Thursday, October 4, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 109

Here is Jemma waking up from anesthesia after her bone marrow biopsy today. She loves to tell me I have four eyes and two mouths when she is in this state. She talks very slow and repeats herself until the medicine wears off.

Since her blood is regenerating she was able to begin Phase M of her treatment. If all goes well it will last eight weeks. After six days at home we don't have to be back to the hospital until Wednesday. On Wednesday when she goes back we will stay until Sunday so she can receive continuous iv treatment.

The rest of us received our flu vaccinations. This year it was very important that the entire family be vaccinated against the flu except for Jemma. In addition, we had to be vaccinated with the shot and not the nasal mist. The mist contains live bacteria which can be contagious. This is not an issue for people with healthy immune systems, but for Jemma it could be. She can't be around anyone vaccinated with the nasal mist for 4-5 days after vaccination.

24 hours after the vaccination, my son came down with a fever. Although we suspected it was from the shot we had no way of knowing for sure. Unfortunately he had to stay alone in his room for the afternoon and evening. Luckily he was feeling much better in the morning.

The doctor in the photo is the first one who saw Jemma when she got sick. He tested her blood and quickly realized something was very wrong. He called me twice at home during off hours to discuss Jemma's condition before she was diagnosed. He was very concerned. I am grateful for his persistence and guidance during that first terrible week.


  1. That is our favourite Doc too....we love him and his partner. We know him since 6 years...he worked in the hospital when Joanna had open heart surgery when she was 6 month. Since we live right around the corner from his office it is very convenient for us....and as a special treat I usually get some nice coffee from his good coffee machine, since he knows I am a coffee snob...haha...

  2. What a great Dr! I've never heard of nasal mist flu vaccinations, we only have the injections in Australia (that I know of). Good to hear Jemma's blood is regenerating. Hope you are doing well too.

  3. Love Jace'e expression at the injection. Are you really that quick with the camera, or did he pose it for you? We think of you often. I know that you Mom was leaving soon, or did she already?
    Susan & Lauren

  4. My daughter turned a year old October 1, and was diagnosed with ALL, B cell, October 5. I just ran across your blog from pinterest I'm glad I did, our heads are still spinning. She's had three doses of different types of chemo and we start back on Monday. Looking forward to watching your precious Jemma's journey to cured!

    1. I'm so sorry you have to join us on this journey. It is difficult on the entire family and I wish we could be the last to take it. Just know that although the journey is long these girls are tough and will make it through. I wish you strength over the next few weeks, months and years. Remember to take care of yourself. Exercise if you need to, escape into a book, cook yourself your favorite meal. Sometimes a few minutes focusing on something besides Leukemia can do so much for our mental health and help us to take better care of our little girls.


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