Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Highs (okay, really... part way ups) and Lows

First off, let me say that things have been mellowing out around here. One of Corey's doctors made a suggestion, which we are taking, and it's working quite well. He's still making some bad decisions, a few of them supremely bad for people who haven't been down our road, but in comparison, it's not a terrible place to be. Kind of like living with a 15 year old boy.

Everybody in my house is some degree of sick. I took the kids to the doc today; Mad just needs lots of nose sucking, Corey's on antibiotics. There's no way that I'll get Tom to the doctor, really, unless he thinks he's dying. I would love to go to the doctor, however, he's not available. I didn't go to urgent care tonight because I have a feeling that I won't need antibiotics either (and I can't take cough syrup since I'm nursing), and I don't want to spend $10 to find that out.

I'm against antibiotics and chemical treatments whenever possible, and in fact, I got through my entire pregnancy without them despite a nasty bout with the flu (which I had to get because my OB was so insistent about my getting the shot despite my arguments that I hadn't gotten the flu since before Corey was born). It's not that I do nothing; fluids, humidifier, vitamins and more fluids works just as quickly as the rest of the methods, except for maybe the contagious factor. I don't know how long one is contagious with various illnesses without medical treatment.

As I've mentioned, Nance's husband is fighting leukemia and may be eligible again for a bone marrow transplant. We find out tomorrow or the next day. It was supposed to happen already but he went from a "pre-leukemia" something-or-other to "full blown" leukemia days before everything was scheduled to go down. Five days of twice-a-day chemo knocked it out (along with his hair), so that's good. Having blood and platelet counts that are roughly 16% of normal a few days after getting multiple units of each, not so good.

Yesterday the doctors seemed much less optimistic. I'm not sure why projection numbers are bandied about the way they are, unless maybe patients or their families are begging for them. Since February, Ken's "chances" have gone like this:

"Ken has a 30-40% chance of living five years IF he makes it through the transplant."
"He has three months."
***Four months later***
"Why did that doctor tell you that? I keep telling him he's got to quit saying things like that... he has a 75% chance of living five years as long as he makes it through the transplant."
"We can't offer a prognosis until we know what is happening."
"The leukemia is gone. If you do nothing, he has a 20% chance of survival. If you have the bone marrow transplant, he has a 40% chance of survival. Stop to think if you want him to spend the rest of his time in a hospital. Think about the donor, too. If he chooses to have this procedure, that may be taking away someone else's chance."


Nance isn't just one of my best friends. She and I also work together, side by side. She works fewer hours than I do, but of the hours she works, 90% of them we are together (potty breaks and petty annoyances... you understand). And of that time, most of it is spent in a car, driving between schools and employers and our office. So you can see that I can't just go sit at another desk until I'm well and then come back and resume our partnership.

There are a few things we can do away from one another, and it looks like that'll be the routine for the next couple of days. But the timing of it all just sucks.

"Hey, Nance, you just found out that the optimistic doctor isn't so optimistic right now, what do you *hackcoughhacksneezeUGH*... hey, can I call you back in a minute? My brains are on the table again and I need to clean 'em up and put 'em back in my head."

"Why don't we talk about this over lunch. Where are you going? I'll be at Casa Sanchez. I'll call you when I'm seated and we'll talk (over the phone) then."


As much as she needs a hug, I need to hug her and hand her tissue and hold her hand and say that whatever happens, she and Ken are surrounded with loving family and friends. They won't go through this alone.

A much smaller concern is that we leave for vacation a week from Friday. Driving halfway cross-country with an infant who has been struggling mightily to get those two top front teeth in for about two months will be interesting enough. (I really figured she'd have them in by now... didn't you?) But to go from here, where it's down to 56 degrees (brr!) to there, where it's currently 13 degrees while we're all sick? No thanks!

Not to mention that I disagreed with my MIL's suggestion that we should get Mad the flu shot.

***While I don't necessarily buy into the idea that getting the shot with a dead virus causes the flu, I do understand that the CDC is, at best, making an educated guess as to which virus will make it over here each year. Plus, a lot of nasty things are put into vaccines... and not just mercury... formaldehyde and aluminum and all sort of other things that are linked to various cancers. And then you've got the mutating viruses (viri?) becoming resistant to what used to work. Yikes!

So it's pretty much vital that we are well and healthy for this trip.

Speaking of well... I'm no longer quite sure what the point was I had been aiming for. Either I've made it or I've missed it. Or I need sleep.

G'night all!

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