November 18, 2009
What a day! We celebrated extra large thanks to the kindness of so many people. We started by going to clinic in our Bye, Bye DI !!! t-shirts. The nurses and doctors loved it. We busted into the clinic in full celebration mode and it was great to start the celebration among our cancer compatriots. Everyone in clinic congratulated us and it was actually really fun to go today – lots of hugs all around.
Tanner’s counts, as expected, were very low all around. Her neutraphils (big infection fighting white cells) were at 380 (to give you an idea of how low this is, I had some blood work done last week and mine were at 6,000) so her immune system is every bit as compromised as we suspected it might be and we are very glad we’ve kept to ourselves lately. What we were surprised by, however, was her low hemoglobin level at 7.2. This is the lowest that Tanner’s level has been since diagnosis. I told the doctor before we got counts that there was no way she needed a transfusion because her energy level was crazy. With a hemoglobin level of 7.2, she should have gotten a transfusion, but because she hasn’t been showing symptoms, we decided to wait and see if she recovers on her own or if she starts showing fatigue, blueness or shortness of breath.
I didn’t even notice how low her platelet level was until we got home and she had a little place on her head where she scratched herself. It was bleeding just a little and I put some Neosporin on it. Fifteen minutes later, I noticed it was still bleeding and I thought, “Uh oh.” I checked her platelet level and sure enough she had gone from more than 300 last week to only 58 this week. Yikes! A bandaid solved the problem, but it’s a little weird.
It remains to be seen whether her counts have bottomed out or whether they will come down yet some more. We go back in on Wednesday for counts to see if we can celebrate Thanksgiving with John’s family or if we need to stick to ourselves at home.
This afternoon, we had a surprise visit from Tanner’s friend, Lily, and her mom, Larisa. Lily is 8-years-old and, like Tanner, has ALL. They brought a video and a congratulations card; they know what a milestone it is to get to this point.
Tanner and I sat at the kitchen table and read post after post from Friends of Tanner and Tanner Time. She was so happy to hear from you all. In a way, I think it was the first time she began to understand that this day was a big deal.
After some crazy dancing to our new Roger Day CD, we heard Daddy come home. He brought pizza and a cake and we sat around the table eating pizza and laughing about our day. Then, John got a text message that said, “special delivery on the front porch.” OH MY GOSH!!! It was a party in a box! It was a huge box, decorated on the outside with a huge balloon bouquet, a beautiful flower arrangement, cards, party hats and blowers, a party mix CD, and best of all, a piñata!!! It was from two families who have been such rocks for us. These are the girls who just show up when you need them and who are so thoughtful I know I will never be able to repay them.
So, then the party was on! We ate cake and whacked the heck out of the piñata and let them eat candy after just having huge pieces of chocolate cake. It was a day without description. A day that cancer could not take from us. A day we lived without regard to what comes next. The perfect day.
Thank you all so much. You made a little girl and her family very happy today.