Monday, August 31, 2009

Phew.

Today I had to take Moana in to her doctor's office for a blood test. Her third one this month. I was choking back the tears as I drove the car toward the office, hoping that her tests would come back normal this time.

At her 9 month appointment she had her first routine blood draw. I didn't think anything of it, even when her doctor called the following day and told me that her white cell count was high. Doc wanted to know if it seemed like Moana was getting sick at all? I looked at Moana, who had just finished eating a good lunch and was smiling as she was crawling around on the floor and playing with her toys. Um, no. Not exhibiting any signs of sick. Doc said really it was nothing to worry about but why don't I bring her back in again next week so they can check again and see if the counts were in the normal range...

So back again the following week. 3 vials of blood this time instead of just one. Again, I did what I could not to worry about it, because seriously, how could my happy perfect little girl be sick?

But once again the phone call from the doctor came. Um, white counts still high. Not distressingly high, but out of range. No, Moana's still not exhibiting any signs of illness. In my calmest voice, I asked the doctor what the extra vials were for. She said she did a SED-rate test and another test to see which specific white cells were the ones out of range. The SED-rate test came back very low, which was good, she said, because it means that there is no underlying cause of inflammation. Rules out any auto-immune diseases or anything like that. Doc says that she wants me to wait another week and then bring Moana back again for another CBC to make sure her white count wasn't continuing to escalate. She told me that the hematologist didn't think it was anything to worry about unless it continued to go up.

Hematologist? She sent Moana's lab results to the hematologist?

So then, again in my calmest voice, I asked what we might be concerned about. After a brief pause, in her version of calm reassuring voice, she said it.

Leukemia.

She said that we only start to worry if her counts continue to climb. That's why we need to check again next week.

I'm truly amazed at how I kept it together at that moment on the phone. Instead of bursting out into tears and hyperventilating, I told the doctor briefly about my history of Hodgkin's Disease. Doctor thanked me for the information and said she would also then order a chest x-ray for Moana.

I thanked the doctor for being so thorough, hung up the phone, cried, and then spent much of the next few days online researching childhood leukemia.

So it was a tough week in some respects. I kept looking at this happy little person and thinking that there's just no way I'm going to have to take her in for a bone marrow biopsy or a spinal tap or chemotherapy treatments.

So today was the day I had to take her back for the third blood draw. I vowed myself to be strong while we were in the lab because no one really wants to deal with an hysterical and out of control mama.

Turns out, Moana is really quite a little champ when it comes to having her finger pricked. Neither of us cried. That was, until she got strapped down for the chest x-ray. Who would have guessed how much babies HATE being restrained for something like that. She protested BIG TIME. The tech said that all babies do. I held her hands while they took a snap shot of her lungs.

For the next several hours I tried tried tried so hard to think of something else, anything else, while waiting for the results to come back. Finally, an email came through to my phone that said there were test results waiting for me to view online. I held my breath while waiting for that page to load... come one... come one... load already... I should have guessed that the results were going to be normal because my doctor wouldn't have released them for online viewing if they weren't normal... but in my panic state that didn't occur to me until about 30 minutes later. For future reference, when the results come via email, it's probably good news. :)

So PHEW. False alarm. Phew.

26 comments:

Beach Mom said...

Chicken skin! Its a good thing you titled this Phew! my heart is still pounding, I can only imagine how your week has been! Hug that sweet girl for me, I'm glad she's clear. Heather

H said...

So pleased to here Moana's a strong, fit and fighting little girl, just like her Mama :) x

H said...

So pleased to here Moana's a strong, fit and fighting little girl, just like her Mama :) x

The Chapples said...

Oh my gosh, I can't imagine what you've been going through! So glad to hear that Moana is doing just fine. You're a good mama, Michelle.

Natalie D said...

Oh my goodness, this is so scary. I am so glad that everything came back fine, but wow - what a trying couple of weeks for you both. Poor little girl! and mama!

Jennifer Harrison said...

OHMYGOSH! I always freak out when something comes back "off" with our kids. I totally can feel your stress. SO glad little Moana is ok! Phew is right.

Lizzie said...

Oh my gosh!!!! Michelle, you are truly amazing - I have no idea how you manage to hold it altogether. So glad that Moana's results came back clear and you guys can get on with the beautiful life you deserve.

Rebecca DeWire said...

Thank you so much for starting the title with Phew!!!! I was getting so worried as I was reading, but figured that things turned out OK based on the title. I can't even begin to imagine how stressful this must have been for you.

IronMatron said...

Oh, what a relief. I'm so sorry you had to go through that!

fancy nancy said...

Oh my goodness! What a relief! I was getting chocked up just reading this! Give her an extra hug today!

X-Country2 said...

Wow, that sounds beyond scary. Happy to hear she's a-ok. That little one is a fighter!

Newt said...

Oh thank goodness! Poor little Mo and that chest x-ray, I can only imagine. Hope you both had a good rest and a treat after all that.

Regina said...

Phew is right! That is scary. I remember when the pediatrician sent me to a neurologist because my son's head was growing at a somewhat exponential rate and they were afraid of hydrocephaly. I was terrified, but figured, not point worrying until I need to. The neurologist said that he was normal. I know you can imagine my relief. I apologized for wasting his time (There were clearly other kids in the waiting room that needed his attention). He said to me, "No apology necessary, it's actually a nice change to see a normal child." That made me so sad to hear, but I was relieved my son was ok.

I'm glad you had a happy ending too.

Angela and David Kidd said...

I cannot imagine how terrified you were. So glad everything is normal.

Katie A. said...

Wow, Phew is right! I was on the edge of my seat as I read through this post - not even remembering the title! I am so thankful that Moana is healthy and happy and that you 3 can go on with life as usual. It's hard being a parent, but I must add, you two both do it amazingly - Moana is a lucky girl! Enjoy the rest of your week! :)

cat. said...

oh. my. god. THANK GOD!!!
that little angel of yours is NOT allowed to be sick. i wish i could have supported you through the waiting, tat must have been really awful!! virtual hugs to all of you!!
: )

Beth said...

Oh geez Michelle. As soon as I read high WBC, leukemia was the first thing I thought of. Thank you for entitling your blog post "phew" because I knew it all turned out okay. ;) Can't imagine how you dealt with that - good thing you are ONE STRONG MAMA!!! :)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Oh my gosh - I 'm SO SORRY that you guys have been dealing with this. My heart just jumped into my throat as I read... you are so incredibly strong... hang in there. I'm SO HAPPY that she's okay...and you too :)

Thinking of you guys and sending hugs (I'll get to give you a real one in a month or so... :)

Sara said...

Oh Michelle! I'm so glad everything is ok. How incredibly frightening...way to be strong for her!

Clare said...

wow. so so glad she's healthy!!

Roo said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that! I'm glad to hear it's all okay.

GoBigGreen said...

Wow that is scary, I am so sorry you both had to go thru that and the waiting...Glad things are ok and you can breathe a sigh of relief!

Kate Parker said...

So sorry to hear that you had such a tough week. SO happy to hear that Moana is a-ok. Your gut was right. :)

Angela said...

Glad to hear it's all well.

brayden didn't mind the finger stick...till he saw the blood then it was all over. DRAMA.

Jennifer Cunnane said...

Oh my god, I would have been so scared! It's great to find you in blog world, this is the first post I read and it made my stomach drop. How did you manage during those hours you had to wait!! Looking forward to following your journey to Kona!

Stephanie said...

I found your blog while blog surfing (through the Chapples) :)

Anyway, I went through the same thing with my son at his one year appointment. He had so many vials of blood drawn and I can relate to that worried feeling about leukemia until the results come through. While don't have a persona history of leukemia, I have a family history of it and it scared me.

So glad it was a false alarm for you as well! Such a relief. your daughter is a cutie!