Friday, November 7, 2008

Preoperative success

Good morning. Well, before I head off to Washington D.C. for the NCI Translates meeting I wanted to give everyone a brief update on Sydney. This will probably be the last time you hear from me until after her procedure early Monday morning. Yesterday we took Sydney to the clinic for her preoperative check up. I am happy to say that she was found to be perfectly healthy and normal. As far as the whole neuroblastoma thing goes, she appears to be asymptomatic. Her CBC was normal and everything checked out. There were no outward signs of something amiss. In my book, that is a vote of confidence going into this surprise set of bone marrows on Monday.

Based on my email many people seem to be very curious as to what I really think about this whole strange lab result that we sent to Texas Children's. Truth be told, I still do not know what to make of it. I am anxious to confirm that it is not neuroblastoma that is causing this rather strange laboratory finding. I still don't think it is the cause. It just doesn't make sense to me. Although, I certainly understand that we have to rule out the possibility that the vaccine is doing exactly what it was hoped it would do:) I still think it is probably related to something else, perhaps a virus of some sort. A flair up of EBV would probably be the most likely catalyst but I am still suspecting something else at play. I have no medical rationale behind that statement. This is my gut feeling at play. Something is out of whack. I just have not put my finger on it as of yet. I know I don't have all of the answers but I also suspect that I don't have all of the facts as well. There you go. See, I know absolutely nothing.

Sydney and I had a pretty good time in the clinic as usual. We started with working on her vocabulary. She hates this activity. I would think pulling teeth would be higher up on her to do list. There was lots of fighting but I tried to keep her entertained as we struggled through the cards. Something must have worked because she came home from school later that day with a 101 on her test. However, I know full well that she won't attribute her score to any of the time that we spent in the waiting room at the clinic. It was not long before she grew tired of vocabulary and was off to creating crayon masterpieces. This worked out well as I had roughly 30 email messages waiting for me on my iPhone. After a short while we were back to clinic stuff. We had the opportunity to meet the new nurse practitioner. It was quite a treat. Angi is clever and had no problem dealing with the Dungans (Well, I guess I should say Dungan - singular. Sydney and Lynley are both pretty easy to deal with in general.) I was surprised that they would throw her to the sharks so early in her career. None the less, she handled us aptly - so well, in fact, that we had no need to see an oncologist. I was not sure whether Dr. Howrey was glad that we left without seeing him or a bit disappointed. Knowing what a headache we can be I think he was probably secretly relieved.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for their kind messages. I think I received around 20 email and messages yesterday from those that follow the diary. I genuinely appreciate your kind words. I don't know that I am dealing with it any better (not that it matters how I feel). It is just that having a 3 year old of my own I can't shake the imagery out of my mind. I keep thinking of Ainsley in that position. It makes me physically sick. I am happy to say, however, that she is now surrounded by our loving family and seems to be coping very well especially given the awful circumstances.

Well I had best be off. I have exactly 31 medical abstracts to reread today. That is a lot of medical jargon to absorb at 5:00 AM in the morning.

Stacks of purpose await.

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