Since yesterday Abby has had a fever, her abdomen is swollen and is painful. The area around her gastric port (feeding tube in her stomach) is swollen, red and blistered so badly it looks like a serious burn. For those of you who have experience with g-tubes, Abby has never leaked stomach contents and always looked very healthy. The red area is getting bigger and the blisters are spreading. Her medical team said that it is "very concerning."
Abby is producing almost zero white blood cells, so is unable to fight any infection (and her IGG is 671 and ANC is 29).
Pic: this is a difficult picture for us to post. Abby is blanked out on morphine, can't sit still because her stomach hurts so bad, doesn't want to sit at all because of the sores between her legs, and is bloated and swollen. This was one of the GOOD pictures... we just didn't have the heart to post the ones where she is really in pain and suffering. Even this one doesn't look anything like her normally.
Today, Abby will receive three transfusions (packed red cells, platelets, and albumin). They can't transfuse white blood cells, because they only live 4 hours after they are transfused. Her doctors started 2 different kinds of two IV antibiotics and we are using 2 different antibiotic creams on her stomach, one of them is used for serious burn victims. She is getting I.V. Lasix to draw water into her blood. She is bloated from the steroids and continues to have diarrhea.
Her upper airway is still "junky" but she is getting antibiotics to treat it and it has not worsened since last night.
We are very thankful that her pain is much better controlled and she is not nauseated. She is on continuous morphine for pain, and since they took her off the medicine that controlled her spinal fluid pressure, she had not been nauseated, although her pressure is going up.
Obviously we would appreciate your prayers at this time. Would you let others know, and ask them to pray?
Some of our friends have offered to pray and fast for Abby, and of course we would be deeply grateful. For those of you who do not understand fasting, it can be, but does not have to be abstaining from food.
Fasting is the act of abstaining from something that is important to our FLESH, so that it may free up opportunity to concentrate on the spiritual. Food is an obvious choice, but not appropriate for everyone. It might be TV, news, games, phone time... something that satisfies our fleshly desires that can be given up to make time to pray and consider spiritual concerns. When our flesh feels "denied", it causes us to lean towards God to fulfill what is missing.
Sorry, didn't mean to put on my Bible teacher hat... but many people have no clue about fasting.
We've included some medical details for our doctor, nurse and cancer-experienced friends. If you have any advice or suggestions, please leave a comment. We are VERY grateful. We’ll keep you updated on the blog, Facebook and Twitter (our sign up links to those are up there in the right column).
A Final Thought
Before going, I wanted to leave you with this thought: don't mistake our current concern for a lack of faith, joy or hope.
We are not questioning God. Our faith in Him has not waivered the breadth of an atom. If anything, it is strengthened because we see God's hand daily, over and over and over.
Our joy is a choice. We are commanded to "count it all joy brethren when you fall into various trials..." That is not dependent on feeling. It is a choice. The feelings follow your God-given, Spirit-empowered ability to CHOOSE to obey God. Don't understand the command to be joyful? Doesn't matter. Don't feel like it? Doesn't matter. When you bypass your feelings, the reason becomes clear: we count it all joy because we know God is in complete control, that His perfect Will is done and that His Son will be glorified through any and all circumstances. How can you not be joyful about that?
Our hope is in God. Our hope is that Abby is healed. Our hope is that we spend a long life here with her. But our GREATER HOPE is that God's will is done, and that no matter what, Abby is in His care. Should God call her to Him, then our hope is fulfilled knowing that she is in heaven, waiting for us to join her. That is true hope.
Faith, joy, hope. Life can only take those from you IF you give them away by your own choice.
Brent (from home with the other kids)
(and Michelle, in the hospital with Abby)
discomfort and pain, Abby still manages a smile for me
today in the hospital room. She has a remarkable spirit.
One of Abby's favorite times now is getting to "shave off
Daddy's porcupines". That's what she calls my whiskers or short hair.
I promised Abby she could shave off my hair as long as
she doesn't have any hair. Small sacrifice of love...
Finally, I wanted you to leave tonight with a funny, joy-filled
picture of Abby. After shaving my head, she wanted to shave her face.
So I cut her and Sami loose with a can of shaving cream.
They had a quite a party with it!