Monday, November 26, 2012

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 162

Well the doctors figured out the cause of Jemma's diarrhea, she has been chosen to be a part of the L'asparaginase study, my son has a cold and my car was not keyed, but knifed while I spent the week with my daughter in the hospital during her chemotherapy. All in all - things are alright. That's the short version. Keep reading for the long version.

Jemma has an intestinal bacteria that is the cause of her diarrhea. She probably got it because she was on antibiotics last week due to her fever. As many of you know, diarrhea is a common side effect of antibiotics because they not only kill the good bacteria, but also the bad. The cure for this bacteria is a 10 day course of a different antibiotic. She has been taking three pills per day for two days now and the diarrhea is beginning to slow down. These pills are both large and expensive. Her 10 day course is going to cost a record 420 euros - $550. Luckily she can take them at home and continue her Leukemia treatment plan while on them. I hope they start working soon.

Because she has had diarrhea for five days now, she has a very sore bottom which includes some open cuts. Thank goodness it only seems to bother her when I clean it. She has been very happy since returning home yesterday.

A few weeks ago I mentioned a Leukemia study involving the drug L'Asparaginase. Jemma has been selected to participate in that study and will receive ten doses of the drug instead of the standard single dose. This means that the intensive portion of her treatment will last about nine months instead of six. Her catheter will remain in her a bit longer and hopefully the results of the study will determine that this drug does indeed reduce the relapse rate for Leukemia.

My son has a runny nose and seems to be developing a cough. This is his third cold since Jemma began Leukemia treatment. Her blood and ability to fight infection is much stronger at the moment than it was during his previous colds, but he is still being confined to his bedroom until his nose stops running. He is a wonderful child who likes to touch everything and doesn't want to wear a mask. Unfortunately we need to take every precaution to maintain the health of Jemma and the rest of the family.

Although he has been in his room all day, he seems to be enjoying it. His cold got him out of cleaning the house this morning and he has a computer. I think he has watched every possible video of "How it's Made". Once when I was in his room he was learning about honey and bees, and another time he was watching a bread factory in action. Hopefully he recovers quickly and can join us again at meals.

Last on today's update is my car. Normally I drive to the hospital, unload and drop Jemma off at the cancer ward and then park my car in a lot away from the building. I do this so visitors and patients can use the near by parking spots. Unfortunately, sometime while my car was parked in the building 6 lot for four nights it sustained $5,000 worth of damage. Somebody scraped it with something much harder than a key, and most likely a knife. It was scratched both down and back on the hood, passenger door, rear passenger side door and passenger window.

To the person who damaged my car ----

I doubt you will ever read this, but I am annoyed by what you did. Perhaps I parked my car too close to yours. In the past I've had to climb through the passenger door of my car to reach the driver's seat. It takes time and isn't usually that fun. Perhaps you were injured and this task was even more difficult for you? Perhaps you were dealing with the loss or devastating condition of a loved one and couldn't control yourself. Maybe you were just out looking for trouble?

Whatever your reason, your minute or two of anger is resulting in a bunch of work for my family. My husband has spent his entire day off getting quotes and visiting with the insurance company. We will have to pay financially for what you did, and I will be without my vehicle while the damage is repaired. All because of why?????????

Think - maybe somebody made a mistake and didn't do something to intentionally make your life difficult. Maybe their mind was busy with life and death issues of their own. Maybe they were just absentminded when parking, but good intentioned in helping others? After all, you did choose to do your damage in a hospital parking lot. Anyway, I hope you get beyond whatever it is that's making you angry. and never choose to do something like this again. It's not nearly as bad as dealing with Leukemia, but it is truely a pain.


  1. Oh my gosh so sorry about your horrible for someone to do this:(!
    Based on your post I guess you aren't in the medical system in Germany as I thought it was free for children. We are part of the UK NHS system while we are living here as part of my husband's job. The stress of paying for all this treatment must be so hard for all of you. I am glad that Jemma is doing better and that she is in the study, that was very brave of you to do, since it means longer treatments. Hang in there the new year is just around the corner and I hope it brings better things for you and your family.

    1. My husband has good medical insurance through his work. Insurance should cover 80% of the prescriptions. I was just shocked that the pills cost 14 euros each. They are probably many times that in the US.

      It's interesting that you are covered under UK medical care. Military subcontractors seem to all have different rules depending on where they live and who they work for.

  2. Hi there, so sorry to read about the trials you are going through. I will remember you in my prayers. I'm just stopping by to say how "real life" your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris


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