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Canine Pepto-Bismol, that’s all I got to say

I may never be able to use the phrase “crappy day” ever again. In fact, I think that it’s possible that I’ve NEVER had a day as crappy as Tuesday started out.

At 5 AM I was awakened by an extremely put out Rachael. “Peyton pooped on the floor by my bed!”

Really? You think so? I looked over and there’s Peyton, snuggly and cuddly in bed with me, wearing a pull-up no less. She would no more get up in the middle of the night to walk down the hall, and drop a load on the floor of her own bedroom than I would feel the sudden need to get up in the night and rush out to unload the dishwasher…NOT going to happen.

But then Rachael tells me, “I STEPPED in it!”

Well, that can’t be good.

And now I can smell it….and it makes me wretch a little. I get up, get no further than the end of my bed than I can see what has happened. The dog has gotten sick in the night…she’s had an attack of diarrhea and instead of picking one particular spot to have her horrific bout of sickness, she decided to go on the grand tour of the house. It was in every room of the house, in wide-sweeping puddles, on the walls, it was everywhere. It was in the kitchen, she even made it into both bathrooms, and unloaded a major deposit in the garage where Nathaniel has his legos set up to play. I’ll give her this, she’s thorough.

I spent the better part of 90 minutes cleaning, bleaching and sanitizing the house. About 89 minutes of that was spent cursing the dog under my breath. Not in gentle mommy euphemisms either, no it was full-blown sailor time for this kind of situation. I made up new curses, it was impressive. Thankfully my kids didn’t pick up any of them.

After that, my previously indoor dog became an outdoor dog. She’s really not happy about it, but I don’t really care at this point. I went today and picked her up a new bed (vile is too lenient a word for what hers was), new bowls for food and water and a whole different food for “sensitive stomachs”. But outside she stays.

Truly, once you’ve gotten through that experience, the rest of the day is just a piece of cake. Peyton and I dropped the older two kids off to school, she and I hit the road for Little Tales at the Children’s Cancer Center and after that we had to head to her clinic for a finger poke. She was so excited about the finger poke! “That doesn’t even hurt, I’m so glad I get a pokey today and not my port.” Crazy, huh?? I can’t complain.

Her counts were good:

Hemoglobin 11.5 (good)
Platelets 198 (great)
WBC 1.8 (low)
ANC 800 (low)

Her ANC took quite a dip from two weeks ago. She was at 2400 and they increased her chemo doses on her nightly 6MP med and it really showed up in the counts this week. I hope that from here it starts to rise because this is low but anything under 500 puts her at high risk for infection.

Overall, she’s doing great. She’s developing a cough that is making sleep a little hard, I gave her a little dose of Benadryl last night to help her sleep. The last couple of evenings, she’s been warm, not feverish by the “call the oncology group now” standard, but elevated enough that I take her temp and she’s coasted just under the 100 degree mark several times. We have friends with all sorts of pneumonia and upper respiratory issues right now, and unfortunately, her counts were steadily falling when we were with them last, so I worry that she may be in the process of building up a good sick. We haven’t been in the hospital for fevers since August, so I feel pretty lucky about that.

Because of her lower counts and the potential for fever, I had to tell Nathaniel that I couldn’t go on his big field trip with him this Friday. The field trip is to St. Augustine, we were planning to go over Thursday afternoon, ditch the girls with Grandma, spend the night over there just the two of us and have some mommy-and-me fun before we met up with his class on Friday morning. These is one of the big things that stinks about having a sibling with cancer. She looks good, she plays hard, she isn’t SICK per se. But yet, her health needs supercede every other plan. If she has a fever, everything else has to go on hold, if she doesn’t feel well, we don’t take her out, we all have to be gentle and patient when she’s having her steroid issues….even when I’d be taking kids out with a whiffle ball bat if anyone else acted like that in my house. It’s unfair and the kids have every right to be angry and put out that they always seem to come in second place when it comes to her not being WELL. I hurt for him because he’s so disappointed, I am too.

We did come up with a good solution that is helping smooth it over. Grandma is going to go with him on Friday and spend the day with him during the field trip. It’s not mom, but he will have someone there with him the whole day. He’ll still have a good time and I love him more because he’s the one that comes to me and says, “It’s ok, mom, there will be other field trips.”

I’m working up a good case of the nervous queasies. Tomorrow is the Breakfast of Hope for the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. A video that I’ve been working on will shown at the beginning of the breakfast, I’ll post it up on youtube when the breakfast is over to share with you. And I have to give a speech. Those of you that know me know that I like to talk….no comment, sister of mine!….and those of you who don’t know me personally, have probably guessed that I like to talk. I don’t however like to talk up on a stage in front of people. I’m so not that person! I say UMMMM a lot, I lose my place in my speech, I get that weird rapid eye twitchy thing going on…I probably should have warned the PCF people about that before I agreed.

So, I have my speech prepared…it’s pretty good, I think. I’ve been practicing and practicing and the children think I need to be medicated because they think I talk to myself. Great, dad left us with this crazy person!!!

But I am excited for this opportunity to tell a little of our story to people with the kinds of deep pockets that could make research projects HAPPPEN! I get to stand up and be a parent that represents all the other parents who feel voiceless and helpless…no pressure there I guess. I also want for my kids to know that when I feel strongly about something, when I passionately know that it is the RIGHT thing, I don’t let a little thing like a paralyzing fear of public speaking get in my way of doing what I can to make things happen.

Please say a prayer for me that I don’t completely flub tomorrow. That God grants me the voice to be strong and compelling and that the event is able to reach through the walls people build to protect themselves and really touches people.

f.r.o.G….fully relying on God

4 Comments on “Canine Pepto-Bismol, that’s all I got to say”

  1. #1 Jennifer
    on Feb 6th, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I feel for both you and Nathaniel. There have been so many times when Kate has had a seizure and Frederick has had to miss out on something or has had to go alone instead of me being there with him. Fortunately, I really think that as long as those times aren't the overwhelming majority, kids tend to remember the times you WERE there. He'll be okay and you'll be okay but I know those words don't feel comforting now.

    You, my dear, will do FINE at the breakfast! If anyone can do it, it is definitely YOU!!!

    Thanks for checking on on my blog and letting me know you visited! I love that!


  2. #2 alayna
    on Feb 7th, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Praying for you today that all goes well – I know you will do great! You had me laughing at the dog story and crying for Nathaniel – I know you'll do the same for the people today! Hang in there and let us know how it goes!

  3. #3 Dawn
    on Feb 7th, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    Firstly let me say I'm SO glad that we don't have a dog! My husband and boys have been wanting to get one since last summer. As I work most days now I've managed to persuade them so far that it wouldn't be fair on the dog. But I think I'm starting to lose this battle – they're working out routines for who would take it out when etc. Yeah, like the kids will stick to this once the novelty wears off! Anyway I'm going to show them this post and see if it puts them off for a while longer!!

    I hope today went well – I'm sure you did a brilliant job. I totally empathise with you about making a speech. I've only ever had to do it once and I'd literally run a mile with my legs tied together before I'd do it again. So all power to you for getting up and having a go. I hope you managed to get your voice across to the people with deep pockets and long arms! Let us know how it went.


  4. #4 ooopinionsss
    on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!