Brinley went to get her chemo today. She is getting used to the routine and actually enjoys clinic sometimes. Today they were giving away bags that were donated by someone for the cancer patients. I wondered who had put it together, and I wished I could have sent them a picture of how much she loved it. I remembered doing all those service projects with the church and not being able to put a face on who would be receiving it, and there we were on the receiving end, watching my daughter's face light up to see the toys in the hand colored canvas bag. That was the face they would not get to see, but did the service anyway. It was touching, and this time, I wanted to see the face on the other end, the person who sat and colored a bag for my daughter and stuffed it with goodies to make her day a little brighter.

We had to wait for quite a while today for the chemo because the NP forgot to order it from the pharmacy, (grrr) and they were very busy. So we sat, and sat, and sat, until over an hour had gone by. It had already been an hour of waiting to see the doctor, so it was a little frustrating. The nurse finally brought it and that was that. They want to check her counts again on Monday because they were still concerned about her red blood count and a possible transfusion, so we'll check Monday, then Wednesday, and then Thursday will be next chemo day. I was concerned about her eyes, they are still red and puffy, the onc said it's possible with her ANC so low, the bacteria that gets in her eyes is irritating them with nothing to fight it off. If it gets worse, or gunk starts coming out of them, we need to call. They also made me nervous because the NP noticed she was walking with her foot turned in, which I had not really noticed. I knew she was walking different, I just figured with her just starting to walk again, it would take a little time to look normal. But the NP said that the vincristine can cause the kids to walk that way long term, and she seemed concerned. Now that she said that, I notice it every time she walks. I am very nervous about long term affects of the chemo, so I don't like that at all. She saw the physical therapist last week and has improved quite a bit since then, we will see how it goes.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving, we are very excited for turkey day at our house! Nothing like getting totally, completely, stuffed and then trying to roll yourself home. I am missing David's family this year, and wish we could see them. It's not the same without them and this is the time of year I love to be surrounded by family. We have so much to be grateful for, I feel it this year more than any other year. Funny how that works, you would think it would be the opposite, but I have found so much good in my life lately and am overwhelmed with all that we have been blessed with. This has been a rough few months, I can't even type this without tears sneaking up, as they do so often lately, but the tears come as quickly for the hard stuff as they do for the good stuff, and we have a lot of good stuff. Happy Thanksgiving!

Brinley got her CBC this morning to see if she can get chemo tomorrow. Her ANC went down to 200, so she will not get the mexotrethate, but they do want to give her the vincristine. So we'll go in tomorrow for that. Her red blood went up from 24 to 25, so she won't get a transfusion today unless we notice major changes in her. She's not feeling so great today. Her eyes are all red and puffy, she has a runny nose, and she is hovering around 99 temp, so we are praying no fevers come now to land her in the hospital over the holiday week. Other than that, no new news.

The nurse called this morning and we have changed plans this week. I guess they are closed Thursday and Friday, so Brinley will not be able to get the chemo on Friday. So they want to shoot for Wednesday if her counts are back up. I don't anticipate that they will be, but it's hard to tell. Her counts are either still dropping or on their way back up, so they will do a CBC tomorrow to see where she is, and if she is above 500 ANC, she will get her chemo Wednesday. Also, since she is borderline on her hematocrit (red blood cells) for a transfusion, they may want to do a whole blood transfusion tomorrow or Wednesday. The nurse thinks her hematocrit may still be going down since she was low when they gave her the chemo in the first place. We may have a couple hospital trips this week, hopefully no fever visits! She has a runny nose today, if she has a virus that would explain the low ANC. She still seems to be feeling fine, but she is irritable and quite pale.

We got Brinley's counts today. Her ANC is 300, so she can't get her next dose of chemo tomorrow. I will talk to clinic tomorrow, because I'm not sure why she crashed so quickly and what that means for the dosage she gets next time. I'm disappointed to have her treatment pushed back again. What will happen now is she will be given four more days to get her counts up. If she doesn't get up to a certain point (I'm not sure what her ANC has to be) she will go in on Friday and get only vincristine and not methotrexate. Vincristine doesn't affect your counts, only the methotrexate. She will have to wait on the methotrexate until her ANC goes up.

That means she is neutropenic again and we will be home all week. We will see about Thanksgiving, there will be 20+ people at Melanie's, a frenzy for germs. Melanie said she would just spread the word to let her know if there are any colds coming, and one of us will just keep Brinley home if anyone is sick. I really wanted to have a worry-free week for Thanksgiving, but it's not working out that way, but then when do things work out just how you want? Her red count was also lower than last time, close to transfusion, but not quite. She looks really pale to us, so I'll watch her this week for energy level. Now that she in neutropenic again, I get very nervous about infections. She woke up at 1 last night crying "ow" but couldn't pinpoint anything that hurt. She wouldn't go back to sleep, we had to finally give her benadryl to help her sleep. Once she was out of her bed, she didn't seem to be in pain, but the last couple days she has been pointing to her tongue saying ouch, and every diaper change she cries that it hurts. I can't see anything, so it is driving me crazy! I wish I knew if there was something there that I just can't see and she really is in pain, or if she is just saying ouch to some other sensation. I suppose if she is getting any mouth sores, they will show up soon.

She is, however, still silly and happy for the most part, so that is good news. We had a great weekend and enjoyed the time together. Let's hope she bounces back with her counts, so we can get this dreadful chemo over with!