Yesterday Allistaire had her first out-patient Hematology/Oncology Clinic visit. Each visit they will draw blood for labs and then she will be examined by a doctor or nurse-practitioner. The following were her blood counts from Thursday’s visit (Day 8 of Round 3):
White Blood Cell Count = 1.2 (down from 3.6 on Monday)
Platelet Count = 69 (down from 388 on Monday)
Hematocrit = 28.5 (not sure what Monday’s was)
ANC = 707 (down from somewhere around 1000 on Monday)
It is good to see the numbers go down and we hope to have a zero ANC by her next clinic visit which will be this coming Monday the 12th. You can’t go up until you hit the bottom in this case. Because her platelets had such a big jump down, we will have to go in tomorrow (Saturday) to have CBC (Complete Blood Count) so that she can get a transfusion if needed.
Her exam went great and the nurse-practictioner, Dahlia, kept reiterating how great she seems to be doing. She does have a slight red rash (more blotchy than spotted and not raised) on her scalp near her ear, that we will keep an eye on. Dahlia said that as her counts drop further, her immune system will be less able to respond, making it extra important that we be on high alert. Thankfully the rash looks much lighter today. On the other hand, a few poopy diapers in a row has created quite a diaper rash. I’m hoping ridiculous amounts of special calazime cream will get it looking better quick. Last time she had a diaper rash in the hospital, she was put on antibiotics – something I’m hoping to avoid. All in all she is doing well – no fever, eating relatively well and doing lots of squealing, running, laughing, skip/gallop dancing.
There are a few sounds in life that are triggers for blissful joy to me. I hear two of them simultaneously right now. One is the red-winged black bird. I cannot see him, but I know he is perched high in a tree nearby, likely one of the poplars. His watery trill evokes all that is spring. The other sound is that of two sisters frolicking upstairs, chasing one another, laughing, talking – being silly. Solveig put her princess nightgown on Allistaire this morning, and Allistaire has continued to wear it all day over her clothes – sometimes with the straw summer hat she found in her closet. When she woke up from her nap this afternoon she called Solveig by name over and over again. All this joy at simply being at home together – at the same time I take Allistaire’s clothes out of her purple polka-dotted bag each morning and put them back in the bag at night – never sure when the last day at home, or the last hour for that matter, will be. It is a very odd and disorienting experience to be constantly on the edge of change, never sure where your are planted. The beauty of disorientation, or disruption, is that it abounds with possibility. I took one environmental studies class when I was a student at U.W. One of the things that I most remember learning is that biological diversity is most abundant at the borders of one sort of environment and another – at the edge of a forrest and a field, at the edge of land and sea. In these limbo lands, in this place between places, abundance overlaps with abundance. My tendency is to want to transition quick as I can from one part of my life to the next. The place in-between is uncomfortable and unfamiliar. If I must leave the familiar, I sure want to get onto the next thing so that it can become familiar. But what might there be here in this place between places that the Lord has to show me? I have to keep asking God, even this very moment, to be present where He as me and resist the temptation to rush forward.