Aug 24, 2009
Miss Kalista's immunity levels are at a point where she basically has no immunity. I am leaving for Kansas City tonight to take care of her for a few days. Mikki is back in dental hygienist school retaking the previous year .. as she only had a month to go when Kalista was diagnosed and no arrangements could be worked out with the school and her only place was at her daughter's side.
Will be accessing the computer from Kansas City .. and have much to share with you ..
And, we have checked with all the Infectious Disease doctors and Cancer doctors to make sure I am in no way contagious to Kalista .. and am not because the infection is inside of me and there are no openings to the outside. Even with openings to the outside, should one arise, as long as it is covered and good handwashing techniques are in place, all is fine.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 21, 2009 - FROM KALISTA'S DAD
Kalista had a good personal day at treatment, was one of the quickest visits we have had at length of 2 hour less drive time. She received her three types of chemo and rested comfortably on her daddy's lap almost asleep the whole time. The bad news of the day was her counts. Her hemo was at a 9, although lower than the 12 we would like this is doable. Her white count is down to 30,000 which is well below the 75,000 count threshold we need to maintain for any type of surgery and if it continues to drop will require another transfusion. The greatest concern is her ANC (immunity) count it was down to 175 a normal count is 4,000 and for her above 750 is what we need to maintain. At this level she or anyone is very susceptible to everything and has nothing to fight it off with.
She is back on steriods starting today for another week which is good for her eating and putting some needed weight back on. However it really brings out cravings and wants that can be hard to fulfill because soon as you have what she wanted in front of her she will want something else....guess some of that could also be that is is a girl. (OK just a little male humor)
The great thing with Kalista is that she may wear down some physically but by God she has one of the strongest mental strengths I have ever seen. In lite of everything she has a warm heart and does not let this get her down, she is full of love, life and laughter.
She also is very happy to receive the cards, stickers and warm wishes in the mail she has me read them over and over to her, so thank you for those and to everyone for the support in prayer.
MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2009 - FROM KALISTA'S MOM (My daughter)
We are officially off and running in the delayed intensification phase of treatment and Kalista did amazingly well with everything that had to be done to her. In order to begin this phase her counts had to be good which is 750 or above for her ANC (immunity count), she was at 820 so she just snuck in there.
Next, she had to endure another lumbar puncture which previously have come with some side effect or complication. This one went wonderfully, she didn't fight the anesthesia to go under and when she woke up instead of being on an uncontrollable rampage she was happy and giggly. Part of the lumbar puncture includes putting in a form of chemotherapy directly into her spine, so that was done in addition to putting a second form of chemotherapy through the port in her chest. She's also going back onto the ever wonderful steroids...oh boy here comes the eating machine! She will be on them for a week and then off for a week so hopefully the hunger won't be as heightened and the weight gain so uncontrollable. Down the road in this phase will be more/different medications and home injections but for now just the steroids have been added.
Kalista's hair is ever thinning, but she still has an amazing amount of hair for the amount of chemotherapy her lil' body has endured. This above all makes her very happy, she loves long hair and becomes quite upset and sad when she sees it coming out in the comb.
She is also struggling to maintain her weight which the nutritionist is hoping the steroids will help with. Apparently chemotherapy makes the way foods taste change and in addition to that the nausea and low levels of the bodies natural appetite stimulator's are knocked down so low their appetite is virtually nonexistent. She is currently down over 2 1/2 lbs from her diagnosis weight of which she has always been a very tiny girl and on the low end of the growth chart as it was. So a bit of a weight gain form the steroids will definitely be welcomed at this point.
Through all of this the level of understanding she has of what is happening to her and the compassion she feels for others above her own pain is so inspiring to me. Today as we were driving to the hospital to get another PEG shot (the cancer antibiotic shot she gets) she thought of a very good friend of hers who she'd heard was not feeling well last night. She asked me if her friend was sick like she was with bugs in his blood. I assured her no he was not sick like that just had an upset tummy. I could hear the relief in her lil' voice when she said oh good, I don't want him to be sick like me with bugs in his blood! Blew me away!! What an understanding she has of how horrible this disease is and how precious that she shows so much concern and compassion about the well being of those she cares so much for in the midst of her own pain. She is truly a blessing and I will say it again, I draw my strength through all of this by simply watching her in complete amazement!!