Below is a longer explanation, for those who are interested AND pictures. For the rest of you, Abby's immune system is very low. To protect her, she has to stay home, to keep her from being exposed to germs her body is too weak to fight.
I am trying to do some fun, educational things while we are stuck here. Easier said than done. The walls are closing in on us and the kids miss our freedom. The safest fun thing we can do is go to friend's homes. If this lasts long we may invite ourselves over to your house. We are bored silly. Any healthy friends want to play???
The longer version: The results of Abby's blood work today were not what we hoped they would be. Abby is neutropenic (low white blood cells). Any infection is dangerous for Abby once again.
Unfortunately, a second test (IgG) showed another part of her immune system is working poorly too. Unlike white blood cells, IgG levels can be corrected with a transfusion. Great news IF the transfusion didn't cost $10-12,000 a month. It can be difficult to get insurance to pay (imagine that...). Our insurance has a life time maximum payout of one million dollars. Abby's cancer requires almost 3 years of chemotherapy and the damage from chemo can and has caused permanent damage which will require ongoing medical care. It is hard to know when to push for a test, medication or transfusion that could potentially make things better for Abby and when to conserve the resources we need later on in this battle.
What does this mean for Abby? It means we will have to stay at home in order to protect her from the illnesses that are so common in the winter. No church, school or movies for a while. Fresh fruits and veggies are a no-no because of the bacteria present on them. Abby is watching her siblings eat the blueberries she picked out after a painful test. It stinks but she is such a trooper.
When Abby's white blood cell count (ANC) is this low, any fever is an automatic hospital admission. We are praying we stay home while her bone marrow recovers.
For now, Abby will not be receiving any chemo. I hate this because it can allow her cancer to come back BUT the side effects Abby is experiencing are pretty nasty. Hopefully this break will give her a chance to heal a little.
These chemo pauses are bitter sweet. We want her to get every drop of chemo she needs to fight her cancer. But the chemo holiday will also let us see a little of the old Abby. The smiles, renewed energy and enthusiasm for life are a blessing to see while being a vivid reminder of how difficult it is for Abby to handle the poisons we keep asking her to swallow.
The chemo holds concern me but I think that the break may help Abby get some needed relief.
The MRI results were what we prayed for. No AVN (bone death)!!! It looks like Abby's leg pains are from nerve damage from one of her chemos. Of the two options, this is definitely the better one. Praise the Lord, my child has neuropathy! Now that is just crazy, huh?
Abby has a long awaited Neurology appointment on Friday. As always,we would love for you to pray for Abby and our family.
Abby and Hannah while we waited for the MRI to begin. Abby wanted everyone at the hospital to see her new Pooh pjs (thanks Olivia and Michelle).
Abby squealed when I agreed to let her wear them in public.