So when we got ready to do Abby's BMT process we decided it would be a good time to do another portrait session. The pictures turned out fantastic, and Lance gave us permission to include the attached portrait of Abby.
Home, at last
All the kids have been just ecstatic to be in their own house again.
Abby has an oncologist appointment tomorrow at 9:00 AM just to reestablish her with her "regular" doctors. We will be scheduling an MRI for as soon as possible to see where we are at. We continue to pray that she would be free from tumor progression.
Thanks again for your prayers during this part of Abby's journey. We constantly felt covered in prayers.
Eating a little
We got a call from the clinic on Friday saying that Abby didn't have to come to her appointment on Saturday. So, we have enjoyed a break since Thursday. We will go into clinic on Monday to check her labs and discuss our departure date. We hope it will be sometime this week.
Abby had a special treat yesterday. She went for a manicure with her cousin, Haley and her Aunt Shelly. We have been promising her a manicure for quite some time now. She expressed some concern earlier in the week about how much a manicure would cost and I joked with her that we could afford it because she has saved us quite a lot of money on haircuts this past year. She giggled and has passed that little joke on to a few people. I love that she can laugh about not having any hair!
Thank you for continuing to lift us up in prayer.
Also her counts are beginning to go up a little bit on their own. Her platelets went up a whole 3 points from our last clinic visit on Tuesday until today.
Abby has been asking for Chinese food for 2 days now. We've been waiting to fulfill her wish because her food cravings can change moment to moment, but she seems to have settled on it, so we are seeking out the local Pei Wei takeaway for sweet and sour chicken and white rice.
Abby is still on TPN, we are really praying her appetite will come back. She said some things yesterday that made us think that her sense of taste is returning. Her energy level is still not the best, though we did have a little family outing yesterday where she walked with us to the Rincon market (but rode on the way back).
Please also pray that she will not catch anything from the rest our kids. Josiah came home from camp with a sore throat and fever, and immediately gave it to Daniel. Nobody else has it yet, though.
All we are waiting for to be allowed to return home is for her to make her own platelets and to be eating. We know every day we stay here is because God wants us to--we are content here in Tucson with family, but it seems like every day one of our kids asks when we are going home to "the Chandler house."
As in the past, it seems like we have reached a major milestone having completed the treatment with so few complications, but in some ways it is a false sense of security. We still pray daily that the chemotherapy will have done its job. We won't know for another 2-3 weeks (when we have our next MRI) if she has had any more tumor progression. Functionally she is fine, not complaining of any symptom that could be traced to more tumor growth, so for that we praise God and are very thankful.
Thank you, thank you, thank you all for keeping us in your prayers.
She still feels nauseous and is not very interested in eating. We are told that the Malphalan will do that and to expect another few weeks before she is eating normally. We will be delivering IV nutrition for 18 hours a day on a portable pump until Abby is eating again. Abby is also taking various antibiotics, anti-viral and anti-fungal medications...just call us Oldhams pharmacy.
We will get to return to Chandler as soon as Abby is eating and she is producing her own platelets. Her platelet count today was stable so she may indeed already be recovering those. We'll see her labs tomorrow. Dr. Graham said that Abby has "very strong" bone marrow and is discharging sooner than most patients. We say Abby has a "very strong" God and many faithful prayer warriors. Praise you, Lord for answered prayers.
Neutrophil sightings and going home
This morning Abby decided to do some dancing instead of walking laps. We have a DVD with the dances from her recital so she put on her ballet shoes and started dancing. Abby, the IV pole and I even made a ring during the ballet dance and twirled around in a circle. She had a good time and smiled when she thought of her dance teacher and all her dance friends.
We are so thankful to God for His care during this portion of Abby's treatment. He has been so good to us! He has answered our prayers for protection from infections and Abby's continued good spirits.
A few counts
Abby giggled today when one of her doctors said that good behavior will make her counts go up quicker. We decided that if little sister, Elizabeth were trying to raise her counts, they might not go up quite as fast.
We see occasional smiles from Abby which brings joy to our hearts because we know it must be hard to consider smiling when she feels so awful. She smiles most when we tell her funny things that Daniel and Elizabeth say and do. She also got a very big smile when she saw pictures of her new baby cousin, Axel, who was born on June 13. She thinks he's as cute as Elizabeth :)
We pray with expectation that in a few days her counts will begin to recover. God has been so good to us and we thank Him for that. Please continue to pray that she will develop no infections while her counts are down.
Please pray for the family of Abby's next door neighbor in the hospital. Their 8 year old girl passed away this afternoon from transplant complications.