On September 14, 2010, I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia / Megakaryocytic or AML M7. My prognosis is that I will make a full recovery with no long term side effects. I am so grateful for family, friends and angels that are surrounding me each and every day of this process. I love all of you! I hope you find my posts interesting as I share a little piece of me and some insights along this life changing journey.

Jessie - Age 2

Yeah - I'm pretty special!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Round Six - seven days and counting...

Hi Everyone!!!  It is my last week at the hospital!!  My family is so excited and are literally counting off every day.  I was a little low the past few days on my blood count levels so I received a transfusion and platelets.  This always perks me up - my cheeks get pink and I have a TON of energy.  Amazing what a higher blood count can do for you!  My ANC (absolute neutrophil count) hasn't reached zero yet but I'm getting close!  For those that don't know, this is a very important number.  It determines when I start my next round of chemo and when I get to come home.  My body doesn't follow a typical path for ANC.  After chemo treatments, my ANC goes down and then back up sporadically until I finally reach zero.  I usually stay at zero for about three days and then my monocyte count and ANC starts going back up.  Once the monocyte numbers have gone up for two days in a row - I get to go home.  My parents are thinking it will be next Monday...  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Round Six - March 2011 (Beginning)

This is by far the most exciting round because it is my LAST ONE!!! In my short time here on earth I have never had six months go by sooooo slowly. I have a repeat of round five - which means seven days of ara-C (chemo) 24/7 on a slow drip. It is the worst! I started my chemo on the 2nd so I will finish sometime on Wednesday night/Thursday morning of this week. I have not been as good about staying in bed this time and I get really mad. I have figured out how to unscrew all the tubes connected to me. Those resourceful nurses have thwarted my escape plans - they put bright green tape around every connection point on the various tubes and there are a lot of them!! I've just resorted to pulling really hard on the tubing and yelling at it. So far, it hasn't worked. I must not be yelling hard enough... My parents are pretty good at distracting me from this routine. They read to me, draw pictures, pick up crayons that I throw on the floor - over and over and over. I think they are secretly throwing some of them away because I have less and less of them. I have drawn some beautiful pictures on the bed, the sheets, my arms / legs / tummy and face. I can tell you that Magic Erasers and Shout are AMAZING!!! Paper is just not fun to draw on. When I get off this bed - the walls are fair game.

It seems that the dose of ara-C I am getting agrees with me. I haven't been sick and am full of energy. Thank you everyone for all the prayers! I am just pulling through all of this with shining colors. Can you believe that I have even grown three inches during this process!!!! I weigh the same so I've just gotten taller... don't get me wrong - I eat!!! My parents have found creative ways to "calorie pack" everything. Very sneaky...

My doctors gave me a road map for the next three years at the beginning of this round. I should be discharged the 23rd of March. Around the 6th of April, I will come back to the hospital for a bone marrow aspirate to ensure that only healthy blood cells are being produced. That is done outpatient so after the test, I get to go back home. The results will come back later that same day. As long as my bone marrow test shows good results (no leukemia present), I get to have my central line removed around April 20th. Looking forward to being able to have a proper bath!!! The doctors will then check my blood every month for one year, every other month for the second year and then quarterly for the third year. The blood tests will be done at Primary Children's Hospital so we have to come back to the hospital for an hour long appt each time. I'll be on medications for about three months after my last chemo session but I WILL BE AT HOME!!! YAY!

I am really praying hard that all of my tests show great results and I know a lot of you out there are praying with me. Thank you!!!!! You certainly can't take this journey alone. My family and I have had so much support from so many people - it is just impossible to thank them enough! Angels on earth...

Yep...my parents love me!!

Me and my Daddy

just precious!!

It's okay to bite on this, right??!!

Jessie with her cousin Kyson, playing Doctor :)