Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Luxury of Peace and Quiet

After a long but productive work week, I joined Dori at the cancer clinic Friday afternoon for our meeting about "the plan."

Unfortunately, Dori's counts were a little off (higher white blood cell, slightly lower platelets and red blood cell), so that has put us in a bit of limbo. Her doctor decided Friday to adjust some meds that may have caused the count ambiguities. We return Tuesday to see where her counts stand. If they are in the right ballpark, she might be scheduled for consolidation chemo in two weeks and then a reduced intensity transplant in late October or early November.

My hope late Friday was for a weekend of peace and relaxation. The complete opposite happened. Saturday morning, Will and I rode our bikes nine miles through beautiful farmland. It was great, but my phone rang twice toward the end. Kathryn didn't feel well, Dori said. She was getting sick often.

I arrived home, thinking our girl had a stomach virus. She was in rough shape for hours and spent most of the afternoon in the bathroom. Behind our house, some neighbors who have been partying like frat boys all summer finally went over the top ... their music and chatter was supersonic. I called the police, and encouraged other neighbors to join me. Perturbed, I needed a siesta, so Dori told me to get back on the bike. I rode another 12 very hilly miles. When I returned home, the neighbor's noise had abated but another task remained. Kathryn felt worse.

At 5 p.m., I took Kathryn to the emergency room at Vanderbilt's Children's Hospital. The waiting room was chaos, with one baby raging for 90 minutes straight while we waited. After a two-hour wait, they put us in a room near the raging baby, of course.

During the constant screaming, I processed what could be wrong with Kathryn. Appendicitis? Girl issues? A bad virus? Her counts showed an elevated white blood cell count, and you can imagine I needed a doctor NOW to tell me her other counts were ok. He arrived, and said they were. Whatever the diagnosis would be, I could now deal.

My sister brought me dinner and a bagel for Kathryn, once they cleared her to eat. The raging baby stayed at it most of the night. I told myself over and over bad things always end, and this would, too.

They never figured out for sure what was wrong with Kathryn. She was so dehydrated she needed four IV bags of fluid. An ultrasound showed a possible cist on her ovary that may have ruptured. We left the hospital at 3:15 in the morning, a 10-hour stay. We didn't sleep at all, and I spent today napping and feeling out of sorts. I still feel way off, as if severely jet lagged. Kathryn feels better, just very sore and exhausted like me.

I needed some good news today. Late today, as I slept and recovered, Will ran his first cross-country meet of the year. My Mom and sister cheered him as he ran his personal best, a 6:45 mile, and posted his best finish, 13th place, while competing against older kids in the 6th grade level. After the summer he's endured, it was nice to see his smile tonight, which helped me tremendously.

At some point, I will find much needed peace and quiet. For now, that is not my life. This weekend's positive? My family may be down a bit and on edge a fair amount, but we are intact.


Julie said...

Joel and I missed Kathryn at cross country and hate to hear that she's had such a rough weekend. We cheered loudly for Will though and he did have a great run. Hoping Kathryn continues to feel better.

Ann said...

Jim, I know you all will persevere. Kudos to Will for such a great performance! I hope Kathryn continues to feel better and that you and Dori are able to get some rest.