6.14.2011

I (heart) Nerds

Yes, that's right. I ♥ nerds!

I love their brains, I love their capacity for learning and I especially love that they are working at St. Jude.  To hear doctors speak, to watch researchers in action, to see this Apheresis machine in action brings on cold chills:


  

Dr. W rolls words like Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor off her tounge with effortless grace and actually understand what it means!  G-CSF is the medicine that we have been giving Lucy for the past 4 days.  Erik gives her the shot each night and I try to keep her distracted.  She will have many of these shots throughout the next 4 months.  The G shots help her body recover white blood cells and stimulates the producing of her disease fighting cells in her body.  It also forces her body to produce a lot of stem cells which we are harvesting today.

The machine above is being used for a periphera blood stem cell donation from Lucy.  Lucy received a central line through her groin this morning that will be in place for today's procedure.  She will lay flat for roughly 5 hours this afternoon as blood is taken from her body, processed and then returned through the central line in her chest.  I am clearly over simplifying the process because the whole idea of this procedure blows my mind.  Lucy's blood will run through this machine into a huge centrigfuge that will seperate her stem cells from the other particles in her blood.  How in the world this machine knows how to do this is all in part to some very smart individuals who were gifted with a love for science and a desire to help people.  I ♥ nerds!!

She is doing well so far.  She was very happy to receive her sleepy medicine this morning:


The ultimate goal today would be to collect enough stem cells for all 4 courses of Chemotherapy (Lucy receives her own cells back at the each of each course of Chemo).  Due to the stress that Radiation placed on her bone marrow, it is highly unlikely that will happen.  We were just told, however, that she looks to be on target to harvest enough for at least the first treatment.  This means she will have to do this again next month, but at least we don't have to stay in-patient tonight with her leg being held in place all night. 

Lucy continues to grow stronger each and every day and her personality is really starting to come back strong.  I am so grateful for each good day we have.  God continues to bless us with so much hope. We are reminded daily how blessed we really are.

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I would like to mention one thing that happened yesterday that has rocked our world quite a bit.  After meeting with her new clinic, we were told that the doctors had decided we lived too far away to be home during her recovery period after chemotherapy.  As you can imagine this came as a HUGE shock.  our minds are still reeling as we try to figure out how to make this all work.  So what this means is...Lucy will be in-patient for 5 days for Chemo and Stem Cell Transplant.  Then, we will have to go to either the Target House, Ronald McDonald House or Grizzlies House.  We are not sure of our placement yet.  We will be there until her counts bottom out and then recover to an acceptable limit.  Our hope would be to be home roughly 5-7 days a month.

For someone local, this was a big decision for the docs to make.  We just barely cross the threshold of mileage limitation to stay home.  30 miles is the limit.  The reason being that if Lu spikes a fever we have to be able to get access to high-dose antibiotics withint an hour.  I am just sick over this new development.  Without a doubt, whatever is in the best interest of Lucy is all that is important.  The rest of life will work itself out.  I just was blind-sided yesterday.  Had I known that we were going to relocate for 4 months, I would have been doing some planning and packing during our 5 week break.  I've got a LOT to do before Sunday!

I will probably not be posting very much before we go in for treatment on Sunday.  I have a lot to get done and will be soaking up all the time I can with my kiddos!  Thank you for your continued prayers for Lucy and our family. 




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12 comments:

  1. I will pray that all the details fall easily into place for ya'll...and for your kids back home. Lucy looks so sweet in the picture today.

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  2. Lots of prayers for you guys as you try to get things together--it's a daunting task. Fingers crossed that you end up at Target with us! Kellan goes in Thursday afternoon, and will probably get out on Sunday--we may just miss each other in the hospital. Hope everything went well today and that we see you soon!

    Hugs!
    Sarah Good

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  3. I'm so happy to see Lucy's smile here. Praying that things fall into place for your family. I know that isn't easy and it's really tough with your 2 other babies. Everything will work out. Prayers!

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  4. I too love nerds! I am so glad that they invented this amazing stuff too--Lucy also looks so cute in that picture.

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  5. I too pray for your entire family!!!! We serve an awesome God who will not leave us so I am praying He will guide and help u during this transition!!! Lucy is a doll!!!! I pray everything goes perfectly for her during all this treatment!

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  6. in spite of all the challenges that come our way, it is so heartening to see your unfailing trust and faith in God. may He strengthen you and guide your family and I hope Lucy's treatment goes well. God bless you!!

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  7. From one 'planner' to another...if you had known you wouldn't be at home in the months ahead, you wouldn't have enjoyed this break and time with your family as much. That's a huge blessing in itself! Your path has crossed with so many during this journey to this point, just imagine who God has in store for you at your temporary home. That too will be a blessing. I look forward to reading more about the people and gifts and talents brought into your lives. I pray for your family nightly.

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  8. Wish there was a perfect response to all that yall are going through. We are praying though and will specifically be praying for your family for the time that you have to be in Memphis. I know that has to be tough but you have such an amazing support group being that yall are so close to home. But I know it's probably about just being together as a family so for that I am praying!

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  9. Kate,

    I worked for a company not long ago named Mid America Apartment communities. They have a charity organization called Open Arms. The organization helps out families that have to stay away from their homes for extended periods of times for reasons like yours. They may not have any openings, but you should definately check. What they do is let you stay in a fully furnished apartment, with all utilities paid. A couple apartments that have these units are Kirby STation Apts at Kirby and Poplar(756-1805), Lincoln on the Green by Winchester and Hacks Cross(748-0002), and I believe the Reserve at Dexter Lake on Germantown Pkwy I do not know their number there. If you would like to do this and need help in seeing if there are any openings, I would be more than happy to call them for you.

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  10. The words of Psalm 23 keep playing in my mind. In one translation, it reads: "The LORD is my shepherd; there is nothing I lack. In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength. You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name."

    The Lord gave you your green pastures to restore you during your recent time away in the mountains and He will give you all that you need in the days and months to come. It is His promise to us. May the words of the psalmist and your respite time give you what you and your family need in the days ahead.

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  11. I'll be praying for strength for Lucy and your whole family! Praying that all the details get worked out! Lucy is such a fighter...I love the smile in that picture! She is soooooo precious! Praying hard! Just rest in the fact that God knows exactly whats going on and exactly what to do about it! Love Y'all!

    GO LUCY GO!!!!

    Praying,
    Allison

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  12. From the mouths of babes, in our prayer time tonight for Lucy and Sophia. Kayla said, "Mom, God is in control, and he might be working a miracle right this very second, you know how awesome he is".......Love ya Kate.

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