In this corner, Miss Emery Jane Williams, weighing in at 9 pounds even! We were so excited to see the scale at Emery's clinic visit today!
I made it back to Houston last night. Bonnie and Emery picked me up at the airport and it was a funny ride back to Katy, with Bonnie and I both whispering and asking each other to repeat what was just said. Unfortunately, Emery has a little bit of the same crud and has been quite congested. She was very stuffy last night and had trouble nursing and sleeping because she couldn't breathe very easily. Poor baby.
This morning Bonnie noticed a rash around the site of Emery's central line so we called the clinic to report the rash and the congestion and to ask if we should come in early or just wait till the 1:55 PM appointment. The nurse told us to come on in so we had to hurry to get dressed and out the door. Arriving around 11, we waited a short time and then Emery was weighed, had vital signs taken, and blood was drawn for labs. Dr. Thompson came in and gave us the usual hard time. (He tells the rest of the staff that we are "the worst family" he's ever had to deal with and that we are lots of trouble. The other doctor today looked shocked that he would say such things right in front of us. I finally said, "He's just kidding--we are really not that bad!")
Emery's platelets were still low again today. Dr. Thompson was a little concerned about this, stating that it could be because she is sick and congested so her system is working hard to overcome all that's been thrown at it. Or it could be that her immune system is overreacting to the platelets and fighting them off instead of realizing that they are there to help. He decided to have us stay so Emery could get another transfusion of platelets (this was #4) but that they would also recheck her blood count after the transfusion to see if the platelet count was up immediately following the procedure. If so, that would mean that the platelets were doing what they were supposed to, but that she is just taking a while to get her counts back to where they need to be. If her platelet count was not good after the transfusion, that would mean that something was attacking them right off the bat and he would have to take another course of action to combat this situation.
Bonnie and I have become Pavlovian in our response to being at the hospital. We have conditioned ourselves to anticipate, crave and obtain a Chik-Fil-A meal every time we are there. I swear, we approach the driveway and I begin thinking about that darned chicken sandwich and fries. Not to mention the iced tea. It's crazy! We can't even remember how many Chik-Fil-A's we've had in the past month. So, yes, after getting all squared away and Emery prepared for another transfusion, we had to have our Chik-Fil-A lunch. I know I will never see another Chik-Fil-A without picturing Texas Children's Hospital and the Oncology Clinic. We should be their new spokesmodels.
Dr. Thompson and one of the nurses both looked at Emery's central line and felt that it was in good shape. The rash is most likely just a reaction to the tape that was used to hold everything down. Dr. Thompson also left Bonnie a message this evening that Emery's platelets did, indeed, improve with the transfusion so all's well and she just needs some time to get back up to a healthy level.
Emery did well with the transfusion and we finally finished up about 5:30 PM. Another long day, but at least it was not midnight or 1 AM before we got out of there. Coincidentally, one of Bonnie's elementary school friends from Abilene had notified her on Facebook (don't we all love Facebook and the way we can keep up with everyone and everything??!) that she would be in Houston this week. So before fighting the rush hour traffic back to Katy, we met Keleigh, her dad and a friend at a little cafe for a snack and lots of reminiscing. It was great to see them and to catch up on many years of family news. What a sweet young lady, now a mom of a cute little one year old girl herself. I know it's a cliche but I have no idea where all the years have gone since Bonnie and Keleigh played together as 8 year olds!
We have a very busy schedule coming up:
Tomorrow the home health nurse is coming to change Emery's dressing around her central line (but at least we don't have to leave the house).
Friday we have to take Emery to have her hearing evaluated at 9 AM. You might remember that they started a hearing test during her last hospital stay but were not able to get it completed.
Monday we have to be at the hospital at 6 AM (YES, 6 AM!!) for an MRI. Please feel sorry for us having to get up that early!
Tuesday, another 6 AM appointment, this time for a CT scan. Two days in a row!
Wednesday, Emery will be admitted back into the hospital to begin her 3rd round of chemo. She will have chemo on Wed., Thurs. and Fri. of next week.
Then we begin the post-chemo lab work once again. We are all getting a bit weary of the situation but know that we need to keep a positive attitude about Emery's care and all that she needs to get well. I am trying to figure out a good time to go back home and that is not clear to us yet. Bonnie and David will also need to make some decisions about how long to stay in Houston and when there might be a good time to transfer Emery's care to Amarillo so that they can get back to a more normal family life. We are hoping that all of this will become more evident after the MRI next week, when we know what the tumor looks like and when we will have a better idea of the next step in the treatment process.