In Times Like These

I have this quote on my calendar from Paul Harvey that reads, "In times like these, it's nice to remember that there have always been times like these."

Well, I guess there is something to be said about the familiar.  When the same old things happen over and over, predictability sets in and you maintain routine, even if it's a routine you don't love.  On the other hand, change is good.  Change from the same old monotony.

Today, I am feeling a little perplexed, a little tired and a little overwhelmed.  It's been the longest week on record this year since my kids have been gone since Wednesday!  I hate being alone, but I love being alone too.  It's definitely a change from what I am use to.

Here's what hasn't changed...Shelbie's strange health symptoms the past three weeks or, perhaps things are changing, I guess it depends on how you look at it. She has had a low grade fever but no symptoms of illness really.  Then, she has no fever but feels all the symptoms of having a fever with chills, then sweats, her skin hurts and pain in her joints.  Two days ago, she complained of a lump in her neck.  Today, she woke up with petichae and I am left wondering if this is ITP back or bigger problems brewing in her bone marrow that are leading us closer to Myelodysplasia...that is a horrid thought!

 Two years ago, Shelbie's platelets crashed and Immune Thrombocytopenia Purpura was back with a vengeance. Strangely enough, Thanksgiving two years ago I took her to the ER with a platelet count of 1000.   After months of trying different things to raise her platelets, we turned to chemotherapy as a last resort.  The chemo worked wonders and it's been about 18 months since she finished that.

We knew that one of the side effects of the treatment was a destroyed immune system.  Well, we got that and more.  They said, "Don't worry, it will come back usually between 6 months and a year."  I think after 18 months, it is coming back and it's all that and more...Welcome back Petichae!  It's been a tough pill to swallow and so I have to wonder, is it really nice to remember that we have been through this before and we can get through it again?  Do we really have it in us to go through another year of chemotherapy knowing how awful it is?  This will be our third time!!  There are no guarantees after this that her immune system will ever come back in fact, immunologists have told me that the second round of Rituxan usually does irreversible damage.

Of course, maybe I am mistaken.  I guess that's what happens when you've been here before, you count your chickens before they hatch,  put the cart before the horse, all in an attempt to prepare yourself for what feels like another round of Henry the Eighth song... second verse, same as the first!  There is a chance that her IVIG infusions will hold the platelets for a couple of months but that's just a guess.

Sometimes I wonder what it's like to be normal; to live a life that is not filled with quite so much drama from day to day.  This year has been ridiculous if you ask me.  Every morning, I'm afraid to open my eyes for fear of what happens next...another job lost, another sick kid, another mysterious symptom.  Everyday is a changing landscape of trouble yet, in times like these, I am reminded that there have always been times like these!  Sigh...

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