Isn't it ironic?

For 2-and-a-third years we have dreamt of getting to today - our last day of treatment. For 2-and-a-third years we have longed to watch Bianca swallow her very last chemo tablet. More recently we started making end-of-treatment plans and we planned to time Bianca as usual for 2 hours after supper tonight, then give her very last chemo tablet. We planned to take a photo and even perhaps a video clip. Then tomorrow morning (Saturday) we planned to wake up early and after breakfast give a very special present to each of the girls. We bought a tricycle for Caitlyn and it is hidden away all ready to give to her and take Bianca to choose a new bicycle because her current one is way too small for her now. Then if it wasn't raining take the girls somewhere to ride their new bikes and celebrate typical childhood away from the constraints and limitations that is child cancer. Then in the evening go out for supper at a brand new restaurant really close to us to celebrate not having to time Bianca. Afterwards we planned to have a movie night at home with popcorn and maltesers, she wanted to watch Ghostbusters 1. And of course then we have the second part of our celebration next week on the 18th (but more on that a little later).

Instead, we are "celebrating" Bianca's last day of treatment in hospital, Ward 25B isolation room 5, she has a high temperature (was 39.5 when she we arrived and a little while after that 38.3), she was lethargic (but since perked up a bit), very little appetite, she is completely neutropenic (her white cell count is 0.34 and neutrophils too low to measure). She is getting IV antibiotics until blood cultures come back and we know what sort of a bug we are dealing with. And most disappointingly of all, I missed her swallowing her very last chemo tablet because she is not getting chemo with such low levels and we understand they don't make up doses. Terence gave her her tablet last night, I didn't watch her swallow it, we didn't take a photo or a video clip. I'm not complaining that the chemo is done, and I did want to keep things fairly low key, but I wanted that last chemo tablet to be recognised, to be witnessed, to be final. There will be no special present tomorrow morning and we won't be going out for supper (unless if you count the Subway we might buy for supper at the hospital).

It seems all so ironic. We started this journey with Bianca feeling miserable, admitted to hospital and neutropenic, hooked up to IV, in isolation and here we are at the end of our chemo treatment and it is just the same as way back in June 2007. Except that this time round we are not so clueless as we were back then, we've learned a thing or two since then.

One good thing though is that our celebration is such that we can do it when Bianca is discharged. It is just disappointing that it didn't go completely as planned. I hope Bianca will be out in time for the 18th, otherwise that too will have to be postponed.

Then just before I close this - thank you so much to Lynn, Norwin and Jarrod for a very special parcel that arrived for Bianca today. She was so surprised and so happy and you really made her day. Thank you!


Anonymous said...

Lea, I am so sorry to hear that you guys are stuck in hospital in what is meant to be a night of such happiness. That is just such incredible bad luck. And that is scary how quickly Bianca's white cells dropped too.
I have been wondering how you guys were doing, so glad you updated.
I can imagine what a let down it must be, not being able to photo that last pill.
I will be thinking of you all a lot and hoping that you are not in hospital for too long.
Take care,

Sharon said...

Aaaah! I'm so sorry that things have turned out this way! I know its still all good and well to have it over with, but like you, I also always feel disappointed when things don't turn out exactly as I planned. Hope Bianca gets discharged soon!

Anonymous said...

All my thoughts are with you tonight, and I´m keeping my fingers crossed for Bianca to feel better soon!


Kobus said...

Hi guys and gals,

I take my hat off to you all for standing so strong during all the trials and tests you've been exposed to.

I believe that Bianca will get better sooner than later, and that this current hospital trip is the last...

Keep well,


MARILEZE said...

Lea Marileze here. My heart goes out to your family. It's been bad for me living with this cancer, I don't even want to know how Bianca must feel. My heart goes out to the kids that has cancer. They are so small and have to go through all that pain. Last year was a very bad year for me. From Aug'08 to Feb'09 i had 5 operations(3 for kidney, 2 laperotomy. My left kidney was removed Nov'08 and in Dec'08 I was diagnosed with cancer(fellopian tube)and ever since my life was turned upside down. But my heart goes out to you because to see your child suffer like that...I am glad I got the cancer because i feel like I have spared my 3 sisters and my 2 duaghters and my mother from going through this pain. Lea and family you are in my prayers and keep your chin up.Please keep me updated on how things are going with Bianca and your family. Please e-mail me on marileze.jacobs@brokrew.co.za.
Long lost school friend
Marileze Jacobs (Basson)

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

I'm so sorry you're stuck in the hospital, but SO glad treatment is over! Praying you're sprung REALLY soon!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am late in keeping up with the blog as things have been busy at work. It was disappointing to see this post but I am sure not as disappointed as you all are. Very ironic indeed. The silver lining is that it is normal for little tikes to get sick especially as school starts. We have a head lice problem at Natalie's school right now! I hope the bug passes and things get back to a real normal and that you are able to breathe easy and smile. Thanks again for everything Bianca and Lea and family.

Kary Kleiner said...

I am sorry that you are stuck in hospital, and that you have to put the end of treatment plans on hold. But I guess the most important thing is Bianca getting better and getting the chance to be a little girl again.

I wish you all the best. I have been logging onto your blog for a while now. You write so well, and Bianca's bravery inspires me.