An Update from Robert James from the 9th floor at MSK

Hello everyone – a quick update from the 9th floor of MSK.

Day 5 of in-patient as the team monitors SJ’s white blood cell count.  She should start to stabilize shortly and then recover her white blood cells in the coming days.  For those of you that are curious, the chemo kills the white blood cells along with the cancer, and your body needs the white blood cells to fight infection but they can’t be replaced like red blood cells via transfusion. She receives a shot, that was actually developed here at MSK, that helps her bone marrow in the regenerative process, but it takes time.  We are prepared for another 5 or more days here though before she can switch back to out-patient.  We are all very excited to get back home!

I’m not not going to sugar coat it, her spirits are less than perky and the effects of chemo are very clearly emerging.  We are hoping to have a classmate from her school come visit today and drop off mail for her – seeing familiar kids works best.  Her brother Austin comes each day after school for a visit and those tend to be her happiest moments – we get some smiles and giggles. We have a fake can of peanuts with an exploding snake inside, which we are excited to try out on the daily rounds of nurses and doctors today.

The families and staff of  Buckley and Sacred Heart, have been nothing short of amazing ~~ parents picking up Austin for play dates, students offering to help tutor, daily food deliveries and, of course, more books on horses than we can possible ever read!   Jen and I are going to work with Austin’s school to be certain he does not feel left behind socially or academically.  His early reactions included jealously and anger but over the last 48 hours I’m seeing a much more sympathetic and understanding boy emerge already.

Thank you all for your notes, texts, gifts and well wishes.  I know a lot of you are trying to donate blood and platelets – Thank You.  A big thank you to the group who is kindly taking care of Scarlett’s nursing staff with breakfast and lunch.  They are so grateful.   We would like to see you all over the coming weeks and months, but there is no rush.  This is a marathon not a sprint and there will be plenty of time for much needed visits.

Love to everyone!

Robert James