby is now neutropenic. We will continue the IV antibiotics from home and go to the oncologist Thursday to check her counts.

11:31 PM, 30 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Little Scare

Yesterday Abby started coughing and running a low-grade fever. We weren't initially concerned, but as the day wore on and she began to demonstrate marked tiredness and lethargy, we began to wonder if something was up. I also noticed later on in the day that she looked kind of pale. We were expecting she would need a transfusion--she has needed one after every chemo.

Sunday at about 10 AM we took her temp and it was over 102 F, prompting us to page our oncologist. He was already on the floor at BDMC, and told us to come in right away.

Her labs revealed a neutrophil count of 0, and extremely low hemoglobin and hematacrit levels, as well as low platelet count. Dr. P immediately ordered 2 units pf packed red cells as well as platelets. Her pulse had been really high and thready, indicating her poor little heart was working really hard pushing around what little blood she had left.

Amy and I had decided she would take Abby in and I would join her later. When I arrived at about 4:30 PM one of our favorite nurses on the unit surprised me by saying "your little girl looks SO much better--I couldn't believe how pale she was when she came in!" It's embarrassing, but when you are with your kids all the time you sometimes don't notice gradual changes like what happens when counts fall off after chemo. I knew she didn't look "right", but also didn't want to create an unnecessary trip to the hospital. Next time I think we will err more on the side of caution.

She's already had one unit of the red cells and is working on the platelets now, and is taking a Benadryl-induced nap (they often give Benadryl with transfusions in case of allergic reaction to things in someone else's blood).

Dr. P is optimistic that this might be only a 2 or 3 day stay, depending on how she responds to the antibiotics.

Please pray for us. Specifically pray this will be a short hospital stay and Abby will tolerate all the blood products she is getting. Please pray for me as well--my job has the potential to be very stressful this week.

01:08 AM, 29 Nov 2004 by C. R. Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

Falling behind on Thanks!

6th birthday cards

We just wanted to send out a special thank you to everyone who helped Abby celebrate her 6th birthday last month. As you can see from the picture, Abby was showered with birthday wishes from so many of you! She loved all the special cards and gifts. Thank you for taking the time to remember us in your prayers and for making Abby's birthday so special. You all are a special blessing to us!

08:42 PM, 26 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Only one left!

We are done with round 3. Abby got her stem cells yesterday and other than wanting VERY badly to be home, she has tolerated this round of chemo incredibly well.

We are glad to be home again and looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving together. We have so much to be thankful for!

Please pray for Abby's neutropenia to be short and that she will develop no fevers this time that will require a hospitalization.

Happy Thanksgiving to each of you!

08:11 PM, 23 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Discharge with a special treat

Lindsay and Abby on the way home from Chemo #3 hospital stay.

Abby's "Thankfulness Tree" from her Chemo #3 hospital stay.

We were really blessed this time around--Dr. Abella arranged for a discharge at a reasonable time even though her chemo didn't get started until late. In addition, Abby got to have her best friend Lindsay visit and be there when she got let out of the hospital. Sorry about the picture quality, the attached photo was taken in the car on the way out of the hospital driveway.

We're on our way this afternoon so she can get stem cells tomorrow.

Thanks to everyone who has been so faithful to pray. We continue to feel covered.

Amy wrote earlier about the "thankfulness tree" in Abby's hospital room. Anyone who came in to the room had to write what they were thankful for on a leaf and stick it to the tree. We ended up with 25 leaves on the tree!

09:26 PM, 21 Nov 2004 by C. R. Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Good start

We got to the hospital at 12 yesterday so Abby's chemo got started later than last time, but she's doing great. Other than a few grumpy episodes when I insisted that she eat something healthy before consuming her potato chips Abby's spirits remain up and she is finding things to be thankful for. In fact, in preparation for Thanksgiving, we have made a "thankfulness tree" in her room. When people enter her room they are invited to write on a cut out leaf something they are thankful for and glue it to her tree.

Speaking of Abby's room-that is an answer to an unspoken prayer. This time Abby was placed in what I believe to be the best room in the whole oncology pod. There are no folding walls between our room and the others and there are actually two sets of doors leading into her room so it is very quiet. I slept with interruptions but I was able to fall back to sleep right away. Thank God for taking care of us!

03:09 AM, 20 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

Hearing ok

Abby had an audiology follow-up today. You may remember that one of the chemo drugs can have an impact on her hearing. Well, the results were great. There is no hearing loss so far. God is good.

Abby's counts are fine so tomorrow we go in for chemo # 3. We'll be posting during the weekend. Thanks for praying!

10:15 PM, 17 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo

Good report

Abby's counts were back up today so she is no longer neutropenic! She is so excited to not have to be "stuck at home" as she refers to it. We will enjoy not having any appointments until next Wednesday and then she goes in on Thursday for chemo # 3.

03:22 AM, 10 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

Quiet weekend

Abby had an appointment at the oncologist on Friday and her counts were still quite low. However, Dr. P was very pleased that she looks as well as she does.

Since she is still neutropenic we just enjoyed a quiet weekend. C.R. and I got away for a quick overnight in town while the kids enjoyed some special time with their Aunt Shelly.

Abby will go have her counts checked on Tuesday and she is scheduled to start chemo # 3 on November 17.

11:23 PM, 07 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (1) | Attach Photo

God Sighting

Now that I have a few minutes I have to share with you all one of the ways God showed Himself to us yesterday.

C.R. stayed with Abby at the hospital Saturday night and was ready Sunday at noon for me to trade places with him. We wanted to avoid driving Josiah, Daniel and Elizabeth back and forth to the hospital and also wanted to preserve a much-needed nap time for Daniel and Elizabeth. So, I was calling around looking for someone to come to the house to watch the kids while we traded places. I wasn't having any luck when I talked to C.R. an hour later and he suggested I try to find someone to go to the hospital to sit with Abby instead of finding someone to watch the rest of the kids at our house. I made a call to my friend, Marilyn and spoke with her husband. I was surprised to hear that she wasn't at home, but that she was on her way to the hospital to see us. She had read our post that Abby was back in the hospital and thought we could use some encouraging so she got in the car and headed out. Wow!

Maybe God allowed Abby to be in the hospital just so we could see that glimpse of His hand in our lives.

03:44 AM, 02 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (2) | Attach Photo

Back home

Abby came home today. Strangely enough, her fever was gone by the time they got to the hospital and it never came back. However, it was good that she was in the hospital because she was at the point yesterday when she needed a transfusion so that was taken care of while she was in patient. They also did a chest x-ray to check her lungs. That came back clear.

This morning her counts came back showing that she is now neutropenic so we'll be watching to see when they go back up again. We're obviously praying that will happen quickly.

Everyone is in good spirits and despite being tired we're doing well. Thanks again for your faithful prayers!

11:22 PM, 01 Nov 2004 by Amy Oldham Permalink | Comments (0) | Attach Photo



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