Our little Hazelnut responded very well to the antibiotics and the infection has already shown tremendous improvement. We found out on Friday though, that her Central Line also had an infection, so we knew we had to take care of that right away. Thankfully, the antibiotics she was already on, took care of this infection in no time! Her blood cultures have remained clear, and we will be able to do her Stem Cell Collection as planned! The only difference now is that we will be doing it inpatient instead of outpatient. Although I would LOVE to be home with the whole family, it is easier in some ways to do the collection inpatient. Firstly, I do not have to keep going back and forth over the course of the week. We were originally scheduled for a check-in time of 7:30 AM each day, but now they will do the procedure in our room sometime in the mornings. Secondly, I feel I can have a little more peace of mind knowing that there are so many sets of eyes and ears watching over my daughter. At home, I am constantly on duty and always afraid I will miss something or do something incorrectly. Lastly, the collection may take up to 8 hours each day, so it will be nice not to have to drive home an exhausted little girl at the end of such a long day! So, I find myself being thankful for the inconvenience!
To prepare Hazel for the collection, she has needed large doses of her G-CSF injections (daily shots we give to her for about a week after Chemo to help boost her blood counts). Unfortunately, these shots are not pleasant and they have given her a good bit of nausea. On the bright side though, tonight was her last dose, so the suffering will soon be over! But please pray for her; the nights have been tough. Besides this unfortunate symptom, Hazel has been in such good spirits! And Aaron went on duty this weekend and truly enjoyed his time with her. We both keep saying that she is making this much easier on all of us. She gives us so much joy each day, which truly warms our heavy hearts.
She was even doing well enough for us to feel comfortable allowing my Aunt Laura to watch over her, so we could have a date night! I did not anticipate being so blessed as to be able to do this, but because of the huge support system we have around us, we were able to reconnect with each other by going out to dinner and seeing a movie. At first, I was not sure if I wanted to leave Hazel, but so many families I have met that have been, or are still on the same journey we are have all told me that we need to make sure to take care of ourselves in order to better care for our daughter. After this date night, I completely understand what they were talking about. It was absolutely wonderful to spend that time with my husband, and I found that seeing a movie was the best thing for me. I was able, even if just for a few hours, live in a different reality and not have to think about the new world we have been thrust into. Until this date night I really have not felt what it was like to have my mind clear, and it was so rejuvenating. So let me just say a huge thank you to my Aunt Laura for offering this gift to us, and thank you to all of our family and friends who are supporting us. We are truly humbled by your graciousness and love.
This leads me to one more point. I want to say thank you to all of you who are praying fervently for us. This last month (I can't believe it has been that long already) has been such a whirlwind, but one thing that has remained constant is the clear ways in which I have seen the power of your prayers and my God hard at work. I really have never seen Him work so vividly and so distinctly in my life before. I feel Him near and he has surprised me by giving me peace and joy on even my darkest days. It has only been through His strength alone that I am even able to get out of bed each day. His fingerprints are all over Hazel's journey and His glory is shining everywhere! There are two verses that I feel have really applied to all of this these past few weeks:
- Romans 5:3-5 "And not only this, but we also exult in tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, HOPE; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us"
- 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of HIS GLORY you may rejoice with exultation"
Even though I continue to cling to these truths each day, this is still very difficult for all of us. So keep praying so that we may continue to feel lifted up, in love, and that His glory may be shown through us. Especially be praying tomorrow for Hazel's Stem Cell Collection. If all goes well, it may only be a one day procedure; so let's pray for that!! I will update you as soon as I can after the collection!
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