Saturday, May 29, 2010

Days 22 & 23

After a week of eating nothing, Natalie is showing interest in food again. She had some crackers with cream cheese yesterday and today. We are trying to not push food on her because we don't want her to get sick from the food. She is also more energetic today. She got up and sewed an outfit for her elephant, watched a little tv, and played DS with Sean for a bit.

Her counts are still at 0. She has a virus in her bladder that probably won't go away until her new cells develop. It doesn't seem to bother her much, but please pray that it doesn't grow to cause any complications for Natalie.

Despite all this, we have been told by the doctors that she is doing well. All of us are really hoping that her counts come up starting tomorrow. Please continue to keep those counts in your prayers for us.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Days 17, 18, 19, 20, & 21

I can't believe it is day 21. Natalie is doing okay. They changed one of her meds to a stronger version. Her fever broke on Sunday. She still has headaches on and off, but seems to be doing okay once they give her pain meds for the headaches.

We are hanging in there waiting for those counts to go up. Still no signs of that happening yet.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Days 14, 15 & 16

Days 14 and 15 were good. Natalie had a little headache, but was happy and playful.

Last night she came down with a fever again. Today is not so good. She's been asleep most of the day and she feels yucky. We are asking for prayers that the fever is just a result of her new cells grafting in and that her counts will start going up in the next few days. Also, please pray for the infection in her urine. It's still lingering.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Days 12 & 13

Still waiting for those counts to go up. Still at zero. Sigh.

Doctors said Natalie's infections are under control. They are certain the strep infection is not in her line, which is great news. Thanks for all your prayers about that. They said she is doing well in this phase of transplant so we want to hold on to their optimistic perspective.

Natalie has been busy with family visitors. Auntie Tracy came to visit for a couple of days and spent two nights with her. Her Gran and Gramps are here now. She is really enjoying their company.

We are going to have Sean come to the hospital to play Bingo with Natalie after school tomorrow. Hopefully, it's a good one!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Days 10 and 11

Natalie was not in a good mood yesterday. She woke up with a terrible headache so her play time with Sean did not end up too well. They played Mario Party again and lost. Sean cried. Usually, Natalie would comfort him but she was upset too.

Headache went away after they gave her some blood and a little medicine. She was happier and talkative. She ate a little and watched tv.

Natalie woke up this morning with another bad headache. It's gone now, but we are watching it closely. She's comfortably playing her DS. Also found out this morning that she has a third infection. It's showing up in her urine sample and microscopic. It doesn't seem to be bothering Natalie. For now, we are watching that closely as well. They really don't have a good medicine to treat that one so that one worries us more.

It's very gloomy in the city today. We don't like it that Natalie has so many infections going on at the same time. We're glad she is doing well in general despite the multiple infections. Just praying for them to all go away and for those counts to grow.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 9

Natalie is in a great mood. She is talkative, energetic, playful, and happy. It's strange to see her this way especially since she is still fighting the two infections. We don't know why she is so happy, but we are really enjoying her good attitude and hope she stays this way.

Sean and Natalie played Mario Party together at the hospital today. Sean was outside of her room, but it was fun to hear them talk and play together. They were a team so every time they won, they both would say, "We're really good at this!" When they lost, Natalie would console Sean by saying, "Don't worry Sean, it's going to be okay." It was really sweet. They both don't like losing, but Sean expresses his sadness more than Natalie when he loses. She knows that and she does try to make him happy when she can.

Please continue to pray that the C Dif and strep goes away and she doesn't have any complications. Also, need those counts to start going up!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 8

Natalie does have C Diff and strep. They did catch both early yesterday and started antibiotics right away so we are hoping and praying both will be gone quickly and that the strep is not in her line. Natalie asked me to post those specific prayers on her blog for her.

C Diff possbily came from taking too much antibiotics in the past. The strep is still being tested to see what strain it is. We are hoping it is not a line infection because that complicates things for Natalie.

Doctors said that both are very common for most patients here because of their low immune system. They are surprised that Natalie has never had C Diff before. Everyone is vigilantly on top of treating both so we are hoping Natalie will be better in the next 24 hours.

Natalie was energetic and talkative today. She doesn't look like she has any infections at all. She's been pretty social with her visitors. She was smiling when I walked in this afternoon and she ate a whole cup of peaches.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Days 6 and 7

Day 6 went very well. Natalie ate more, read, and worked on her book project with her hospital teacher.

Day 7 started off well too. Natalie made some bracelets, worked more on her book project, and painted. At 4 pm, she came down with a fever. They started her on some antibiotics. I know this is to be expected and most patients come down with fevers around this time. We still worry though. Please pray for her fever to go away and Natalie does not have a bad infection.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 5

Natalie woke up on the grumpy side because the IV machine was beeping all night. She was better after organizing her palette of colored pencils to prepare for her drawing project today. She is in a good mood.

Thanks for all your suggestions and recommendations for books. We love recommendations from other readers.

Counts are low as expected, but Natalie is feeling good. No hives today. She also ate a little bit of Trix cereal with milk this morning. Hopefully, counts will go up soon!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 4

Hives not so bad today. The doctor thinks the hives are from the chemo she had prior to transplant and is not too concerned about it. She said they should go away eventually. We can still see them, but they don't seem to be bothering Natalie as much as they bother us to see them on her.

Natalie ate some ramen noodles and pineapples today. I'm so glad she has not lost her appetite for food completely. When she was waiting for the ramen to cool down, she smiled and said, "Yum, that smells sooooo good." She is still on IV nutrition to assist with her nutritional needs until she starts eating normal meals again.

She read her book for 2 hours this morning and played a little DS. She read the whole City of Ember series and finished the last book today. We need to think of some good new stories she will like. She has read practically every children's chapter book out there--Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, Nancy Drew, Roald Dahl, Judy Moody, Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Little House, Kate Kazoo, Box Car Children, Rainbow Magic Fairies,etc. I started skimming through "The Mysterious Benedict Society" to see if the story would appeal to Natalie. It's a little interesting so far. I just have to sell it to her like I did with "City of Ember" and "A Little Princess". Sometimes she doesn't care if I like it. That was the case with "From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler". I loved that story and told her the characters reminded me so much of her and Sean. I even showed her the Newberry Medal on the book. She didn't care and just said she didn't want to read it. Then she told me the medals on books only means that the adults who give the medals out like them and it doesn't mean that kids will like them.

They are giving her Benedryl around the clock to keep her hives at bay so she is sleeping right now.

I can tell Natalie is starting to get bored. It's okay. I would rather take boredom than excitement any day back here in the transplant unit. Natalie said the most exciting day so far back here is hands down the day of her transplant.We hope that stays the most exciting day until we leave here for home.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 3

Hives are back. We're trying to figure out what is causing them and if Natalie is allergic to one of the medications she is currently receiving. Other than that, Natalie seems to be doing okay. She is reading right now. She also ate some canned pineapples.

For this week, we need lots of prayers for: (1)her new cells to graft and grow, (2) no infections, and (3) for the hives to go away.

Spent Mother's Day morning with Sean and now spending the evening with Natalie. It's been a nice, relaxing day. Trying to make the best of it, but it is sad to be apart on holidays.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 2

Grant just has allergies. Thanks for all your suggestions. His symptoms are sporadic and they go away immediately when he puts a mask on. We are happy that he does not have to stay away from Natalie.

Natalie is doing good. She goes back and forth between reading and watching tv. The watching tv part is so uncharacteristic of her, but she does love to cook and watch cooking shows. She's addicted to watching Top Chef right now. We don't have Food Network at the hospital, so the only cooking DVD that I could find that she hasn't watched is Top Chef. She rejected it at first, but now she can't stop watching it. I don't care for the language in it for Natalie, but it's all censored out. One of the nurses suggested Top Chef Masters for her and now I'm on a search for the DVDs for her.

Her hives are all gone. She is nibbling on things, but not really eating full meals yet. They have her on IV nutrition.

I discovered a cool resource today since the washer is broken in the hospital. There is a laundromat down the street from the hospital that offers same day laundry service (wash & fold). So happy about that since Natalie will never let me take her favorite rainbow blanket home overnight to wash. She can't sleep without it. I'm also happy that I don't have to deal anymore with waiting in the long lines for the washer to free up at the hospital!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Day 1

Natalie is doing well so far today. She is a little tired, but she has some energy. She woke up this morning and read until noon. Then she wanted me to read to her for the next two hours while she rested her eyes.

She is not up for visitors yet, but will allow her favorite medical staff people to come in to say hello. She played a little more with her laminating machine this afternoon.

Grant came down with a runny nose again. Natalie is sad he can't come near her and I'm sad too. The nights are rough back here in transplant unit because the medicines they give her causes the machines to beep constantly. Nobody sleeps except Natalie because they give her Benedryl. The good thing is that she can sleep through anything. Even after being woken up to use the bathroom every two hours, she goes right back to sleep. Hmmm, maybe I should take some Benedryl? At least Natalie does not have to use the restroom every two hours anymore as she did a couple of nights ago.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Transplant Day

Thanks so much for all of your prayers. The transplant went well.

Transplant occured at 1 pm today. We thought it would be a two hour infusion, but it was done in less than 15 minutes. I think it took 10 minutes, but we weren't paying too much attention to the time. There were 5 medical staff standing around Natalie to watch for any bad reaction. They hooked her up to the monitors like they have down in ICU so we were getting a little worried. A couple of minutes after the transfusion, the doctor calmly said, "Well, if she was going to have a reaction, she would've had one by now. It looks like her body is saying it's okay with the new cells."

Natalie was curious the entire time. She asked a lot of questions and was staring at the bag that contained her new cells. She was worried about the smell of the preserved cells because everyone said it's the worst part of the transplant. However, she wasn't bothered by it at all. She said it smells like mango sorbet. I think it smells like clam chowder. It was a tiny little bag so it's hard to believe that the cells in there are actually going to take over her entire body and replace her old cells.

Natalie has been moody today. She's on one medication that made her so angry this morning. They gave it to her to help with her hives, but said they are stopping that today. She seems more like herself now. She ate a bowl of cinnamon Life cereal this afternoon.

Since it was Natalie's second birthday today, we got her a small laminating machine. She has been asking for one ever since a certain special friend gave her the idea. She is happily playing with it now.

So, now we wait and pray that her new cells multiply and grow. We pray that it attacks all her leukemia cells and does well growing in her body.

Natalie will start feeling a little icky the next couple of days as her new cells grow and the aftermath of the chemo inside of her. We are hoping she sails through this rough part and her counts start to recover quickly!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day -2

Natalie is having a better day today. The past few days have been rough in regards to her nausea. Thank goodness she is done with the medicine that made her nauseous. She has hives and had a low fever from the chemo medicine she is getting now. She doesn't seem to be bothered too much from the hives. The fever went away today. She has been playing her DS to pass the time here. They said the hives are caused by her allergic reaction to the medicine, but they should go away Friday. In Natalie's words, "This medicine is not as bad as I thought it was going to be." It's the medicine that everyone has been informing her would make her really sick.

It has been so hard for us to see Natalie sick like this. She hasn't eaten anything since last Friday. Again, I think it's harder for us than for Natalie. She seems to be doing okay and is comfortable.

We can't believe the transplant is 2 days away! Thank you for all your continued prayers. Please pray for Natalie's body to do so well with the transplant.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Day -5

Natalie started a new medicine today that is making her feel more nauseous. She threw up twice this morning. She's feeling so bad that she didn't even want to socialize when Yolanda visited.

She did eat a chicken quesadilla yesterday and was talkative with her visitors. She played a little too yesterday.

Today, all she wants to do is sleep. It's hard for her to walk due to the nausea and she definitely does not want anything in her mouth. She also cried today because she said she misses playing with Sean. Grant is bringing Sean to visit in a bit, but he is not allowed to come into Natalie's room. There is an ante room that he will stay in while he visits. He and Natalie can see each other and hear each other. There is just a glass pane between them that serves as a barrier against any viruses that Sean may have.

I'm not sure how things will go on Monday when she gets the third medicine which is expected to make her feel awful. We've been praying for Natalie to have strength through this. Please pray for us specifically that Natalie will have the strength to get through this and have a successful transplant.