Well, what’s one more inpatient stay when we’ve already had so many? That’s right… Caleb was admitted for fever once again this afternoon. His counts have pretty much bottomed out and unfortunately he had some sort of scratch or bug bite on his ankle, and another small scratch on his finger that seem to have gotten infected. He had the spot on his ankle before he went in for Chemo, but now that his counts are so low his body just can’t fight anything off. We have been keeping Neosporin on it, and been keeping it covered with a band-aid but it just wasn’t enough. Both spots were puffy and red, and then eventually led to his fever. St. Jude doesn’t play around with fevers, so were admitted for observation.
Yesterday Caleb started limping a little and complaining about the spot on his ankle, but after he took a nap all seemed fine, and he remained fine until he went to bed. We checked him several times throughout the night last night and he didn’t feel warm, so we thought we would wait to see how things were in the morning. He was fine this morning, but as the day went on his energy decreased and all he wanted to do was lay around. He wouldn’t even walk on his foot so I was carrying him anytime he did want to get up from the couch or bed. Then finally this afternoon, I went to sit with him and he felt warm. Looking back I’m mad at myself that I didn’t just take him to his doctor this morning for antibiotics, but you just think things will be fine. In my body or your body things would be fine, because our bodies are fighting so many things all the time we don’t even realize. But Caleb’s ANC is 10, and that is the number that indicates how well his body can fight off infection. Normal range is over 1500, and anything under 500 is considered dangerous. He is at a whopping 10!
However up until the fever today we have enjoyed our time at home this week. I have been trying to re-introduce him to the thought of school work since we are getting closer to the time he will be back in school. I’m so scared he’s behind, but I know he’ll catch up quickly. I decided to make a “mystery box” and each day he can open it and find out what letter we are going to learn about. Of course I started with letter A! The box has different “letter A” activities, and also hand writing exercises. I included some “big boy pencils”, Batman of course, so that he would want to write with them. We did all the activities yesterday and today, and today I decided to incorporate our snack into the theme as well. I was going to make “ants on a log” but Caleb informed me he doesn’t like peanut butter or celery… so we improvised and used apple slices as our log, and chocolate as “dirt” to get the “ants” (raisins) to stick to the log. It was fun but messy! I am glad Caleb is opening up to some foccused learning time.
Caleb looked so sad when he left for the hospital, but he knew he needed it. He’s very brave and very grown up and knows when he needs to go. He finally told me this afternoon that his ankle hurt so bad he needed to go to his doctor. These are a few pics of him getting his port accessed and you can tell he looks so sad.
After Caleb got settled in the hospital room with James, Tyler and I delivered a Happy Meal to him. It definitely cheered him up. He ate a good dinner and then fell asleep pretty quickly as the events of the day wore him out.
We are hoping we will get to go home tomorrow afternoon. If he doesn’t spike another fever I don’t think they’ll have to keep us. As the nurses were changing shifts today, I listened to their report to each other as I always do. I got chills when she said we are on Day 30 of Cycle 5. These are 35 day cycles! Now, that can be deceiving as most cycles last longer than 35 days because there is some leeway in there when you have to wait for counts to recover, but it gave me chills to know we are at the END of Cycle 5! To hear someone say it out loud felt so real. I still don’t know exactly what day we are going to get home but it’s so soon. I don’t think this little hiccup with the fever today will hold anything up. His Hgb (hemoglobin) and Platelets were borderline for needing a transfusion today, so they are going to draw blood during the 4am labs and go ahead and transfuse if he needs anything. If he does need something that will only help him recover faster. We are 7 days post chemo, and typically counts bottom out 7-10 days after. So we are there, right now, in our last really low point!
I’ll post more updates soon. Hopefully the antibiotics worked, he’ll have no more fever, and we’ll be out of the hospital tomorrow!