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Monday, September 24, 2012

Sunday September 23rd, 2012-ER

So close to the end, but a little reminder that we are not quite there yet. This is a picture of Josh and Steve in the ER last night waiting for Ella's blood work to come back.

Ella has been coughing for the past week, and Saturday late morning, she took a nap. Then she ate and fell asleep next to her brother on the couch. If you have been keeping up with us you know that Ella NEVER NAPS!  So we went out for some fresh air, and came back to a temp of 101.7. It had been slowly creeping up all day, but hovered in the 99's. Then all the sudden- 101.1, 101.5, 101.7 within 30 minutes.  If you are a cancer mom you know that we live and die by this thing here:
Whenever there is a twinge of wonder in my mind about how she is feeling- I grab this thing. Got a cough? Go get the thermometer. More tired than usual? Go get the thermometer. Crankie? Go get the thermometer. Not hungry? Go get the...well, you get the picture. And for our family, one isn't enough.  I have two of these and usually can't find one of them when I need it. I also bring it to the hospital with me because she won't keep theirs under her tongue and she will be burning up and only have a temp of 98.9. Or last nights ER nurse check which was 99.3.

I don't like the ER. It never use to bother me but when the Doctor called and said do you want to get admitted or go to the ER, I said ADMIT US! Steve and Ella chose ER, so I was outnumbered. When we got there the staff parking lot was empty, but the patient lot was full, so Steve had to drop us off and go over to the main parking deck and catch up with us. It took him about 15 minutes to get back to the ER. When they called us back for triage, I told them I would need to go back out to get my husband and they said not to worry because we would be going back to the waiting room. I told her we would not because there was a possibility Ella was Neutropenic and it wasn't safe for her to sit out there. She ignored me. So I was getting REALLY warm fuzzies about how this was going to go. They gave us the option of sitting back in the waiting room or standing inside the entry door by the wheelchairs till they had a room for her. Maybe I'm just a freak, but seriously? Wait with your child inside the door by the wheelchairs where there is no place to sit until we call you? They had no place for any immune suppressed person to go except the front door. I was so very temped to walk right out that door! I waited patiently, holding by burning hot kid for 5 minutes, then I messaged my doctor..  After that I told Steve 5 minutes and we were going to admitting. It was only under Ella's protest that I stayed. She did not want to have to spend the night under any circumstances.

Once we got called back, things ran much smoother.  For the first time Ella was accessed smoothly in the ER. The entire time we were waiting for her to be accessed Ella kept repeating "Momma I'm scared." I was so very grateful it went well, and she fell right back asleep as soon as they were done. They also re-took her temp and it was 101.4.  Her counts were good so they gave her the usual 'Just in case" antibiotic and we were home a little after midnight.  Ella slept until 9am this morning.  Her temperature is at 99.3 so we do not need to go back to the hospital unless it hits 101 again. Fingers crossed!
Part of our crazy support team.

Now after all this is done, is when I, Katie, start to lose it.  The enormity of watching my family sit in that little ER room, everyone sleeping and waiting together, it is overwhelming- but in a good way.  I was watching them and realizing how much this cancer thing impacts our entire family and how very blessed we are that we are in it together. All present, all working together and waiting together to help Ella heal and move forward as a family.  So many times people have said "I don't know how you do it." Well, I do. We do it because we are truly a team. We love together, work together and support each other. And it is not just the 4 of us. It is grandparents, neighbors, friends, and family.  As soon as I put out word the we were on our way to the ER, our support team kicked in with prayers, requests to help out and just "Thinking about Ella" wishes. If we didn't have this "Team", we wouldn't have made it this far in one piece.  I have read blogs from other parents whose marriages have failed when faced with this stress. From the start Steve and I said we would make sure that we would continue to watch over and care for our own relationship during this journey, and I am glad we made that commitment to each other.  Don't get me wrong,  last night when I threatened to walk out of the ER, he looked at me like I was a crazy woman, but he would have been right behind me. I know he's got my back on sane days and crazy days. I love you Steve.
Team Van Gheem 2011
Today Ella and I are singing:

Ella just asked me to put this one on her MP3 player. I think we will!
If anything changes I will keep you updated, but for today I think we will listen to some music shake our booties a little and chill out.

Thank you Team Van Gheem!

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