Rogan began to limp....which, in a few days, progressed to her not wanting to walk at all. When nothing showed on the X-Rays we went to Primary Children's Hospital on Saturday 8/2, for answers. She showed no other symptoms of illness. Blood work came back and her counts were off...indicating the possibility of some form of Cancer. Rogan has never been ill or been to the hospital for any reason...needless to say, the environment, staff and administered procedures during our first 24 hours, were NOT well received. That first night an IV was placed in her foot, her vitals were monitored every 4 hours and blood was drawn from her arms 3 different times. I'd like to commend the nurse who was on that night...he had the magical ability to strike the vein on the first try, each time despite her chubby arms and her resistance [she is strong]. Unfortunately, the nurse who was on the following day did not have the same magic touch and I was forced to make an executive decision and "re-staff". Sunday AM was spent recovering and that afternoon Rogan was forced to go NPO [fasting...not well received either] in hopes that she would go into surgery. They could not get her in, so she was able to eat that night and Monday AM was spent NPO again. She went in for surgery at 12:30 PM...and they were able to get the work done in 1 hour & 30 min:
1.) Bone Marrow Aspiration & Biopsy: a special Biopsy needle inserted in her hip, though the bone and into the marrow [a sample of marrow is pulled and analyzed to measure the Leukemic "blast" cells and achieve a "base-line" for the disease. The "blast" cells have "crowded-out" her marrow, prohibiting the production of the "good" blood cells and causing bone pain...which is why she is not walking.]
2.) Central Nervous System [CNS] Prophylaxis: basically a "spinal tap" or we prefer "back poke". Test spinal fluid for Cancer cells [it was clear]....and also treat the spinal fluid with a Chemo injection.
3.) Indwelling Catheter [Broviac]: a special tubing inserted into a large vein in the upper chest. The catheter is tunneled under the skin of the chest to keep it firmly in place. The external end of the catheter can be used to administer medications, fluids or blood products or to withdraw blood samples. The catheter must be flushed and filled each day [to prevent clotting]...and the dressing must be changed once a week to prevent infection. The dressing is an airtight adhesive and is painful & traumatic on both Rogan & Dad to remove and clean. No swimming : (
Rogan came out of surgery and was fine....within 2 hours she was relatively happy, eating ice [new obsession] and watching Elmo in Grouchland [another new obsession].
For the next 4 days we stayed in her hospital room and did the following in order of frequency:
1.) cared for her and became educated on her illness
2.) watched Elmo in Grouchland
Big thank you to all of our family and friends for the love and support. I am not a "blogger", Oncologist or Hematologist....but I am becoming proficient at all 3....so stand by and please send us positive vibrations.