Saturday, July 12, 2014

Round Three and Still Standing

A lot has happened since Callie last wrote at the end of Wanda's 2nd round of chemo. The week after the chemo is the roughest, since that's when her blood counts are at their lowest - and boy were they low! A typical person has a white blood cell count over 4.5 and hers dipped to 0.2 - lower than than they have ever been (even during the stem cell transplant). Therefore, she ended up getting a fever that never went above 100.9, but this caused her to spend 4 days in the hospital getting a drip of antibiotics and blood products. Although this was done out of an abundance of caution, it definitely got her attention.

In the past month, mom has been able to see Callie, Kit, and Case. Callie was here for the 2nd round of chemo and Kit came 2 weeks after, after mom had been in the hospital. Now I (Case) am here and have been here for a week. We also had mom's college roommate, Trish, here for a few days this week. It's fun to have a reason to spend quality time with family and friends - a silver lining for which to be thankful.

Mom and dad's house was struck by lightning a few weeks ago. This caused all sorts of weird issues like a dead washing machine, dead router, non-functional stereo receiver, and, to top it off, a water leak in the basement. I guess someone decided that we just needed a bit more excitement in our lives! On the plus side, mom and dad now have a beautiful new washer/dryer set... and the house didn't burn down.

This past week was her third round of chemo. Her blood counts at the beginning of the week were hopeful - her white blood cell count was at 1.9 - and the doctor commented that he thought that she was doing better than he thought she would be doing at this point (of course, who knows what that really means since it's all relative). They also took an extra vial of blood to do a molecular panel, which will hopefully show that there is a specific gene causing the leukemia and could allow the doctors to give a targeted drug rather than the current broad-scope chemo. We should know the outcome of this in a couple weeks.

After mom's scare following the 2nd round of chemo, she is going to be extra, extra careful this coming week to make sure that she doesn't take any unnecessary risks. This will mean extra care for the food she eats, extra care for hand washing, and especially extra care for getting plenty of sleep.

OK - enough with all the talk about treatment and sickness. I'm sure what you really want to know is what is Wanda like these days. She is her normal, fun, spunky self, but she has a bit of what I'll call the "Taintor edge." She's a bit quicker to get agitated than usual, but who can really blame her? I suggested therapy, but she told me "if you think I'm going to spend my last days trying to make other people happy, then you're crazy!" This was said tongue-in-cheek, of course - you see, I told you she was still spunky.

Finally - I'd like to thank all of you for sending mom your thoughts and prayers and for supporting her and us in this challenging situation. Mom & dad have appreciated the delicious dinners that people have provided and I know that mom has enjoyed the cards and conversation. I'm sure she would enjoy going for a short stroll around Mountain Brook Circle in the mornings or an afternoon visit - if you're interested, give her a call.
Is Pat having fun?

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