Weekend Update from Keith: February 4th, 2008

We learned a truth about Taylor's fight with cancer this weekend: for every three steps forward, there are apt to be two steps back. Sometimes, there may be only two steps forward and three steps back.

After we enjoyed a wonderful Thursday afternoon/evening and all day Friday with a smiling, happy, enthusiastic T, Saturday was a marked difference. She threw up over night and they gave her anti-nausea medication that caused her to sleep most all day Saturday. She was back to the Taylor that she had been earlier in the week--in pain, overly sedated, and non-responsive. In addition, her breathing difficulties resumed.

We've learned that the secret to improving Taylor's spirits is getting her out of bed no matter how much we have to fight her. Keith forced her to get up and go downstairs to play games that we had checked out from the playroom on Taylor's floor. Taylor won games of Dora Checkers and quite a few games of Connect Four before returning to her room. Her spirits brightened and she even decided to order a pizza for dinner from the hospital cafeteria. Her Nana (Keith's mom) spent the night with her on Saturday and Keith and Kristin were able to go out to dinner and then return home together for the first time since Taylor arrived at the hospital. Charlie loved having both parents at home on Sunday morning.

Taylor took 2 steps back again on Sunday; she threw up overnight and didn't feel well much of the day. Keith is coming down with a cold and left the hospital for a few hours (conveniently coinciding with the Super Bowl) and Taylor became sad that Daddy was not there. Uncle Kirk and Aunt Brooke visited, however, and Taylor's spirits brightened considerably. Keith returned and Mom, Dad, and T went downstairs at 9:00 and played eight games of Uno. Taylor went 5-3 in those games (Mom won once and Dad twice). She was back to being her old, happy self and Mommy and Daddy loved seeing it.

Taylor received a blood transfusion on Sunday. This was to raise her hemoglobin levels in preparation for Monday's first dose of radiation. She will require anesthesia for Monday's radiation, as with all 28 sessions of her radiation treatment. Normally, the protocol for Taylor's cancer would not include administering radiation this early in treatment. She must have it now, though, because of the tumor's proximity to her brain. We are trepidatious about what side effects her radiation will bring. Although we know there are many more steps forward remaining in this process, there are also a considerable numbers of steps backward, too.

Taylor is still in the hospital. Until her breathing during sleep improves, she will continue to be at the hospital. We badly want her to return home, but we are scared that she may have breathing difficulties at home during sleep which will go undetected. At the hospital she is constantly monitored and nurses come in when her oxygen saturation falls below certain thresholds. We cannot duplicate those levels of protection at home. Thus, we remain a broken family for now; broken not in spirit but in location. Hopefully, we will all be reunited soon.


Anonymous said...

Dear Kristin and Keith,

I am praying for Taylor everyday and hope that she is able to take four steps forward with the radiation, but more importantly because you all are spending every second with her with lots of affection. She must feel so loved! Her pictures say it all. Give her and Charlie my love, as well as the two of you.

Hang tough Taylor!

Marcy Shugert