It finally happened - I ended up with an infection while my counts were low :-(
I woke up on Friday feeling REALLY crappy, with a little bit of a high temperature (99.4). I went to a piano lesson, and then spent the rest of the day on the couch with the hope that my temp would stay below a fever (100.5), but, alas, by 11 pm I'd hit around 101. I wanted to wait until the morning to go in, but my mom packed me up and her & Andrew took me into the emergency room. By the time we got there, my fever had reached almost 102. They hooked me up to a bunch of machines to keep track of my pulse & blood pressure, but the machines kept going off because my pulse was so high (over 130!!!) because of my fever... We talked to a bunch of different doctors, and they FINALLY admitted me onto the Hem/Onc floor around 6 am - we'd let Andrew go home around 3 or 4 (spending the night in the emergency room is the worst thing ever. My mom and I basically didn't sleep for 24 hours, which is especially crappy when you're sick or your kid is sick)
I was really, really upset to have to spend the night in the hospital - I'd gone my entire 6 months of treatment without having to spend a single night, and as soon as I was finished I had to be admitted.
Tom Jaworek was in hospital at the same time, but he'd already been in a lot longer - he'd been admitted about a week ago, also for an infection (but I'm pretty sure his was a lot worse) and is staying until this weekend getting his chemo - he'll be done before Christmas, and I think both of our families will be relieved when we're both finished with everything!
I had hoped that somehow my doctors might let me go home in the morning, but when they came in for rounds on Saturday morning, they told me that I had to stay in for at least 48 hours until my blood cultures came back negative for blood infections. They also wanted me to stay in until my counts started going back up, because even though I'd started recovering from my last round of chemo, the infection had knocked my counts back to neutropenia (very low).
Saturday, Andrew came back to relieve my mom so she could go home and sleep, but later in the evening, my mom brought Brian by to visit, along with some movies. We had a little movie night and ate some DELICIOUS roast beef that my dad had made in the crock pot (my dad couldn't visit because he had a cough). Saturday night, I stayed by myself, but I called Tom in his room and we talked for awhile. We weren't allowed to visit with each other because we had both been admitted for infections (if we'd been in for chemo or something, we would have been allowed to visit with each other, but since we'd both been sick, they didn't want us passing anything back & forth)
Sunday, my mom came back a little after 9 so she could be there for rounds, and my doctors told me that I could go home at the 48 hour mark - which would be around 1 am, but they would let me go home since we live so close to the hospital. That afternoon, my mom went home for a little bit and I did some studying and read a bunch of magazines that she bought me. When she came back before dinner, we went down to the gift shop and to get some coffee so I could get out of my room and walking around a little bit (there's not much space to walk around in the rooms). We wanted to invite Tom, but his light was off so we thought he was sleeping - later on we found out that he always keeps his light off, so I felt a little bad since he has to spend a lot of time alone in the hospital since his sisters are away at college & both of his parents work.
After my bloodwork came back, my nurse came in to tell me that she'd talked to the on-call doctor, and they were letting me leave a little early - I could be released at midnight instead of waiting until 1 am (since my fever had been gone since early Saturday morning, they were figuring I didn't have any blood infections) - I was SO happy!
My mom took a couple pictures on our adventure down to the gift shop & cafeteria:
Apparently, there are a lot of irresponsible/semi-unfit parents at Children's. So many, in fact, that they post signs around declaring that Children's Hospital is a "no-hitting zone." At first, I thought this meant that kids weren't supposed to hit doctors & nurses during procedures, but when I read the sign more closely, I found out that it's actually telling parents not to hit their sick kids... In retrospect, I probably shouldn't be smiling so much about that...
This Santa is really creepy - it sings REALLY, REALLY loud. If I were a kid, I'd be scared of it. Actually - I was scared of it. I went up close to take a look, and it started singing, and I SCREAMED! I screamed so loud that a guy walking by started cracking up... Notice the lovely pole with IV antibiotics and fluids that I had to drag around with me everywhere... Very stylish...
In better news, I talked to my nurse today and they're so confident that I'll have clean scans that they've already scheduled my port-removal. I'll be de-ported (haha) on December 21st at 2:15 pm. I'll be done with EVERYTHING before Christmas!!! I can't believe it! I'm so excited to be done with all of this nonsense before the new year. By the time I go back to school, I should be all healed and it'll be all behind me!
Lots of Love,