Please pray for Abbey Colbert. She is very sick and is needing your prayers. http://colbert-family.blogspot.com/2009/04/back-in-hospital.html
Update:Abby has been complaining about headaches for a couple of days. This usually means she has too much fluid surrounding her brain. We are giving her Lasix, in an effort to correct the problem. So far it is helping without causing any side effects.
Before when we were dealing with this, Abby was on daily medication to control her pressure. She was averaged throwing up 30 times a day. My hope is that we can figure out what chemo is causing the problem and how long it is effecting her pressure after we give it to her. Then we can give her the medication to lower her pressure on the days her pressure is most likely to be going up, instead of daily. Hopefully lessening the side effects.
Life with Abby is a dance and treating her cancer is more of an artform than science. She needs a lot of medical help, but it has come with a hefty price.
For now, her headaches are less severe than they were in the other phases of treatment and she is not nauseated. The Morphine and Lasix is keeping her comfortable. Please continue to pray for her healing and comfort. Please also pray for wisdom for the doctors and Brent and I.
Open Season Answers:
Linda at Smithsoup asked:
Does Abby have a pedi-neurologist on her team of docs? I am researching a neurologist to consult with over a 16 month old baby with untreated hydrocephaly we are praying over, regarding adoption. Not afraid of his issues, but want to be as informed as we can. Thanks!
Yes, Abby has a pediatric neurologist, Dr. Abid. We love her. We have also met the other neurologist at Children's Hospital and they are very good as well. As a commenter said, consulting with a neurosurgeon would be a very good idea. Abby doesn't have a neurosurgeon, because she is not a candidate for surgery.
I will be praying that God's will is clear to you. Your family would be a blessing to any child.
Mary K. asked:
Does Sami do her own hair? It always looks so good!
We went to a great deal of effort to learn how to take care of her hair. Brent is wonderful at caring for her hair and even learned to braid it in cornrows. I love doing Sami's hair and would love to adopt another girl from Ethiopia. Their hair is beautiful.
Her natural curls are absolutely GORGEOUS but is hard to manage as an everyday style. By evening they are very tangled and take a long, long time to comb out. Most of the time she wears it pulled back in a ponytail, with a drawstring ponytail attached. Sami is definitely a "tween". She thinks she is too old for braids (which I love), but Mommy and Daddy think she is too young to have her hair chemically straightened (she respectfully disagrees). The ponytails work for now.
Wing Beneath My Wings asked:
As a parent of a child with cancer, how was it that you came to learn that Abby was sick? Are there any signs parents can watch and look for in their children? Are there any early test that can be requested to test for such things in your children? I always wonder if there were better ways for parents to be aware of and know their children. Example. Baby Cora... they thought she had an ear infection, all of the sudden had black eyes, cancer and then died.
With Abby we saw about 200 bruises on her neck, about the size of a freckle. She had been wearing a cross necklace we bought her in Guatemala. It was just an ordinary beaded necklace, but because it left a distinctive pattern of bruises, we knew to take her to the doctor.
A lot of leukemia patients experience leg pain as their normal bone marrow is replaced by an abundance of cancer cells. They are tired and pale because the cancer cells are keeping them from producing enough red blood cells. A lot of parents report that their child was running a fever for a few days and is tired.
Abby had the bruises, but wasn't anemic when when she was diagnosed. Like many other kids with cancer, she was misdiagnosed with an infection first (at a minor emergency clinic, AKA a doc-in-a-box), but received a correct diagnosis the next morning.
Many children are misdiagnosed by pediatricians and emergency rooms in the beginning.
There is no “sure” way to “spot” cancer. And parents should not feel guilty if they didn’t catch it sooner, thinking that maybe they were the cause, or worse. You just have to care for them normally. Sometimes cancer doesn’t have any weird or unusual symptoms. Sometimes cancer symptoms mimic other things like the flu. If you see really weird unexplainable things, then of course, get your child looked at immediately. We can really only speak to Leukemia… if you see the symptoms we talked about above, then definitely go to the doctor.
Abby, about a week or so before diagnosis.
She is really wishing for her hair to grow back now.