When we got to the ER, I told them that she has ALL and that she has a fever, and they brought her right back to a room where they would check her out. I suppose that is one bonus of being a leukemia patient... absolutely no ER waits! Anyway, we got back to the room and they put a blood oxygen monitor on her toe, which showed us that her percentage was in the 70's (should be higher than 80%) so they stuck an oxygen tube on her face and into her nose. She did NOT like that at all! It took her a good 2 hours to get used to it! They also did a quick blood draw from her port and did a nasal swab to test for a variety of diseases, which she didn't like at all either.
|Molly just got the oxygen tube put in. No likey.|
After about 1 hour waiting in the ER exam room, the resident doctor came in and told me that since Molly had signs of an infectious disease she would be admitted and we'd be taken up to the Immuno-Compromised Services section (ICS - same place we stayed our first week of diagnoses). So I grabbed our coats and Molly's medication bag and we were taken to get a chest x-ray first and then up to ICS and put in a room that had a very good view of the valley. After about an half-hour in the room, the ICS resident came in and told me that Molly's nasal swab showed that she has indeed contracted RSV. She said that her labs showed that she isn't neutropenic (low white blood cells; causing very low ability to fight disease) so that was a good thing, but we'd be staying here for at least until the fever breaks. I asked her how long that would be and she said that most RSV patients start getting better around the 5th day after first showing signs of RSV, which was this day.
|Here's the view from our room. I'm definitely asking for this side of the ICS if we ever have to stay here again.|
The next day, Wednesday, Molly's fever was still in the 102 degree range, her heart rate was in the 150's, she was still on oxygen, her respiratory rate was in the 50's, and her blood pressure was high as well. We put her on an acetaminophen and ibuprofen regimen to keep the fever down. Only the ibuprofen worked, but we could only give that every 6 hours, so we gave acetaminophen at the 3 hour mark in between ibuprofen doses.
Daddy was at home with Big Sis and they both developed stomach aches and diarrhea overnight, so Daddy decided to stay home from work. I had Grandpa Dean stop by and pick up my phone charger and a few other very essential items (my laptop for one, haha!) and drive them down here. The doctors here came in and confirmed that she had RSV and said that the chest x-ray from yesterday showed some splotches, so they suspect she's also got pneumonia and will be doing further tests for that. They put her on an antibiotic and also took a stool sample to see why she suddenly developed diarrhea.
|Gotta try to be happy!|
|Molly's Tree of Life|
Since I was still wearing the same clothes I had arrived here in, I asked for some baby-sitters from my family to come down and sit with Molly while I went home to pack some more clothes and essentials, shower, and make sure the cat was OK. I also talked to my mom about some research I had done here on aromatherapy and she sent down her diffuser and some eucalyptus oil. I had to get permission from the doctors here to use it, and the Integrative Medicine Specialist said I could, but only during very specific times so as not to irritate the other patients here. The specific times were 3-5am and 3-5pm.
I went home to take care of things, and after 4 hours or so, I got back to the hospital and relieved Uncles Ethan and DJ from their duties, organized the hospital room, and tried to start making things comfortable since it was looking like we'd be here at least until Saturday.
Daddy called me again around 8pm and said that he is still in so much pain that he is going to go to a different ER and see what they have to say. About an hour later, I was told that they were going down to McKay Dee hospital so they could do an emergency surgery on his abdomen. I didn't get many details past that, so all night I was worried that I wasn't going to see Daddy again. Molly also had a pretty rough night because of the fever and the fluids she was getting, and all the medications we had to wake her up for. I think it was very surprising that I was keeping my cool this whole time.
Friday morning, Molly's vitals were still the same as they had been, she was getting all the same med's they gave her yesterday, and I was so very tired from the lack of sleep. I found out early in the morning that Daddy was out of surgery and was recovering well. It turns out that he had an organ of sorts connected to his small intestine that a very small percentage of people have as adults called Meckel's Diverticulum. Apparently this thing is something all babies are born with, but it usually disappears soon after birth. His diverticulum was very inflamed and had to be removed. He said that he will be staying at Mckay Dee at least until Sunday.
That afternoon went just the same as it had been all week, and the fellow oncologist that we usually see in the clinic came to see us and explain that we will in fact be delaying the next phase of chemo for 1 week. So that means that she'll be starting the next phase on January 30th.
Saturday was still just like the other days. We did another CAT scan, and later Grandpa Wayne came over so I could visit Daddy in the other hospital, and so I could go see Big Sis and see how she was doing as well. The cat also got some attention.
That night I had a little break-down and maybe scared the nurse a bit. I was crying about how I was worried that Molly wasn't getting any better and we were just making her worse with all the antibiotics and other medications we were forcing into her system. I know why I was so emotional though... I track my menstrual cycle and hormones very closely and this was one of the days I predicted would be a low-hormone day, which would make me depressed and tired for a couple days. I hope the nurses here don't think I'm a nut.
Sunday, yet again all vital signs were elevated. Daddy was discharged from the hospital in the early afternoon. I should mention what activity Molly has chosen to keep herself occupied during the day... Princess Merida in the movie Brave. I'd say we watch that movie probably 4 or 5 times a day here. She even has the verse that the witch says will break the spell on the queen memorized. So do I. "Fate be changed. Look inside. Mend the bonds torn by pride." Tada! Oh, and I officially want the Brave soundtrack. I'm hooked on that music.
The resident doctor here came in that afternoon and said that the newest CAT scan definitely showed that Molly has pneumonia, and I asked for her best guess on how long we could be here. She said that patients with leukemia usually stay for up to two weeks. So that's what I am expecting now... a very long hospital stay with nearly nothing productive in our normal life getting done. At least I have my laptop!
Sunday night was the first night that we were able to keep Molly's temperature down long enough for her to sleep 4 hours at a time. We still had to wake her for medications and to check her blood pressure at midnight and 4am, but I'd say both she and I got very good rest that night!
|Feeling a little better!|
I talked to my mom about another essential oil that could help Molly get better, and she also gave me a homeopathic remedy to give her once or twice. The Integrative Medicine Specialist gave me information on how these additional treatments could help, and also how they could hurt. Armed with this information, I decided to go ahead and use the remedy and essential oils. Also, the Infectious Disease doctors came in and told me that in addition to RSV, they found that she additionally had Coronavirus. So that brings the total illnesses to four. Fun stuff. But she's finally getting better!
Today, Tuesday, Molly is looking very well! Her temperature has been normal for more than 24 hours now. Her heart rate and respiratory rate are very close to normal. She did have to go back on oxygen overnight last night, but she's back off it now that she's awake. The resident doctor came in and told me that Molly is looking very good, and she expects we'll be able to be discharged in a couple days! That is by far much better than 2 weeks! So, all we have to do is get Molly to the point where she can go overnight without oxygen, and she needs to get her appetite back again. She hasn't eaten anything yet, and I keep trying to get her to drink PediaSure, but she still needs the nutritional fluids through her IV port. The oncologist says that we'll probably still start her on the next chemo phase (Interim Maintenance I) tomorrow, but we'll likely delay the methotrexate portion of it 1 week just because of Molly's recent illnesses.
Well, that's that. You'll get another update probably in a week or two, after we've had another clinic visit and chemo treatment. Thanks for reading!
If you're wondering about how to donate to the Molly fund (we found out our deductible was misleading and we actually have to pay almost $12,000 per year before the insurance covers anything), we have this nice little yellow-orange button at the top-right of this blog page under Molly's picture that says "Donate." We really really really appreciate everything that has been donated so far, and the time given by several people taking care of a few things for us.
Please comment if you have anything to say or if you have any additional questions about the post above you would like answered