Maintenance is a Misnomer
Scarlett was admitted yesterday to MSK. She woke up in the morning with a fever, abdominal pain, nausea and malaise. Upon arrival to MSK, the doctors ordered a CT Scan of her belly. While the CT Scan showed nothing unusual in her belly, the scan captured the bottom part of her lungs which showed something amiss. We returned to the 2nd floor for a CT Scan of her lungs. The full scan of her lungs showed a cloudy mist over both lungs which is some sort of bacterial infection or possibly pneumonia. This morning, Scarlett had a Bronchoalveolar Lavage (BAL) procedure to determine what is going on in her lungs. The doctors put her to sleep and inserted a tube down her throat. The doctor did not see any foreign bodies so it’s really up to the laboratory to analyze the fluid that he extracted from both the left and right lung. At this point, we know she has MRSA in her finger but we don’t know what is in her lungs, what caused the lesions on her lips or the rash on her body. Scarlett’s team is working along side the infectious disease team. They are running numerous tests on her blood, urine and heart. Because she will ultimately need IV antibiotics and because her arms are beginning to look like bruised pin cushions, the surgeon inserted a temporary picc line where the old scar was and it’s working perfectly. It feels like a step backward but it’s the right thing to do. She only has so many veins and it’s very scary and painful to be poked and prodded all day.
Finally, Scarlett was neutropenic and was given the GCSF shot which we all know by now is very unpleasant but also very helpful. She was also low on red blood cells so she received a red blood transfusion after surgery. Although Scarlett’s scan show a significant infection, she is actually looking pretty good. The last two days have been very trying with lots of tears and scary moments but we have also had a few laughs. We have enjoyed catching up with Nancy, Mary Eliza and Meghan who are the in-patient nurses who took such amazing care of Scarlett last year. Scarlett has impressed them all with her pill taking abilities and her pain tolerance. Oh, how far she has come! My love for my daughter and the bond that we share continues to grow as we continue this journey to a life that is cancer free!
We were planning on going to see the new movie Inside Out tomorrow. That plan is delayed but we have talked about all of the emotions we feel at the hospital. She felt JOY when the Big Apple Circus Clowns came to entertain her before surgery. She felt SADNESS when she woke up from her nap to learn the her cousin Katie had come to visit her and she had slept through it! She felt ANGER when the doctor told her she needed a G-Shot. She felt FEAR when the doctor told her that I could not go into the operating room with her. She did not feel DISGUST today!
Scarlett’s strength and resilience continue to inspire me. When I read the following quote, I thought of Scarlett. (Note that I changed the pronoun to “her”)
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within her, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against her, within her, there’s something stronger—something better, pushing right back.”
We aren’t exactly sure what we are up against in this current fight but I am confident that her team will figure it out. We’ll get her better and then bring on summer 2015!