Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Gold Ribbon

Each year at Christmas time the American Childhood Cancer Association does a tree lighting event.  They decorate a 23 foot Christmas tree with thousands of gold ribbons, each bearing the name of a child who has or has had cancer.  The tree is in Washington DC.  Carter had his own ribbon on that tree this year and I just got it in the mail today!  How cool is that?!  I'm gonna have to do some sort of scrapbook or something with all this stuff I'm collecting...

Monday, February 27, 2012

We're home!

Ahh, it feels good to have our whole family back under one roof!  We had a scare this morning that we might have to stay a few more days.  Carter's ANC went down again today, it's at 200.  One of the doctors warned me that we might have to stay until that number starts coming back up.  We'd have to wait for the attending physician to decide.  Once the attending came in, he took one look at Carter, contemplated for a while (I think he had planned on keeping us) then finally said, "Ok, he does not look sick enough to be here.  He doesn't look sick at all!"  So we got the green light to head home.  What a relief!  So for this week, with his numbers being so low, he will not receive any oral meds and we'll probably have to just stay home and let him and his blood counts recover.  Which is just fine with me!

Chelsea's Closet came again today right as we were packing up to go home.  

Sunday, February 26, 2012


That's right, Carter has RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus).  It's not a huge deal and it gives the doctors a reason for the fever he had on Friday.  His lungs sound so much better already and his coughing has subsided quite a bit.  They are still doing more tests, a few other viruses and also some liver related stuff since his liver function numbers came up again today.  Also, he's neutropenic today, meaning his ANC is below 500.  He took his oral medication last night but they are once again going to hold that for a few days.  The good news is that his blood culture is still clear after 48+ hours!!  So as long as there's no more fever, the cultures stay clear, and he continues to do well, we might get to come home tomorrow.  I'm trying not to get my hopes up but... they're up.  He's been having a blast playing the Toy Story 3 game on the xbox.  He's been laughing so hard and been in a great mood all day.  Now we're hoping for a great night sleep and a great day tomorrow.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

and you thought we were done with hospital admissions....

Yesterday around lunch time, Carter started feeling really sick.  He laid on the couch for about an hour then threw up.  I took his temp and it was 101.5.  So we packed up and headed to the hospital.  I was amazed at how fast he went down hill.  He's eaten a good breakfast in the morning, we'd gone for a bike ride, and all of a sudden he felt awful.  By the time we got in the clinic, his temp was up to 102.1 and he looked and felt really bad.  His ANC was 900 which is a little low considering he'd just finished 5 days of steroids.  His blood pressure was high, his pulse rate was high, and he was breathing fast.  They gave him fluids, antibiotics, and tylenol.  About 3 or 4 hours later he was feeling better but still had a fever.  They took a chest x-ray since he's got a nasty cough and his lungs are a little crackly - it looked fine.  Once they got the chemistry report back from his blood sample the numbers were considerably higher than they were just last week when we were in clinic.  It could be caused from a virus or maybe from his oral medication.  For the time being, he's not taking any oral meds.  He'll start back on them in a week or so.  He's been doing much better today.  No fever and in good spirits, all good signs.  So far his blood culture is clean and he's been without fever for more than 24 hours.  The doctors will probably keep him here until Monday or Tuesday just to keep an eye on him and make sure he keeps getting better.  It's harder than I thought it would be being back here in the inpatient unit.  But here we are and in isolation.  Thankfully, there's an xbox that can be brought in his room, lots of movies, and the Children's Cancer Association even rents out musical instruments to the kids here so he's got a keyboard to play with too.  The nurse's button is always close by and he's got them constantly bringing chocolate milk, string cheese, and gogurts.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February clinic visit

Last Thursday was Carter's monthly clinic visit.  Everything went very smoothly, even with all three kids there with me!  His counts look very similar to last month's:  White blood cells 1000, ANC 600, Hemoglobin 11 and platelets 190,000.  His ANC is still a little lower than they want it to be so they may change his dosage a little next month.  But for now, we just keep on truckin.  He still has bad days every now and then, still gets sick some mornings, but for the most part, he's doing really well.  This last week was rough, but he seems to be doing better now.  On a side note, he's started medicine for asthma.  So far it seems to be helping quite a bit.  Poor kid has so many medicines going on!