Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Labs were as expected we are now 10 days from being totally complete

Emily had her weekly labs today. This will be her second to last weekly lab, and after next week she will only need to go into the clinic once a month. Her ANC was where we would expect, around 5500. Since she is on a %75 dose of her medication cocktail, we expect to see higher ANC scores, since ANC is what you are suppressing with chemotherapy. She will remain on her %75 dose from here on out. At this point the honest truth is being neutropenic is more dangerous than any possible effect of 2 weeks of chemo at this point. I have to remember that as we go through the next few months. When Emily is neutropenic and even hospitalized for it, I hardly worry at all. And what the doctor is saying is the worry about cancer is even less than that worry about neutropenia. I honestly dont' worry when Emily is neutropenic and in the hospital, I hope that in a few months I can be that relaxed about worrying about relapse.

I have to admit that since last week I've been using denial as a coping mechanism, and I'm questioning myself on this strategy. When I learned that the next step if Emily's scan is not clean or if she relapses would be a bone marrow transplant, I couldn't / really or can't deal with that possibility. Many people I know, especially at work, come up to me and commend me on how I am able to juggle a complex position in my company, and deal with having a very sick child. And yes, it's hard and has been hard to do. But I really have been holding on by telling myself this therapy will work, but if it doesn't I really don't know what I will do, or how I will be able to go on. Especially when I heard the next step is a marrow transplant, that's where the denial has come in. Before learning that I have told myself to prepare for the possibility of a bad result, thinking we may have to continue her therapy, but after learning the next step is something I don't think I can deal with, I just decided to tell myself there is no chance the scan will be negative. I really hope I'm not setting myself up for a real fall, when I was so good at keeping honest to myself all the way through.

I filled my emotional gas tank up two years ago with two years of fuel, I'm running on fumes at this point, and there better be a gas station around the next corner, all the signs say it's there, but I can't see it yet. that's my best analogy of how draining this all is.


KMGheno said...

You guys are doing so well; end of treatment was one of the most anxious I've ever been... and like you, I've been ANXIOUS. We are creatures of habit, routine (as different as the paradigm is) is comforting; and knowing that you will see the same, knowledgeable face every week who knows way more about you guys than they should has a bit of “fall-back”. Plus, you guys have been actively “fighting it” for so long; wait and watch is a whole other deal. And might I add, a deal you may grow accustom to sooner than you ever thought possible. I used to think, “What will I do with all this ‘extra’ time.” You know what? Now I think, “How in the @#$% did I ever find the time or energy to do that?!?” So proud of you and all that your family has accomplished. Although we’ve never stop worrying, we‘ve definitely started a “regular” routine… Go Peppers! Life is good.

cwshort said...

Oh Chris that is so honest even if you don't think you are being so. I think you should just believe that the strength you will need will be there for you and it will. We have a prayer wall at church right now and I will make my prayer be for you and Tracy. Both of you have been amazing through all of this, thank you for sharing your journey. I have learned a lot as a parent through your writings. -Cathie

The Shannon Family said...

Hello Pepper Family,
I know I have not blogged in a long time but we have always followed Emily and your blog. You were the first family we reached out to and you gave us positive support for Nick. We are so proud that Emily is so strong and coming to the end of it. It is great to move forward and enjoy the next stage.
We will never know what will happen, but that is why we have our children to guide us.
Many blessings,
Karen Shannon

Jessica Nichols said...

The idea of BMTs scare the you-know-what out of most people. Myself included. My ten-year lymphoma anniversary is May 11 of this year. So that's something!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for continuing to share your heart on this whole journey. Please know that I continue in prayer for the whole Pepper family especially as the active treatment draws to a close. I pray that you will know God's comfort, peace and strength. You all are an amazing family. Thanks you for your vulnerability and honesty in your blog. God bless you! Pam