December 4, 2009
Holy neutraphils Batman!!! Went to clinic today hoping to be over 1000 and found out Tanner had 2000 neutraphils!!! FREEDOMMMMMMMMMM!
We came home after a dose of IV Vincristine and a lumbar puncture with methotrexate under sedation; I was exhausted, but Tanner was raring to go. She went to her best friend Corinne’s house for her family birthday celebration. They ate tacos and ice cream cake and PLAYED. Tanner was indescribably happy. The playdate drought is over, at least for now.
All of Tanner’s counts were great. She had a normal hemoglobin level and her platelets were actually very high. We haven’t seen numbers that high in a while. She started a five-day steroid pulse and oral chemo tonight, though, so the high counts probably won’t last. We will go back to clinic in two weeks (yes, the first time in more than 6 months we haven’t had to go for a weekly clinic visit) to check her counts and adjust her chemo, if necessary. This begins the game of trying to find just the right amount of 6MP and oral methotrexate to keep her counts steadily between 1,000 and 2,000 for Long Term Maintenance.
It felt weird to let her go to Corinne’s house… like she was naked and unprotected. We’ve gotten used to being so careful. It will be so nice to be able to get out and see a movie or even go to the mall at an off time (is there an off-time at the mall during this season?). We are still going to be cautious, though. The last thing we want is to be in the hospital for Christmas.
After an unsteady start, this week has become a good one with lots of things to celebrate. First, there was Santa. Now good counts and some much needed freedom. And, lastly, we have a contract on a house that we are so excited about.
If you’ve been reading Tanner Time all along, you might remember that we had a contract on a house in Brentwood when Tanner was diagnosed in June. The owners were kind enough to let us out of the contract due to the circumstances. Stability was key… and still is, frankly. But, we have a tiny postage stamp of a yard now and have really felt it on the many days when we couldn’t go out to the nearby cul-de-sac and school fields to play because we were afraid to run into other kids. We have been searching for a house with room to romp and found the perfect house with lots of yard and a basement (Tanner loves this) that is on a cul-de-sac. It will mean a lot in days to come to have so much space when we can’t get out.
The house is not in our school district, but Moore Elementary, where Tanner goes, has been kind enough to let her attend the remainder of this year and next year so Tanner can finish treatment before we switch schools. The new neighborhood is just down the road from where we live now, so we will still be close to our Moore’s Landing friends. All these factors were extremely important to us. I think it will be hard when Tanner returns to school. She is a pretty confident kid, but being bald and pale and having a disease other kids can’t even pronounce will test even the strongest self-esteem. She worries about being “different” and is scared other kids will make fun of her. The kids at Moore know about her and have been so supportive and loving. She feels safe there and we are grateful they have understood our situation enough to allow us to do this without making her switch schools immediately.
Tonight, as Tanner went to sleep, she asked me for something good to think about to keep the bad dreams away. I wasn’t stumped this time. I rattled off a whole bunch of things including playdates, our new house, the new dog we’ll get when we get there, going to see Princess and the Frog next week, decorating our Christmas tree, etc., etc., etc.
It’s good to be back.