Clinic Update

Mollie's oncology clinic visit was quick and almost painless. She was so pleased that Jackie just did a finger stick to get blood for counts.  She had second thoughts though after getting 20 drops of blood squeezed out of her finger.  Dr. J thinks she is looking good.  Perhaps she is getting a cold or virus because she looks a little "washed out" and has a palpable lymph node.  She does have a bit of a runny nose- hopefully it won't turn into anything.  Her counts are all within expected ranges:

  Hgb       12.5
WBC      4.6
ANC       2400
   Plt        174

She goes back in a month for regular follow up and will have an echo at that time to monitor her heart function.  She will need monitoring (probably every 3 years) for the rest of her life because she received cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan, an anthracycline) in 2008 during Delayed Intensification.  This drug can have cardio-toxic effects; the biggest concern with her heart would be during pregnancy because of increased cardiac demand. So we will just keep on top of the monitoring and make sure she is aware of the issue.

After her oncology appointment, we headed to Augusta for her surgery follow-up.  We had a long, mostly sleepless night in a local hotel, followed by a rough morning (teething baby & cranky 2-year old).  I just prayed that the appointment would go well... and it did!  Dr. Howell (or as Lucy says, Dr. Owl) was quite proud of his work, noting how Mollie's earrings looked perfectly even and her scar was quite nice.  He put new steri-strips over the scar; when they fall off, she's good to go.  And he didn't bill our insurance for the earrings- I don't want to know how much he would charge for that!  Quite a gift from Dr. Howell!

After that appointment, we headed over to MCG oncology clinic to visit with the staff.  We saw Tracey, Nikki, Beth, Pam, and Kate.  I was a bit emotional- I miss the familiarity of that clinic and the bonds we've made with all of Mollie's caregivers!  After a few minutes of visiting, Mollie started to get irritated and teary and wanted to leave right away.  I sensed there was something she wanted to tell me in private, so we quickly said our good-byes and walked down the hall.  When prodded, Mollie told me she was sad because she didn't get to see Ms. Kym.  I said, "Let's walk back and ask Ms.  Tracey if she knows where Kym is."  So we did, but she had not seen her.  Just as we were turning around to leave, Ms. Kym came walking down the hall!  It was a little miracle that lifted Mollie's spirit!  Kym gave the girls hugs, some winter craft projects, and a stealth mission for DisneyWorld.

After that, we stopped by my old lab to pick up some things from my desk (another emotional roller coaster) and then headed back home.  Finally!

Mollie seems worn out (she had Spanish club after school and then her class holiday performance tonight) so she might be staying home tomorrow to rest and recover a bit.  Don't want to overdo it!


On the agenda

Mollie loved this little, warm bookshop in Blowing Rock, NC
This week Mollie has TWO clinic appointments- her regular oncology follow up (for counts) at Levine and then her surgery follow up in Augusta.
She's growing into quite a young lady!

We got a bonus doctor visit yesterday; Lucy was begrudgingly holding my hand as we were walking through the store, angry because I wouldn't buy her a chocolate milk.  She did that "thing" that toddlers do- just kind of buckled her knees- and I jerked up on her arm so she wouldn't end up on the floor.  As I did that, I felt something give.  Lucy seemed fine for a few minutes and then started crying.  She was in real pain, holding her arm, and wouldn't use it.  Lucy has a high tolerance for pain, so off to the doctor we went to make sure it wasn't broken. They did a couple of X-rays and determined it was "probably" not broken, but Dr. T was concerned enough that he set us up to see the orthopedist today.  We think she may have had a dislocation at her elbow that was reduced when the X-ray techs manipulated her arm around.  Have I mentioned how great it is to have our doctor around the corner from our house?  We can walk there in 5 minutes!  And they have a lab and x-ray on site.  Since she's feeling better and using the arm, we don't have to follow- up.... woo hoo!

Liam, participating in his favorite activity:  eating hamburgers!

Story time with grandma (Momo), Blowing Rock, NC

Playing in the leaves at Reedy Creek Park
Speaking of places we can walk to in 5 minutes, we got our Christmas tree on Saturday.  There is a little tree lot set up at the park area behind our house, so we walked over, picked one out, and Matt carried it home!  We put it up Saturday evening and it looks great!  That might be the earliest we've ever had a tree.  Usually it is Dec 20 before we start thinking about it... and then we leave it up forever.  It is cold here, so we are spending a lot of time inside enjoying the tree!