We got to come home from the hospital yesterday! Even though we have to head right back to the hospital next week for Chemo, it is absolutely AMAZING to be home! I am just savoring these moments we are actually getting as an entire family unit. We even all sat around the dinner table together, and it was glorious! Our little Hazelnut is doing so well right now too, which makes it even better. Her infection is cleared up, her counts are high, she's in great spirits and has tons of energy. I feel that this makes it easier on all of us and allows for our family to have some semblance of normalcy. Today we were able to spend the day at Grandma Skinner's house, which all of the kids loved, and then, once home, we had several visitors. It was so nice to see Hazel being able to play around and just be a normal kid. It brought her such joy.
If all goes well, we will be starting Round #3 on Tuesday (they are pushing it back a day to make sure her blood counts are ready). From the information I have received from the doctors, nursers, my own research and other families who are or have been on this same journey, I am understanding that the two types of Chemo she will be receiving next week aren't easy. Please pray for Hazel as she fights through next week, and that, if He wills it, allow it to be easier on her. And also that we may have the knowledge, discernment, clear-headedness and strength to be able to do all that we can to help her through it. I am getting very anxious about next week, and I know that I absolutely need His strength and His peace over these next few days as we await what is coming, and especially through the possible tough moments that Hazel may have.
One last thing. Something I have not shared on this blog yet is that since Hazel was diagnosed, we have found out that there are 2 other cases of Neuroblastoma on my father's side of the family. There may be more, but we are only aware of the two. Now, since Neuroblastoma is a very rare form of childhood cancer, and familial Neuroblastoma is even more rare; our doctors thought that this was something for us to be thinking about. The decision was made for us to do a Genetic Marker Test on Hazel's blood to see if she carries the Marker for Neuroblastoma. If she does, then the doctors would like to test the whole family. I do not know much more about the Genetic Marker at this point (i.e. if a host has the Marker, what does that mean?), but what I do know is that I want to have all of the information I can, in regards to the rest of my children, so we can be armed and prepared for the future. The doctors took blood sample from Hazel on Tuesday, and said the results will take about a month. So please pray!!!