Saturday, January 1, 2011
The official Diagnosis
Well, although I still don't know a lot, I now know much more about leukemia than I ever wanted to. Most of Carter's initial test have come back and the team of doctors working on him have made their official diagnosis: Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). This is the most common type of leukemia in young children. So now that the doctors have a pretty good idea what they're dealing with, the treatment has begun. Yesterday he received two blood transfusions, was put under anesthesia for a lumbar puncture to check if there's any cancer in his brain or spinal cord, a bone marrow biopsy and a more permanent IV line was put in place (a PCC) which he will still have in when he comes home (hopefully middle of next week). At the time of the lumbar puncture, they also gave him his first dose of chemotherapy in his spinal fluid. This morning, he officially begins his first round of chemotherapy. Last night, the doctors came in and explained the five different drugs used for chemotherapy which he will be receiving and all their side effects. One of the medicines in particular has some pretty intense side effects and this is the one he gets twice a day for 29 days. We will be in charge of giving him this one at home. It can dramatically change his personality and eating habits. His immune system will be very weak.
On a happier note, they have a great play room just down the hall from Carter's room. We've been having a lot of fun playing games and painting with him in there. His spirits are high right now and he's melting our hearts. He is such a sweet boy and is being a real trooper through all the poking and prodding that's been going on. Dennison has this on video on his phone but we can't figure out how to upload it right now, but yesterday, the nurse came in a did something with a machine but didn't touch or even talk to Carter before she left again. Carter looked at Dennison (I was home with Vienna at the time) and said, "she didn't even do anything to me!" Then Dennison got out his phone and was recording him and said, "remember when that nurse came in a she didn't do anything to you?" to which Carter said, "Yeah, maybe I'm not sick anymore!" If that doesn't tear your heart apart, I don't know what will.
Dennison has been at the hospital with him constantly. He's such an incredible father and there has always been a special bond between him and Carter. I've been trying to figure out where my time is best spent. The night we got the call from the doctor, our dear friends were over hanging out with us. They took Jude home with them that night and he's been staying with them ever since. I will be picking him up very soon, I miss that little guy! So my days so far have been spent at the hospital with Vienna and then we drive home at night since there's not much sleeping space in Carter's room. My parents will be here this afternoon and I'm excited to take Jude to see his brother. It's really difficult because I want to be at the hospital every second but I still have two other children to take care of. And I know Dennison has things under control there. It feels like no matter where I am, I'm feeling a little guilty for not being somewhere else. But I try to remind myself that I cannot be in two places at once, so just take it an hour at a time and throw myself into whatever task is at hand.
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and kind words. We feel the love and support from you all and really appreciate it.