This post is #169 in a year-long series ... Through this series of posts I plan to share our family's experiences during our 17-year-old daughter's year-long battle with brain cancer, which began in February of 2008. My desire is to process through the events of that year from the perspective that a decade of time has brought ... for myself, really. But if you'd like to follow along, you're welcome to join me.
February 3, 2009
It may sound strange to say that even though Hannah had been battling brain cancer for nearly a year, she really hadn't been "sick" very much. Yes, she dealt with ongoing headaches, nausea, low platelets, and fatigue, but for the most part, she had been able to cope with these things and still live her life. Her only hospitalizations, other than her initial surgery, had been for fevers that spiked up when she was neutropenic. And during those hospitalizations, we would watch movies or TV shows together (one time we watched the entire Facts of Life series), and she took advantage of the opportunity to order chicken strips and macaroni & cheese from the ACH room service menu any time she wanted them. Sure, we would rather be home, but we always managed to have some fun together during our hospital stays.
This hospitalization was different. This time she was sick. Her lungs were full, and she was too weak to cough productively. She was severely anemic, and too fatigued to do much of anything but sleep. Blood products were transfused in an effort to alleviate the anemia and fatigue, and her doctors wanted to try some treatments to see if they could help improve her lung function. Other than that, there wasn't much they could do for her.
In spite of everything, her faith did not waver, and she continued to greet her doctors and nurses with a smile no matter how bad she felt. She still didn't complain or question why this was happening to her. I was so proud of my girl.
My email from ten years ago today ...
Well, we are spending another night in the hospital. Hannah has had a few albuterol breathing treatments today, and they are going to do a couple of different kinds of treatments tonight. One involves wearing a vest which will squeeze her lungs, and the other is a CPAP type breathing machine that she will use overnight. She received two units of blood today and a unit of platelets ... her red blood counts had dropped pretty dramatically just since yesterday ... apparently a side effect of the chemo. She has slept away most of our stay this time, so hopefully this infusion of blood will help with her energy level. They tell us we will probably go home sometime tomorrow.
Bethany has developed a pretty severe cold...a strep test was negative, but the doctor put her on an antibiotic just to make sure, since Hannah's immunity is so low. Please pray that she recovers quickly and that none of the rest of us get it, especially Hannah. Your prayers continue to carry us along day by day, and we thank you for that.
"The goodness of God endureth continually." Psalm 52:1
Jill and Brad