Because Abby’s fevers have been going on for almost 8 weeks, we've started suspect mold and fungus as possible reasons. Since Abby has so little immunity, she is not able to fight off the kind of stuff that the rest of us might not notice except for some “allergy” symptoms. Abby’s doctors has also begun to suspect fungus too and they are conducting a battery of tests.
Leukemia and fungal infections are a VERY bad combination. To treat the cancer, they need to suppress Abby's immune system to close to rock bottom. Their intention is to leave a little bit of her immune system functioning but there have been many times where they have missed and completely wiped out her white blood cell production. On a normal day that is scary. If you have an active infection, it is dangerous.
IF Abby has a fungal infection, it will take a long time to cure. So, we will most likely be walking the tightrope between the two diseases until she is finished taking chemo this November.
How is Abby doing? Well, her fevers have continued, buying us mandatory trips to ER/clinic every 24 hours. Abby spent today being poked with needles and having multiple samples of fluids taken. You can hear a lot of fluid moving around as she breaths. And she is wiped out.
She just wants someone to hold her and we are happy to oblige.
Please pray Abby doesn't have a fungal infection. In the meantime, we'll proceed as if she does because you can't mess around with this stuff. I have many cancer-mom friends who have lost their son or daughter to it. When the doctors talk about the possibility Abby has something fungal going on, it is the faces of their precious children whom I see.
A fungal sampling of our bathroom (the room with obvious signs) came back today and sure enough, there is “abundant quantities” of mold and fungus in the walls of our 40 year old powder room. The bad "junk" is isolated to the one bathroom and only stripping it down to the studs will get rid of it.
As if we needed some big project to give us something to do during all our free time, we are going to have to completely rip the main bathroom down to the bare wood and completely reinstall it. We’ve cut some holes in the main bath walls (around the tub, shower and sink) and looked back behind the plumbing. It’s obvious there have been some “water events” (leaks) over the decades. That bathroom is going to have to be completely torn out because the drywall, the shower tile, the cabinet backs and floor are all water stained and “dark” (code word for mold and fungus). Not exactly surprising or abnormal for a 40 year old bath.
I’ve done a lot of building but have not stripped out and remodeled a bathroom. There are so many smart and resourceful folks full of great advice and ideas. I wanted to toss out some questions for you:
- Any tips, tricks, advice or experience for making sure the mold/fungus is really taken care of once we strip down the bathroom to the studs?
- Any suggestions on saving money? We’ll have to buy a shower/bath unit, cabinets, sinks, flooring, green board, etc.
- Anyone have any local connections (we live near Norman, Oklahoma) who could help us get the materials or labor (discounts, contractor pricing, materials left over from another job, etc) at better prices? Obviously it’s going to cost several thousand dollars and we want to plan well and keep the costs down as much as possible.
- Any general advice or experience about this whole fungus/mold thing?
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*For the benefit of our new blog friends, the talk about needing something to do and being bored is HIGHLY tongue-n-cheek. After factoring in 7 kids, 70+ hospital trips, work and whatever else, the LAST thing I wanted right now was some big project.