Sunday, November 3, 2013

Counts and Abiding.

Watts' ANC has shot up to 3000 thanks to the neupogen shots. His platelets and hemoglobin levels have dropped back down to borderline transfusion range, however, so we'll go tomorrow to check them again. In order to start the HD Ara-C round, Watts needs to have an ANC of 500 (or higher) and platelets of 50 (or higher). He also has to be off of neupogen shots for 48 hours prior to chemo. In order to stop neupogen shots, he has to have an ANC of 1500 for two separate CBCs.

Tomorrow, most likely, his ANC will be even higher and we will have to think about discontinuing neupogen. I personally do not want to stop neupogen shots too early, especially if it takes several days for his platelets to recover, but that is not what the protocal specifies. It would be great to not have to do another week of neupogen, money-wise (the cheap neupogen week was a fluke and we're back to $300/week. Ugh.), but that is a small matter.

So, we'll see... We would LOVE to admit this week and maybe, possibly, get out before Thanksgiving (if his counts recover really fast), but, ultimately, we want to start when his little body is ready.

More of the familiar waiting game.


This past week has been a hard one for me emotionally. I detest isolation and don't know how to parent a 15 month old with cancer or a 3 year old whose brother has cancer. Yeah, hard stuff. Temper tantrums or chemo side effects? Who knows. Disobedience or a cry for attention because the whole world revolves around the cancer patient? Hard to tell. Sleep training? Haha! Add on top of that the fact that they are typical kiddos and fight and kick each other in the face sometimes (literally unfortunately), and this mothering gig is just hard.

I think I also go through waves and seasons of just needing to grieve. To be sad. To cry out that I don't want to go the hospital for 21 days and that I hate cancer. I hate the side effects and the blood tests. I hate not knowing what the future holds.


This morning, despite a sleepless night with Watts, I feel the cloud has lifted some. As another leukemia mama put it (thanks, Mandy), I need to do this "one day at a time." I can make it through today. Next month, I'm not sure, but today I can do. I have also been thinking about how faithful the Lord has been to us; even back in the darkest PICU days, He was holding us up. It is deeply, deeply comforting to think about His nearness to us in the past as I think about the future. Lord, abide with me.

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


  1. Hannah, just wanted to tell you that I read your blog every day, and also I pray for you/y'all every day. I love you, and I hope you are able to get some rest on this Sunday.

    1. Thanks, cousin. That means a lot. Love you too.

  2. I'm gonna ditto what Katie just said. You and your family are constantly on my heart. I think I have have prayed for yall more than I have anyone in my life (Leah has prayed for "baby Watts" every night since the first day I got the news that he was in the hospital). I wish I had amazing words to offer you. Your strength amazes me. It always has, but even more now. I love you!

    1. Thanks, Jess. It really, REALLY, means a lot to know that people are praying and on this journey along with us. And tell Leah thank you! Love you too!

  3. I hear the cry of the mother's heart and so does The Lord. I am praying He pulls you close today and holds you tight. Prayers and hugs to all of you.

  4. "My grace is sufficient for YOU, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, Hannah, boast all the more gladly for your weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon you.


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