Another Blow

I’ve had a few days to process and …..we were not prepared for this.

As of October 31st, Jon has been laid off.

The church has not been doing well financially for a while and at this point cannot afford two pastors and so, we are now out of a job.

I felt okay for the first part of this week, and I think that was shock. As the week as progressed, it has slowly begun to sink in…..we have no job! No employment! No Income!

This past year has not been kind to us and we are not in a position financially to absorb any time without a paycheck!

I believe with all my heart that we will make it through this. By that I mean that we will all have each other and that we will love and that we will live and yet……..I have no idea what this means for us practically and realistically.

Will be have to sell our house? Without a job we can’t buy another one, but without a job, we can’t pay for this one either. I know that it sounds rather dramatic, but I’m feeling rather traumatized right now.

I feel like I’m floundering and I don’t know where to go or what to do…..I’m trying to figure out what we can sell and what we can live without and how I can make some money. Even if Jon were to start his business up again, there is no way that he can just instantly make enough to support us…..

I just want to run away.

I know that there is never good timing for this, but this….this is just really, really difficult. Especially after coming on top of this past year.

I’m so tired. I want to sleep and yet, when I lay down….I can’t. Too much to think about and yet I feel so helpless…so hopeless. It’s been a hard day….a tough week…..

She Needs…..

I know that a fever is not that big of a deal….well, most of the time a fever is not that big of a deal. And really, it’s not the fever that’s got me so upset….it’s the timing of it all.

It seems like every time something goes wrong….a few more things all jump on top of us, and we are left under the mountain of crap trying to not be squished. Frankly, I’m tired of it all. I just want to have things go really, REALLY good for a long time. Is that seriously too much to ask?

The fever is not that big of a deal, but it means that I cannot go in to see Jon or Angelica and because I cannot go in to see them, the other kids cannot get in to see them. It’s possible that I could drive us all in and I could hang out in the car for a couple of hours with Judah while they visit, but that really doesn’t sound all that fun, does it? So not looking like it’s going to happen like that.

Jon and Geli are doing well, but they are BORED. She feels fine and yet…they must just hang around.

She seems to be doing amazing. There are a few things that need to happen in order for her to be discharged.

– She needs to have negative blood cultures over 48 hours (that’s up tomorrow at 1pm)
– She needs to be fever free for 48 hours (that’s up in the wee hours of Saturday morning)
– She needs to actually have a neutrophil count (that won’t happen until her WBC is over .5 and today she was at a .3)
– She needs to have one blood test trending downward instead of upward….it was at a 25 today and needs to hit lower numbers.

Basically we are looking at the earliest of Saturday morning before she would be discharged. I’m hoping and praying with everything in me that they do get to come home then.

It was a tough day today and yet I supposed it was a good one, in spite of it all. I have really low expectations on what constitutes a good day, ya’ll! Ummmm there was no puking. Very little fighting. Everyone was sleeping by 8pm….and um…ya….everyone got fed. So ya…..it went okay, I guess!

Well, I’m headed off to bed myself….two night with very little sleep are….well….ya….that…..

Night!

ps. Could ya pray for Judah? He’s still feverish and I’m not sure how the night is going to go and I could really use the sleep and he could really use the health……m’kay??? Thanks so much!

Like a Bad Dream

You will NEVER believe what I am about to tell you.

I can hardly believe it.

I put the kids to bed and was in bed and sleeping just after 10pm. I was so tired because we’d been up most of the night before.

All the kids went to bed happy and healthy. Judah woke up at 1am screaming. This is normal. This is how he wakes up. Frustrating, but oh well…..I went into his room to pick him up and he felt like a hot coal.

Can you believe it? Judah has a fever. I was in shock. How the crap does this happen? Why is this happening? I just don’t understand.

I mean, I understand the how and why of a fever, but I really don’t get the timing.

He clocked in at 37.7F and over the night just continued to rise.

He and I were awake from 1 until after 4 am. Right around 4am, Xani came down to my room to tell me that she’d been awake since 3:30am because she had a nightmare.

It was pretty bad. I prayed with her, talked with her and asked her to try to get back to sleep. She went up stairs and I didn’t hear back from her again.

Judah finally fell asleep on my chest and I just used my pillows to prop myself up so that he would stay there and sleep.

He woke up at 6am and Xani came downstairs just before 7am to let me know that she’d not been able to get back to sleep. She was too scared that she’d go back to sleep and “finish” the dream.

This morning Judah’s temperature hit a 39.7F and I decided that it was time for some Advil. I don’t typically like to medicate my kids but this temp was higher than I’m totally comfortable with.

I’m a little perplexed about what’s going on. He isn’t throwing up and he doesn’t have a cough. There is no runny nose! He’s peeing and not crying hysterically. He’s nursing. He’s even eaten a tiny bit of breakfast. He does have the feverish, hot looking eyes and it definitely not his usual chipper self.

He just scored a 37.5F after a dose of Advil…..so its responding to the meds which is a good thing.

I’m tired and upset and really, REALLY frustrated about this. This is absolutely ridiculous. We had planned to go in and see Geli and Jon as a family today. The kids were pretty excited to be going in to see them as they were pretty upset that they had to go into the hospital in the first place. To wake up and hear the news that we were not going in….well, there were a few tears.

I know we will make it through this but it’s still tough. Mostly, I’m angry. Angry that this is happening. It’s crap!

Geli and Jon had a good night last night. She felt pretty good after getting the blood transfusion and didn’t get to sleep as early as I would have liked her to but I’m just happy she was feeling a bit better.

Her counts are all up this morning…

for those who care:

White Blood Count is .3
Hemoglobin is 94
Platelets are 66

So everything is up, even if artificially, which is good. Her temps which were up last night have been hanging around 37.1F which is normal. So we are just waiting to for her counts to come up and for her cultures to come back negative.

I’m hoping that Judah will actually sleep today and then I will hopefully lay down for a nap as well.

I’ll update as soon as I hear any news.

Winding Down for the Evening

Jon and Geli are settled in their room and getting ready to wind down for the evening. There was talk of a movie and possibly some snacks and a midnight run of antibiotics.

She’s feeling and acting a lot better after receiving two bags of red blood cells. She’s not feeling 100% but definitely better than earlier today. We are going to head in to the hospital tomorrow and hang with them a bit. Probably have lunch with them……or maybe dinner….or both? Who knows?

We just spoke with Jon and Geli on Skype and now I’ve kicked Xandra and Jeremy up to bed. I’ve got to go and “encourage them” to actually shut the lights out and go to sleep and then I’m headed to bed myself. It was a LOOOOOOONG night last night and solo parenting is not easy and I’m not sure how long I’ll be at it. So I gotta sleep when I can….and unfortunately, I don’t do daytime naps as easy as I’d like.

Fortunately, my parents are AMAZING, and they’ve kept Siah overnight. They had him last night (which was a blessing) and they are keeping him again tonight. He still wakes up in the middle of the night and climbs into our bed. It’s not that big of a deal, but typically him and Judah tag team each other and only one of them is up at a time……..which means that if they are both here…..I don’t get hardly any sleep. The worst thing….when he sleeps at my mom’s house….Siah stays in his own bed. What is up with that? Oh well, I just keep telling myself that this is not a forever thing. One day I’ll wish for cuddles….I will try to enjoy and appreciate every one I can get right now.

Thanks for all your prayer and support. We really appreciate it.

Excuse the stupid sound that I make with my mouth. Judah was doing that and I was trying to capture it on video cause he was doing it ALL DAY! But when I turned my iPhone on so that he could see himself in the camera he got so excited and stopped doing it. But his little happiness and laughter is so contagious…….It’s too good to keep to myself. Sometimes I wish I could bottle it up and give it away. The world would be a better place……

May your evening be peaceful and full of rest.

Magic Numbers

We got the results back from a few of Geli’s blood tests.

Her White Blood Count was at a .2
Her Hemoglobin was at a 77
Her Platelets were are a 35

This means that everything is down a bit from yesterday. This is not good news. Geli will get platelets and red blood.

Her temperature continued to hover around 37.8F and they started the platelets and while the platelets were running, her temperature spiked up to a 38.3F and then in another half an hour it made it all the way up to 38.6F. They have given her some Tylenol to bring the fever down and to make her feel a bit more comfortable.

Not Feeling Great

chillin’ in the clinic

The platelets have finished running and they have started her on a dose of antibiotics.

After the antibiotics is finished running then she will get some red blood.

They are scheduled to be in a room up on 3B on the Oncology Ward and we are happy about that. It really sucks to be on a ward where you don’t know anyone and where they don’t know the typical protocol for oncology kids. I mean, it sucks to be in the hospital at all but at least having the staff that you know and being in familiar surroundings is a definite bonus.

There is another test that they did on her blood that can indicate whether an infection might be brewing and it didn’t seem to indicate that she had a raging infection. It’s well within the “normal range” for that test but until the blood is cultured, we won’t know for sure if anything is growing (bacteria) or if this is a neutropenic fever or if it’s a virus.

And so we wait some more.

I HATE waiting.

I know that this phase is almost over and that her counts are not expected to be this low again, but it sucks. It sucks that Angelica is not feeling 100%. It sucks that we are split up, as a family. There is just a lot to this situation that sucks.

I had a bit of a moment this morning, where I just wanted to throw a temperature tantrum. I wanted to scream and kick my feet and fall of the floor and yell, “This isn’t fair! Why did my daughter have to get cancer? Why did she get sick and not someone else? Why is our family going through this?

I wouldn’t wish this on anyone else.

I know that life is not fair. I don’t even expect it to be. I just hate that this is happening to us.

Down This Road

We talked with our nurse at the clinic around 10am and after talking through what Geli looks like, is feeling like and acting like – the decision was made to go into the clinic, run a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and a few other blood tests.

Based on the results of those tests we should know a bit more about what we are dealing with.

It could be that the elevated temperature, dizziness, the pressure in her chest, the tiredness…..they could all be symptoms of low red blood or……they could also be an infection.

Jon and Geli are at the hospital right now and she’s had her blood drawn so at this point we are just waiting for the results of her blood draws to come back.

I HATE waiting. Unless her red blood cells are amazing, she’ll probably get red blood today which combined with her almost non-existent White Blood Count could mean a fever and admission.

I’m trying to resign myself that they are there for sure until the weekend. And that sucks!

Overnight Update

We took Angelica’s temp every two hours last night and it hovered between 37.4F and 37.8F.

It’s up but it hasn’t crossed the 38F critical marker. At about 4am, we called into the hospital because we really don’t want to play around with this. We’d rather error on the side of caution and take her in early and catch an infection in the early stage as opposed to waiting it out and having it be a full blown problem.

She’s tired from having an interrupted sleep, and so she’s upstairs sleeping right now.

We will take her next temperature reading around 9:30-10am and will call into the clinic then to talk to our nurse.

Until then, we wait and pray.

Please Pray

It’s 9:30pm on Tuesday night and Angelica just came downstairs – she had been sleeping – complaining of a sore throat and coughing.

She looked a bit flushed and so we took her temperature (because her counts are so low).

It’s at a 37.4F

Normally her temp sits right around 36.5F so this is a whole degree up from that. If she reaches 38F then we must take her into the hospital right away because she has NO infection fighting ability.

Please pray. Pray that whatever is bothering her will be gone. Pray that she will be healthy. Pray that we will be able to hold it together if she does need to go into the hospital. Pray that it’s not bacteria. Please just pray!

Ending It Off With A Bang

Well, we sure ended Spring Break with a BANG!

We had a big family lunch on Sunday Afternoon and before evening had hit, Xandra was barfing. As the evening wore on the symptoms grew until she was feeling pretty crummy.

On Monday morning, Jeremy woke up with some of the same symptoms, but he managed to make it all the way until after lunch time before he joined her in some sacrificial giving to the porcelain god. We kept them home on Tuesday because I’m a big advocate of the 24 hour rule – “wait for a complete 24 hours after vomiting or diarrhea before sending children back to school”.

I don’t like my kids to share germs – not even with each other but especially with anyone else.

I woke up extra early on Wednesday morning in ROUGH shape. I ran to the bathroom and made it with seconds to spare. And that begin my day of sleeping, and rushing to the toilet. Yesterday was NOT a good day. I’m not sure what the deal is because I didn’t feel nauseous at all, but I had such a SORE tummy. Like, lay on the couch moaning and whining about how bad it was…..while clutching a hot pack to my stomach.

I slept, in the morning; and slept again in the afternoon and then went to bed at 7pm. I might have been able to sleep it off, BUT……Judah was awake every hour from midnight until 6am. And this afternoon, I finally thought to check if he might have a tooth, and if that might be the reason for his crappy night. Sure enough, it looks like he’s getting a top tooth. He’s actually had a string of good nights recently. For the past week, he’s been up once a night and some nights not at all……..

I felt pretty crappy throughout the night and twice asked Jon to heat up the warm pack. I also felt bad, because if my kids were feeling this bad, I had no idea and could have totally given them a warm bag to cuddle.

I do feel better today – not a hundred percent – but definitely better.

I managed to get the house fairly tidy and even have a roast in the oven for dinner. What I didn’t get done…….the MOUNTAIN of laundry downstairs in my room. I have probably 5 loads that need to be folded, BUT…..I have NO laundry to do. That, I did manage, to get done.

So, I’m not as far ahead as I’d like to be, but I do have a moment to sit and pound this out. So that’s something.

I have a few things that I’d like to post about if I can just find the time to type them out. Hopefully soon.

I had a chat with the kids on the way home from school and we are back into our “routine”. We didn’t follow it while they and I were sick and so they are working on homework right now and hopefully we will get to sit and watch a show together as a family if they stick to the schedule tonight.

This is one of the things that I want to share with you……can you guess?

Out with the Old

Behind the Scenes….

This is what has been happening at our house, last night and this morning…

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We had a great family get together yesterday afternoon and then Xani started barfing. Between last night and this morning she barfed 7 times….and we won’t event talk about what else was going on “behind the scenes” if you know what I mean….This morning she woke up with a fever…..this is so frustrating.

We moved Xani’s mattress into the TV room mostly to keep her and Geli separated. We are desperately hoping and praying that this “whatever it is” will skip Geli.

Over the weekend, Geli had a reaction to a bandaid and we think it’s a combination of the adhesive and the one chemo drug that she’s getting. Something similar happened once before. She has a bunch of blisters on her arm around where they drew blood on Wednesday and it hurts really bad. We have been applying Polysporin and praying that it just goes away and doesn’t cause any big problems. Her counts are high enough that we are hoping that she will be able to fight it off herself.

She did throw up her breakfast this morning though which scored her the right to stay at home today. And seeing as she is fine other than that barf…..I’m saying that it’s chemo related and not sickness related….at least it seems that way.

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Jeremy also woke up this morning with his own “behind the scenes” action and he’s been alternately laying on the couch and laying in the bath this morning…..really not feeling very well at all. He keeps threatening to barf and we have a bowl close by, just in case.

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There is a lot of soup and weak peppermint tea being handed out and we are praying that whatever this is….that it just stops now.

I was SO looking forward to everyone going back to school and Jon and I being able to relax on his one day off and nope…….so I’m pouting and whining a bit. I’ll be ok, but I’ve had enough of vomiting and diarrhea to last me a life time….

While I’m cleaning up vomit and other behind the scene messes…..do you have any humorous life stories to share with me? I’d love to hear from you….and I could really use the laugh today!