(or) "THE LEUKEMIA WAGONS WERE CIRCLING, ALTHOUGH WE SURE DIDN’T KNOW IT AT THE TIME"
Week #9 of LTM
Before I begin, let me clear a few things up:
Recanting Kendrie’s diagnosis history is cathartic for me. I think its normal, around the time of a difficult anniversary like this, to grieve a little for the lost innocence. I can look back, visualize our total unawareness of what was coming and what was about to happen to Kendrie, and it literally makes my stomach ache. (or maybe that was the bag or Oreos I ate.) At the same time that I am so proud of Kendrie, my family, and what we have accomplished, I am also sad for what we have all gone through and lost. And grateful for what we still have. And hopeful for what is yet to come. So thank you for putting up with my senile reminiscing. And yes, that is bubble wrap on Brayden’s butt.
………continued from previous journal entry…………..
So on Tuesday Kendrie still had a fever, had begun napping (this is my child who quit taking naps at 18 months) and was looking pretty peaked, to be honest. She was also fussy, and kept begging me to carry her everywhere because her legs hurt. I’m embarrassed to admit that I got frustrated with her, and even said (once or twice) “There is nothing wrong with your legs …. Walk!” only to get annoyed when she would continue to cry, so I’d pick her up and carry her, grumbling all the way about 35 pounds of dead-weight.
Although I was dreading the thought of repeating the blood draw, I could tell she wasn’t feeling any better. So, on Wednesday, back to the lab we went. Again, not the most pleasant experience. And sure enough, the doctor called us that afternoon to tell us her counts had fallen (remember, normal is around 12) from a 4.8 to a 4.3. At this point, he diagnosed her with something called TEC, a form of transitory anemia caused when the body, for some reason, quits producing new red blood cells --- a condition which usually resolves itself on its own.
Kendrie's RBC were low, but everything else looked moderately fine. In fact, I specifically said to him, in a half-joking kind of way, “But you don’t think it’s anything serious, like leukemia or anything, do you?” He reassured me that it wasn’t leukemia, because her white blood cell count was also lower than normal, and told me if she had cancer her white count would be high. Whew, thank HEAVENS!!! What a relief THAT was! I mean, my grandma died from leukemia a few years ago and while I really didn’t know much about it, I knew it was bad news. So, good to know we could rule that out and just concentrate on this pesky anemia.
He was concerned that the specialist couldn’t see her for two weeks, so he got our appt bumped up to Monday and told us to watch her over the weekend. By now it was obvious that she was pale, fatigued, and was still running a fever, but we attributed it to her low RBC. I had always called her “my albino child” but at this point she was downright ghostly. I had kept her home from school all week and I honestly thought by Monday, she would be fine. After all, most viral illnesses run their course in about ten days, right?
So, grudgingly, I called her pre-school teacher and told her we wouldn’t be able to go on the class field trip (which I had signed up to chaperone) on Friday and we called our friends the Deatons and told them we weren’t going to be able to meet them in Tennessee for the weekend like we had planned. Deep down, I suspected that by canceling the trip, that in itself would trigger Kendrie’s blood to start producing the right kinds of cells again and in just a day or two she would feel fine …. Energetic and bouncing all over the place … and we’d sit around all weekend, kicking ourselves for canceling the trip. You know, the whole “wash your car if you want it to rain” theory in action.
So, now we would just sit back, watch her this weekend to make sure she didn’t get worse, and take her to the Pediatric Oncologist/Hematologist (which was still freaking me out just a little) the next Monday, the 13th of Oct. …………
To be continued…………………………