It has been a very good day here in Room 183.
Today, we were able to see one of the PAs we usually see at the clinic. She was very encouraging and able to answer all of our questions. We are all feeling much better about what has been happening and what lies ahead.
Bottom line: Elena's liver became irritated from a chemo drug she had been taking. It stopped working properly and fluid built up in her body. Elena will not finish taking that particular drug. She will return to chemo treatments when the doctors decide her body is ready.
The plan: Elena stopped taking one antibiotic today and will stop taking another one tomorrow. That leaves her taking two antibiotics. Tomorrow afternoon, Elena will be able to have clear liquids! Yea! You've never seen a child looking so forward to having chicken noodle soup broth and a popsicle! Elena is counting down the hours!
What needs to happen for us to go home? Elena needs to be able to sleep at night without oxygen, her counts need to show they are recovering, her liver needs to start working properly, her body needs to be able to tolerate food and liquids, and she needs to remain fever free.
Please join us in boldly praying that all of these things will happen quickly.
We're encouraged that if all of these things happen in a timely manner, we may be heading home by the end of this week. We also understand that there may be set backs.
Some highlights from the day: watching a bird out of the window as it pulled twigs off of a tree branch, making crafts with two of the CHOA volunteers and a surprise visit from professional golfer, Anthony Kim. Anthony came by the hospital after winning a golf tournament yesterday in sudden death and before going on to Augusta to practice for the Masters. He, along with other professional golfers, is involved with a foundation called Ian's Friends Foundation started by a local family whose son Ian was diagnosed with a brain tumor several years ago. Anthony spent time in the children's activity center helping kids learn to putt on a portable putting green. Elena was bummed that she couldn't leave her room to go putt, but had a great view of the action as her room is right across the hall from the center where she got some great pictures. Anthony heard that Elena was stuck in her room and he came over to visit. He autographed a golf ball for her and told her how brave she was for going through all that she is going through. They chatted for a few minutes about what kind of things Elena likes to do, posed together for a picture, he gave Elena a hug and then he went on to other rooms to visit all of the other kids who were not able to go out. Mr. Kim is a very genuine and caring young man who today made a difference in the lives of several young people, and a couple of not so young ones as well! :-) The world could use a few more people like him!
We appreciate all of the calls, posts and emails. Thank you for expressing your concern and love for all of us! Your prayers and support continue to carry us through this trial.
"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."