While I am totally a sucker for fabulous words, I don’t usually like it when people like to tell you what the definition of something is…but, well you know what’s coming. Let me begin with a bit of history. The word “cataclysmic” is forever linked in my mind with “pyroclastic.” Sometime in the late summer of 2006, probably around 2 or 4 in the morning, I sat watching the Discovery Channel while nursing Solveig. I was intrigued by a show all about the Yellowstone Caldera which essentially told about how Yellowstone is actually a gigantic volcano ready to blow. The show sported some fancy digital images of what it would look like if there was a cataclysmic eruption resulting in pyroclastic clouds (superheated clouds of gas). In the fictional movie of what might happen they actually showed the pyroclastic clouds coming up and over the Bridger Mountains from the east and descending upon Bozeman. Even the rotating horse in front of the old Army-Navy Surplus store was overtaken. It was truly a cataclysmic event. Cataclysmic: 1. Flood or Deluge, 2. Catastrophe, 3. a momentous and violent event marked by upheaval and demolition. So I admit I’m prone to hyperbole, but I feel it’s reasonable to call Allistaire’s 11:15pm diaper cataclysmic. Her entire back up to her neck and from one arm to another was covered in it. It was spectacular and required a bath, complete change of clothes and all bedding. Jammies were once again changed at 3:30am and 7:30am.
With a night like that you can imagine that I was quite unsure what our morning HemOnc clinic visit would hold. This time when leaving for the hospital I brought Allistaire’s bag, just in case she had to be admitted. In exactly one hour after arriving at the hospital, we were back in the car on our way home!!! As far as I could tell, Allistaire was the only patient. A 6 nurses and one nurse-practitioner to 1 patient ratio is AWESOME! We walked right back, were shown to a room, vitals were done in a flash, then the next nurse began to draw labs while the nurse practitioner came in and we chatted all about diarrhea and anal fissures and yeast infections and yes, just so many lovely things. Then the nurse sent off the blood to the lab, the nurse practitioner examined Allistaire and said she looked great and that she looked hydrated and did not appear to have anything at all concerning going on. The stool sample came back negative for the viruses they tested for so she surmised that the diarrhea is either due to the Roto virus (which they did not test for) or a result of mucositis which is totally common with chemo. Either way, we just keep supporting her along and we stay at home unless a fever results. Within only a few minutes, the nurse came back, hooked Allistaire up to the IV to get her infusion (which I learned helps prevent respiratory viruses), then in 10 minutes the infusion was done and the lab results popped up in the computer. It all happened so shockingly and so gloriously fast! To top it all off, while Allistaire’s ANC remains zero and her white blood cells dropped a wee bit from 1 to .9, her platelets were up from 35 to 45 and her hematocrit had risen from 28 to 29.5. In the previous two rounds, Allistaire’s platelets were the first thing to start to rise and once they started they never bounced around like the ANC. All of this to say, it is quite possible that Allistaire’s bone marrow is recovering and may be on its way up! Of course we have labs again tomorrow so we’ll see but for now we’ve avoided needing more transfusions!
Thanks for all of your prayers. Please keep up the vigilant requests for a healthy bottom. Allistaire continued to have diarrhea throughout the day but quite a bit less frequently and not near the cataclysmic volume and force of last night. Pray too that she would begin to feel more like eating. Today was another 10 pieces of cereal day, though this time it was Golden Grahams. Good choice.