Monday, July 30, 2012
Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 43
Jemma is currently doing pretty well. I was hoping to write tonight about Jemma and her siblings reconnecting after her long stay in the hospital and their long visit to Michigan. Unfortunately, I have a different story to tell. Saturday morning while driving home from a scheduled hospital visit, Jemma suddenly told me she was cold, and when I looked at her she was shivering violently. After pulling over briefly I headed straight back to the hospital. She was admitted with a 106 degree F, 41 degree C fever. I am in complete shock by how quickly her fever came on and rose incredibly high. Just 30 minutes prior we were released from the hospital and sent home.
Upon arriving back at the hospital no time was wasted in connecting Jemma's catheter. She received fluid, fever reduction medication, antibiotics, protein, and a blood transfusion. Her fever finally stabilized during the night and she felt much better the second day.
The results of her blood analysis showed that her immune system was down all the way to zero. She had bacteria in her body and nothing strong enough to fight it off. Five days of three 8 hour antibiotic doses via the iv plus two days of oral antibiotics are necessary to kill the infection. Because of the infection her chemotherapy was put on hold. It will resume when her blood has had some time to recover, perhaps on Wednesday. We are currently hoping to return home on Thursday. For me the experience this week has been super scary. She still has five full months of treatment to undergo with an immune system that will be weak at its best.
Since the older kids are now back in Germany, and my husband had to work, they went to a friend's house. For them it was a bit of an extended vacation, but I'm sure this experience definitely had an impact. When we get home there will be many more discussions on the subject.