Thursday, April 30, 2009

All is Well

Since our last unexpected trip to the ER with a fever, Katie has been great. She runs and plays all day long. She still has a cough, and she has had some mild pain in her legs (Vincristine?), but she doesn't let anything slow her down. She may cough, but she coughs while running laps around her proud parents.

We had a truly wonderful vacation. Rick and I decided to put the kids first, so the basement is still a catastrophe, but the kids had a very good time--as did we. Our week was full of kids. Cousin Kyler came to visit, as did some of Joshua's pals, and Joshua had his first friend sleep over. They are so grown up... Katie, of course, is desperate to keep up with the big kids. She is such a pesky little sister. Josh typically does a pretty good job of allowing her to share his friends, but Katie also had a play date of her own--her first real visit to a friend's house. She also loved swimming at Lyndon, where we explored the campus. (Both kids are now eager to go to college...yeesh...) We spent a lot of time with our horses, and the kids had opportunities to ride. We also worked on restoring the tipi originally constructed by the Stone Fort Gang on Burton Hill fifteen years ago. The second coming of the Stone Fort Gang only has three members at present, but as you can see, they are very proud of their progress. It was fun to show Uncle Mike pictures of their efforts.

We are all back to school now and trying to finish up the year. While Katie is content to be back at Jeanie's house, where she is truly loved, she is already asking for more "stay home days." It's hard to explain just how valuable those free days really are. Rick and I were so tired when we rolled back into Lake Region Monday, and we are still recuperating. It was a brief reprieve from a schedule that just gets crazier each time I turn around. Katie keeps up better than we do!

Tee-ball is our new adventure. Joshua is playing for the Barton Rays this year, and we had our first practice tonight. He is on a team with some of his best buddies, and he had fun tonight. He was asleep within minutes. Katie was ready to crash, too, as she took advantage of the playground equipment during Joshua's practice. She is increasingly brave and has been taking more physical risks of late. She is so much stronger now. When I remember the skinny little chicken legs she had when she was really sick a year ago, and I look at the muscular limbs she has now, I appreciate the progress she has made. She has come so far, and it is a joy to write that all is, indeed, well. I am so thankful for the opportunities we have to play.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Home Again

We were released from the hospital as planned last night at approximately 12:30 AM. She came home still running a fever of over 101 and she fell asleep instantly. We all slept a little later than usual this morning, and when she woke up her fever was gone. The one additional point of interest from last night's endeavor... She has a double ear infection that has developed since Thursday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I Spoke To Soon

Earlier today I posted an April update in which I said everything was going well. As luck would have it, we are now in North Country Hospital because Katie is running a fever. It is 11pm, and we have been here since about 8:30. Her port has been accessed (first time being successful here) and blood has been drawn. We are still waiting for lab results to come back before they start flowing antibiotics. Her temperature at home peeked at 101.7 with no other indications that she wasn't feeling well. She is tired. She had a long day playing with Josh and Jack outside in the sun. But, because we are at the hospital, she is not interested in sleep. Antibiotics usually flow for about an hour, so it looks like it's going to be a late night. On the bright side, her ANC was 3800 as of Thursday. With numbers that high, Katie won't need to be admitted to the hospital. She will be treated and sent home.

April Update

It has been about a month since our last update, and it has been a very pleasant month. Katie has been feeling great and things have gone very well for her. After her last round of chemotherapy, she didn't even get sick. She didn't need any Zofran, any Miralax, or anything drug to keep her going. She went on with her life the very next day as if she had never received any chemotherapy at all. It was amazing. Since that time, she has been living the life of a normal 3 year-old, albeit a 3 year-old with what appears to be a little cold that is hanging on. The only symptoms are a slightly runny nose and a persistent cough.

Katie just received another dose of chemotherapy this Thursday and seems to be taking this one well too. She did ask for some Zofran yesterday, but today she is feeling fine and is outside running and playing. While we were at the hospital, we asked the doctors about her cough and told them that we had begun experimenting with Katie's inhaler as a method of controlling the cough and it seemed to work - at least a little. The doctors suspect that she is dealing with a slight case of asthma which isn't surprising given her history respiratory issues each winter. We were given an updated prescription for her inhaler and were asked to closely monitor her condition while she was taking monthly allotment of Dexamehtazone for the next 5 days. Dexamehtazone is a steroid that is a normal part of her chemotherapy, but if her cough gets better while she is on it, that may indicate that she is dealing with some asthma and a steroid based inhaler will help her control it more effectively. So if this cough disappears in the next few days, Katie may be issued a new steroid based inhaler that will let her run and play even more than she already does.

So as not to end this post reporting yet another medical complication, and for your viewing pleasure, I also uploaded a short video that was shot Easter morning while Katie ran around outside of my brother's house, collecting Easter eggs with her brother, Josh and her cousins, Kyler and Eric. It is short, but it makes me smile when I watch her running and having fun.