Just a Quick Note

As Thanksgiving approaches so do Catie’s next round of tests. All of this combined with a visit from everyone from home and Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and cousins can make any healthy person exhausted. Top that off with the fact that you have cancer and are in the midst of chemotherapy and you get a glimpse of the pressure and balance that Catie deals with every day as a seven year old. She wants to see everyone. She may even want to eat Thanksgiving dinner – she loves mashed potatoes and green beans. Will her counts be high enough? One day at a time…I am usually running full speed ahead six months in advance and I am the one with Catie. I am constantly telling her one moment at a time.. First, lets get through today.

Today was Saturday. Catie and I had a great day. We spent the morning at the hospital waiting. I have a bag packed to keep two people fed and entertained for at least twelve hours. We didn’t even need it. Catie’s weight is up and so is her appetite. She is eating 1600 calories each day – or at least each day this week. She is branching out and trying different foods. Catie has not gotten sick to her stomach in two days!! Saving the best for last, Catie’s counts have begun to rise. Today Catie’s ANC was 400! In Round 1 it was Tuesday before Catie’s count was that high.

Earlier this week Catie was also struggling and hiding food that she didn’t want to finish. One day as I gently helped her into the car I found her stockpile of unfinished food (if mold is growing on a cheese stick hidden under a car seat and penicillin is made from mold, is this helping her fight off infection???) OK, so it was only a bite of cheese and 1/2 of a cracker, a graham stick and a troche (part of her mouth care medication). What does it mean? What is Catie trying to tell me? Is it simply that she is 7 and is tried of always eating and taking medicine? Is it something else? Is there more hidden food? What am I to do? Pray for all of us as we deal with this. Holy Spirit guide us so that we encourage and don’t upset. Help us to enlighten and not frighten. This medicine and food is so essential to Catie staying healthy. I now sit and patiently watch as Catie eats every bite and takes every pill. A sandwich can take an hour to eat. Just like in life outside the wall of St. Jude’s, we take one step forward and two steps back.

The hiding of food and medicine was the two steps back. This morning’s results were the step forward. Let’s keep Catie healthy and those counts will continue to rise and everyone will come and Catie will be able to enjoy a long Thanksgiving week with her family. Life goes on and so do all of Catie’s triumphs and struggles. This round the medicine is affecting her left leg and her right leg has not fully recovered from Round 1. God knows what He is doing!

As you all prepare for the meal that you are having or the traveling that you are beginning know that our week together would not be possible for us without all of your love, prayers and support. Thank you for bringing my family to me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to hug each of my precious children on Thanksgiving. Pray for Catie’s MRI on Tuesday – everyone will be here for that too. We will let you know the results as soon as we know them or once all the kids are in bed on Tuesday night.

God Bless from St. Jude’s,


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