Courage for Kennedy – Journal


July 29, 2005

Category: Fundraisers,Treatment – Melenie – 12:59 am

The last dose of Ara-C went in yesterday! Ok, the last dose for a few months anyway. It became a long day when Kennedy needed a red blood transfusion. She received the blood from her own “blood bank”-a donated unit of blood just for her and we want to thank those who have been led to make direct donations to her. It truly is the gift of life for our little girl! Her hematocrit was 17.5 (normal is 32-42)-this is the percentage of red blood cells (oxygen moving cells) in her blood. Her hemoglobin was only 5.8 (normal is 11-14)-this is the protein in her red blood cells that carries oxygen and returns the carbon dioxide. Without a healthy amount of red blood cells doing their job, she suffers from fatigue, poor concentration, weakness, insomnia, and headache. Her platelets are low too (82-normal is 140 to 440) but not yet low enough to require a transfusion, we are guessing sometime next week. Her white blood cells (those for fighting infection) were at 0.4-normal range is 4.5-17 and her ANC is a whopping 260 making her neutropenic. Her ANC should be over 1500 and normal is up to 11,000. So while she will be at the fundraiser, we are asking that people do not get close to her with a runny nose, cough, etc. and everyone must wash their hands as much as possible. We will be bringing Purell with us and her oncs think that because it is outside, it will be fine.

Anyway, about yesterday….she did well but when her transfusion was almost finished, she began vomiting. Of course she managed to stay clean but covered me in two bags of popcorn. Yum! We had to unhook her, clean up, give more Zofran (for nausea) and rehook her. We left the hospital about 5 pm and Kennedy cried all the way home. It started because she lost her toe ring but quickly developed into her sadness at having cancer. She told me that she wished she was Bubba’s age so she wouldn’t have cancer anymore. She just sobbed and sobbed about how much she hates feeling sick, getting pokes, spending days in the hospital, missing out on summer, losing her hair, etc. It was heartbreaking and I just wanted to take it all away from her. I told Keith it was like hearing a 12 year old talk about having cancer-not a 4 year old. She has become so wise beyond her years and I fear that her innocence is lost to this dragon. Please pray for her-she really struggles. On days when we are home or away from the hospital-she loves life and enjoys playing but going there is so emotional for her and she is fully aware that other kids do not have to go through this. Everyone who has spent a considerable amount of time with Kennedy through this is amazed at her new found ability to communicate and understand. She has begun using huge words (and not just med names and med terms) but words like suggestion and reality and difficult and she can not only use them correctly but can articulate exactly what they mean! It is so surprising to me! Her pronunciation is really improved and she gives the names of the drugs she is allergic to to anyone who needs them (penicillin, amoxicillin, and fentanyl) and they understand her! Please pray for her 1) for strength, protection and the peace that passes all understanding, 2) the chemo and radiation will not affect her intellectual abilities and gained knowledge, and 3) that God will protect her heart and not allow bitterness or resentment to gain a foothold here.

As for the fundraiser tomorrow—it is going to be AWESOME! The plants donated will be incredible and there will be TONS of them! Not just flowers and small bedding plants but TREES!! So if you have been waiting for a good deal to add high quality trees to your yard-NOW IS THE TIME!! Please join us!

We love you all and thank you for everything-especially continued prayer!

Melenie

*quick note*
Kennedy came up to me this afternoon and said, “I don’t know how my hair got shorter” but when I looked at her I knew! I wondered why she had been so quiet!!! She had taken scissors and hid so she could CUT the hair she has left 🙂 Some pieces are 4 inches, and some are only about 1 inch. She called her auntie and grandma to tell them all about it and man, was she proud! They laughed and thought it was great. Grammie made me promise not to trim it up until she saw it! So, tonight we will be helping her haircut along so it doesn’t look quite so “choppy.” Stay tuned for some new pictures real soon! 🙂 And for those who are coming tomorrow-she would love for you all to comment on her new do!

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