Update from Kristin: March 1st, 2008

This has been a very challenging week. We are still in the hospital and may be for a while longer. The feeding tube was placed on Friday morning and the feedings have begun. Taylor has a tube that goes into her nose and runs down her throat and into her stomach. It allows them to give her formula which is designed to meet all of her nutritional needs. They have started it very slowly and are watching her carefully to ensure that she tolerates it. If this does not work, they will have to resort to tpn, which is iv nutrition. It is very hard on the liver and is really a last resort. Initially, we were very resistant to the tube. It seems now, however, that the doctor \s expected that this would happen. It wasn't really a question of "if" but "when" because radiation to the mouth and throat causes discomfortand ulcers which makes it difficult to eat. We only wish that we had known this earlier because we fought such an emotional battle with Taylor trying to get her to eat. She spent many meals crying and trying hard to please us when it was really a losing battle all along. That is in the past now and we are all relieved, including Taylor, to have the tube. Her body faces such assault and needs to do so much healing. It is nice to know that she will have the resources to repair herself now.

Unfortunately, this was also the week that Charlie came down with the stomach flu. He had been staying with his aunt and uncle while we were in the hospital and his aunt, Brooke, called me on Thursday morning to tell me that Charlie had been up throwing up the night before. Brooke is a saint and is heaven sent and not only said she would keep him with her that day but suggested that she keep him another night so we would all be spared from the bug and would not risk bringing it down to the hospital to Taylor. It was so hard to not be able to be with Charlie when he needed us most. But aside from telling me that he was not my friend anymore, he seems to have forgiven us.

The most difficult part of the week for me was the return of breathing difficulties. It was all too familiar and it frightened me. The doctors have reassured me that she is swollen and congested from the radiation. I just pray that is the case. The fever which brought us to the hospital has broken and her blood counts are on the rise. We have two more weeks of radiation and she will probably take two or three more weeks to heal after that. It looks as though we have a long month in front of us, but hopefully it is all worth it!