Sunday, September 30, 2012

Does it really have to be a fight against everybody?

Friday, 9/28 was a very stressful day. I'm sure more things could have gone wrong, but it felt like everything that could have gone wrong, did. We had an appointment for BJ's chemo treatment at 0930. At 0730, BJ woke up, was very dizzy and very pale. It got worse after we checked his blood sugar, which was low to begin with. He became sweaty, and was crying and I was doing everything I knew to try to get his blood sugar up. I called in to the endocrinologist on call, and reported what was happening. We told me to do what we were already doing, but then he said if he passes out, call 911. I knew what was going on here, and remembered from EMT class that you can pass out with low blood sugar, but when he said that, this situation became even more urgent. I had to shake BJ to get him to open his eyes and to get him to drink the orange juice. After a peanut butter and banana sandwich, his sugar was up more into a normal range. He got dressed, and we headed down to the clinic. He still did not feel well, but he knew he had to go. We got there at 10:30am, I found a wheelchair, and went back to get him from the car to roll him into the clinic. In the lobby of the clinic, the social worker who I had asked 3 times for my completed FMLA paperwork met us. I thanked her for getting my paperwork in, and she proceeded to tell me (once again - the first time on my voice mail) that she legally had 14 days to get my paperwork back. This was not the day to mess with me, and I told her that I really don't care about her 14 days. She said, well, if you needed it sooner, you should have asked. I reminded her that I had asked 3 times, and told her that I was not going to fight about this right now. She asked if the school had gotten in contact with me, and I said I had not heard a thing from them. She said she'd go work on that, and turned and walked away. That confrontation was the last thing I needed that morning. But it was just another piece of what made a rotten day.

During the wait at the clinic, we needed to check BJ's blood sugar, so he could eat lunch. I brought up again, how my glucometer was 20-25 points higher than the readings from the hospital's meter, and that I'm sure that had a bearing on how low his sugar went that morning. BJ's cancer doctor, Dr. Kaplan seemed to question that my meter was so inaccurate. (Really!?!? ---I know he doesn't know me, but that was just insulting!) I reemphasized that it was that far off the day it was given to me during the initial hospital stay. When the nurse came in to check BJ's sugar, I asked to compare readings. Their meter read 179...mine read 202. I asked for a new one. They brought in a new meter and took the one I had. Finally! Dr. Parker (BJ's endocrinologist), who we had just seen the day before had looked at every reading I documented since the day we came home from the hospital, and determined that we should raise (by 2 units) the insulin I give him at night. I told the nurse that if my meter is off by 20-25 points, then all those readings were higher than what BJ's blood sugar really is. I called in to Dr. Parker's office to let them know that the meter was definitely off, that Dr. Parker had raised BJ's Lantus shot based on the readings in my notebook, but that those readings were higher than BJ's blood sugar actually were, and that this morning's reading of 72 did not fit his symptoms this morning. The woman I spoke to typed it in and said she'd have the nurse call me back. When nurse Kelly called back, she immediately started talking about the variation between meter readings, and how it's expected that two meters would be off by 10-20%, depending on the range of the blood sugar. She would not hear me and my concerns, she chalked it up to just normal variation between meters. My concern is that his dose of insulin is based on the readings that Dr. Parker saw in my notebook, and that those readings were higher than actual. I cut the call off short, because I wasn't getting anywhere with her. It was so completely frustrating! I have to work with two separate departments (cancer, and endocrinology), I am his caretaker, I know my child, and I know what I witnessed that morning...it was awful for him to experience this, and I want to make sure that it doesn't happen again. And I felt that I had zero support from the medical staff there.

We ended up being transferred over to the hospital for a blood transfusion about 4:30pm, and it was close to 7pm before the blood came and the transfusion was actually started. I was close to a breakdown. I had planned on a 2 hour trip to the clinic for what was supposed to be just an IV chemo treatment. The 2 chemo drugs take about 45 minutes to infuse, so accounting for the usual wait time for the chemo to come up from the pharmacy, I expected a 2 hour trip, tops. I expressed some dissatisfaction to the nurse navigator, and talked to her about how unprofessional the social worker had been, how ineffective the process for coming in to get chemo seemed to be, that I felt second-guessed by the doctor, that the nurse from endocrinology wouldn't listen, and how I do have another child at home to consider. It was overwhelming.

The assistant VP of the hospital came down to talk to me while we were waiting for his blood transfusion. She asked, and I told her the events leading up to my complete frustration. I want to help them, and see improvements they could make that would help families like us that are having to go through this process. I let her listen to the voice mail that the social work left on my phone concerning her "14 days", and she apologized for the social worker's unprofessionalism. I suggested that for patients like BJ, whose chemo is not blood count dependent, that the chemo is ordered from the pharmacy upon arrival into the clinic. There should be no waiting to order the chemo. It already takes a while for them to mix it and get it up to the clinic. This change in process would be a huge improvement for patients like BJ. The AVP told me that she wanted to share with me (because of my QI background), that they are working on improving their processes, She would like for me to participate in focus groups that will be created to help them improve. I told her I would be glad to, but right now was not a good time for me, that my focus needs to be on other things right now. It did make me feel better that they are working on improvements and that she took the time to listen to my concerns.

It ended up that we were at the hospital for 11 1/2 hours...finally got discharged at 10pm. It was an incredibly exhausting day for both of us.


Day 17 of 29 day Induction Phase



So Friday was a horrific day. We finally left the hospital at 10pm....after 11 1/2 hours at the hospital, and what I had expected would be a 2 hour appointment. 

BJ slept most of the time we were there. He slept while he was getting the 2 units of blood. He slept most of the day yesterday too. He didn't talk very much, didn't eat his usual trough-full of food, and just laid on the couch. It's so hard seeing him like that. He's usually so active. Even with what he's gone through in the past 2 weeks, he's not felt as bad as he did the last 2 days. 

This morning, he slept until 10am. Thankfully, he woke up and is feeling better. He has a headache, but he's up and talking, and ate 4 toaster waffles. It's so good to hear his voice, and see that little sparkle in his eyes. 

When I gave him his medicine this morning, he commented that he felt like an 80 year old man who has to take a handful of pills every day. :) There's that sense of humor again. 

I want to thank you all for your comments in the Guestbook. He reads them, and it helps him to realize how many people care about him and are thinking of him and praying for him.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 15 of 29 days of Induction - REALLY rough day



This has been a *really* rough day. BJ woke up extremely dizzy and clammy, and very pale. His blood sugar was very low, so we spent 2 hours trying to get it to come back up. I gave him orange juice, a peanut butter and banana sandwich, a couple pieces of candy, and pineapple juice. During all that, I checked his sugar levels every 20 min or so. At one point his level dropped back down. It was so scary for both of us. He was absolutely pitiful. It was the worst I have seen him yet. Finally his sugar came up enough for him to tolerate sitting up. We were an hour late for his chemo appointment but they knew why and said to come as soon as we could. He had a terrible headache and still was very dizzy, but like the trooper he is, he got dressed and we left. The car ride wasn't pleasant for him either. We got in the clinic office at 1030. We left there at 4:30 to go into the hospital so BJ could have a blood transfusion. It takes 4 hours for the infusion, so this is an incredibly long day. His hemoglobin is low and is most likely what is causing his headaches. In fact, all his counts are low again. His ANC is 230, so the risk of infection is great. Please keep praying for him... It does get very discouraging and he really wants to feel better again.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 14 - a note from BJ



It's me, BJ. As you know i was recently diagnosed with leukemia. It's been rough lately. On Saturday September 15 I got my IV port that I am going to have in the right side of my chest for the next three years. I was pretty upset with the doctors, because they told me it would not hurt as bad as the bone marrow test but it hurt, like somebody had put a brass knuckle in my chest. It's been two weeks now and I have been feeling better lately. I am very overwhelmed about tomorrow (Friday September 28). I have to get chemo and for the next 3 days I will be feeling sick, real sick. 

Day 14 of 29 Day Induction Phase



So it was 2 weeks ago today that all this started. The past 2 weeks have felt like we were in a vacuum. Life goes on around us, and ours has dramatically changed and even thought it feels like a whirlwind, it's also like moving in slow motion.

I took BJ back to see the Endocrinologist this afternoon. Dr. Parker is awesome. I brought my notebook where I've written down every blood sugar check and shot I've given BJ since we've been home from the hospital. He noticed that the sugar levels seem to be coming down. He increased the long-lasting insulin and told me to watch his carb intake but to keep doing what we've been doing with the sliding scale insulin shots. Hopefully the long lasting nightly shot will keep his sugar level lower during the day and maybe he won't have to get as much insulin throughout the day.

Later this afternoon, he wasn't feeling well. He is really worried about tomorrow's chemo treatment. He's so sick of feeling nauseated. The zofran works to keep him from throwing up, but doesn't take the nausea away. He's just really not looking forward to feeling crappy for the next 2 days. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 13 of 29 day Induction Phase



We went back to the hospital for blood work Monday (9/24). His platelet level had gone up 10,000 and was now 49,000, so they didn't give him any platelets. We were really excited that it looked good!

BJ has felt pretty well the past two days, considering what he's going through. He is constantly eating. Yesterday, he was craving orange chicken from Panda Express. We ended up getting the ingredients from the grocery store, and I made it here last night. He told me this morning that he got up about 1am this morning, ate 3 packs of crackers, and 2 mozzarella/cheddar cheese sticks. He was back up at 7am, and ate a bagel with cream cheese, and the left over orange chicken. An hour later, he was eating a bowl of salad, and a small bag of kettle corn. Then he finished that off with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.  ....Thank you Prednisone!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 10 of 29



Feeling better this afternoon...yesterday was rough. He felt nauseated most of the day.

BJ didn't want to miss out on his football team pictures, so we got the OK from Dr. Kaplan on Friday that BJ could be in open air and without being around anyone who is sick, going to do the pictures would be just fine.

We didn't tell anyone that we were going to come, so the team was very excited to see BJ. They placed him in the middle of the back row, and he was all smiles. 

Carly is part of the team as well...so notice head water girl in the front row. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Leukemia????

September 13th started like any other Thursday. I got the kids on the bus to school and I went to work. About 15 minutes after I got into work, my phone rang. It was Dr. Schrader from Lakeside Family Physicians. She said that my instincts were right, and BJ was VERY anemic. His hemoglobin was 5.8. It's supposed to be between 12 and 16. She told me I needed to take him in to the Emergency Department for testing. Trying to subdue my growing panic, I went down the hall to find my boss, and tell him I needed to leave. Instead, I found a friend and she said she would go tell him. I left and called BJ's school to have him pulled out of class and have him in the office when I arrived. BJ asked a lot of questions, and I just told him he was anemic, and we needed to find out why. He was nervous and so was I. When I took him to the doctor the previous afternoon, I figured we would find out that he was anemic, but that they would suggest adding an iron supplement to his diet or something. I never thought that we'd be going to the ED.

On the way down to Charlotte, we had to stop at every light. We even commented on it. Then when we were close to I-85, I heard a noise that sounded like we had ran over a plastic bag....about a half mile later, I realized that my tire had gone flat. I pulled the car over, unbelieving this set of circumstances. I have never had a flat tire. In fact, about a month ago, I had commented that I would like to find my spare, and the jack in the car, so that if I ever needed to, I'd know how to change my tire. I never made time for that.... Now I wished I had. I pulled out my AAA card, and called for roadside service. A short while later, a pick up truck pulled in behind me. I was very nervous about that, but it ended up being a very nice man who worked for Habitat for Humanity. He found the spare, and put it on, but after lowering the car down, realized that the spare was flat. He took it back off, and took my spare to his warehouse, pumped it up, brought it back and put it on. He wouldn't take the money I offered. I thanked him, and we headed on to the ED.

We were in the room at Levine Children's hospital, and Dr. Weekes came in to talk to us. They had already put an IV in BJ's arm, and drew blood for labs. I told him the background story....trouble with the exercise part of football practice, not getting better...but getting worse, thinking anemia, being told that his hemoglobin was 5.8 and coming there. A while later, he brought in a sonogram machine. He said he wanted to see how BJ's heart was beating. He said it looked fine, and then put the wand down on his upper left quadrant...and said...Well, that's not what I wanted to see. His spleen is enlarged. He looked at me in concern, and I said...well what causes that??! He said well there's several things...Leukemia....that's all I remember him saying. I couldn't hold back the tears forming in my eyes. I tried to hide that from BJ, and did pretty well, because he was watching something on TV. Dr. Weekes just looked at me.

A while later, another doctor walked into the room, and I noticed his name badge was from the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology department. He wanted to speak with me outside the room. My heart sank and pounded, and I knew this was bad. I told BJ that I would be right back. We walked through the ED, and into a conference room. The doctor sat down across from me, and said "I am 99% sure that BJ has leukemia."

99% sure my 11 year old, healthy son has Leukemia.....  The words still ring in my ears. What do you mean he has leukemia? He's always been healthy...how can this happen? We don't know what causes it. We're going to admit him into a room upstairs and immediately give him a blood transfusion to get his levels back up. I'm still reeling from "Leukemia"... How?

I snapped back and wanted to get back to BJ. The doctor said he wanted to examine him when we got back, so I waited in the hallway. I'm fighting back the meltdown that is waiting for me, knowing that I have to have to be strong for BJ. He'll know I've been crying, and it will upset him more. He can't stand it when I cry. I dried it up as much as I could and went into his room. He asked me what was wrong. I didn't tell him what I had just been told. I mean, he didn't say he was 100% sure...there was still that 1% chance that my boy didn't have cancer.  Cancer. What a horrible, dreaded, ugly word. I won't let myself think about this that way. It's Leukemia...Leukemia...not cancer.



Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 8 of 29



We got to Levine's Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at 8:30am. BJ got his IV port accessed (which was very uncomfortable, despite the numbing cream I put on him earlier), and he received some IV fluids. We went down to the hospital and waited for him to be taken back for a spinal tap with chemo. They inject chemo (Methotrexate) into his spinal fluid every other Friday. We finally got back into the clinic around 1:30, and I got him some lunch. He ate 2 chick-fil-a sandwiches, large fries, a diet dr. pepper, and a small cookies and cream milkshake. He was almost finished eating all that when the chemo finally came up from the pharmacy. It took about 30 minutes for it to infuse and we finally got to leave about 3pm.  What a long day.

The chemo makes him nauseated, and generally just doesn't feel good about 2 hours afterward, so it was a quiet night at home.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 7 of 29



Home. 

Best place in the world. 

I was up checking on BJ throughout the night, but it was still awesome being home. He slept pretty well, and when he woke up, we began what every day will start with... morning medications, and a blood sugar check. 

He was nauseated on and off throughout the day, and very tired, but he was in pretty good spirits. His appetite is amazing...thanks to the Prednisone. He wants to eat all the time, and does. 

It was a pretty quiet day today. We're not looking forward to tomorrow, because BJ has to go back to the hospital for a spinal tap and a chemo treatment.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 6 of 29


Morning BJ update: he has had a rough evening and night. The 
endocrinologist decided his blood sugar needed treatment, so BJ's BGL 
has been checked every 3 hours during the night and he's had to have 
insulin shots each time because it's still too high. BJ absolutely hates 
finger pricks and shots, so he's pretty mad about all this. He got 2 
units of blood last evening and we're hoping that will boost his 
numbers. He got very nauseated after the chemo but didn't have an 
allergic reaction to it so we're happy about that. We are still hoping 
to go home today, but do not know yet. Thank you for all your prayers 
for BJ

Found out that we can go home after dinner. The endocrinologist wants to check his sugar before dinner, and give him a shot of Lantus. It's a long-lasting insulin. The diabetes educator came in to talk to me about what to do, and the nurse let me check his blood sugar, and I gave him a shot of Humalog. Humalog is a fast-acting insulin, and I will be giving it to him on a sliding scale. Anything over 150, and he'll get a shot. 

We were able to leave the hospital and go home this evening. It was so exciting to be leaving that we "hooted and hollered" down the road. When we got home, the puppies (Charlie Brown and Lucy) were SOOOO excited to see us, and especially excited to see BJ. It was a sweet reunion.

I was especially happy to be home and have a little while with Carly before she had to go to bed. Carly begged me to lay down with her. She was starved of her mommy time. This has been hard on her too... being away from home, not getting much of my attention, but an awesome friend of mine took excellent care of her. 



Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 5 of 29



We found out we won't be going home today. 

BJ's blood sugar is 269. And the chemo he is getting right now is going to raise it more. They're sending an endocrinologist to look at his sugar. His Hemoglobin dropped 
so he's going to get 2 more units of blood too. That takes 4 hours in itself. I'm so disappointed and BJ is really mad. His jaw is hurting...another one of the side effects of one of the chemo drugs.

BJ finally cried tonight. 

He pulled the sheet up over his head and cried, and my heart broke some more. He was upset that he was going to keep getting blood sugar checks and insulin shots. He hates needles, and mostly hates getting his finger pricked. He just wanted to get out of the hospital, and now we had to stay another day. I talked to him and encouraged him, and told him how strong he is, and that we're going to get through this. His breakdown didn't last very long, and he was back to his rock-solid self. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 4 of 29



BJ was given some medicine to bring his potassium level down.


That was one of the side effects of the meds he's been given. 
Supposedly, it is very yucky tasting liquid, but BJ took it like a 
champ. The nurses were very impressed with him.

We are so excited about the thoughts of going home tomorrow. BJ really misses his dogs and his own bed!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 3 of 29 day Induction Phase



It's Sunday, and there are no procedures scheduled. BJ gets to rest. 

His spirits were lifted when his friends, Hunter, Matthew, Wyatt, and Alex (several of his football teammates) came to visit. They dedicated yesterday's game to BJ, and videotaped it, with a special message. 

Both teams gathered together to pray before the game. 

BJ's team (Boger City Panthers - varsity) won 36-0 against the West Lincoln Optimist team. 

We watched the game together, and I asked him how it made him feel. 

He said he felt proud, and smiled that gorgeous, eye-twinkling smile of his. 

Seeing it makes my heart leap, and happy tears find their way out.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 2 of 29 day Induction Phase - Surgery for Port Placement



BJ is getting an IV port surgically put into his chest today. It will be the site where they access his veins for drawing labs and transfusing the chemo drugs. He is scared. He's never had any kind of surgery before and this port is supposed to stay in his chest for 3 years....as long as it doesn't break, doesn't clot, and doesn't get infected.

Infection is a major concern now. The chemo drugs will wipe out BJ's immune system even more than it already is. I have become a hand sanitizer fanatic, and made sure everyone who comes in contact with BJ got a squirt. 

BJ was really nervous about the port surgery, but as usual, he's being strong as a rock. Surgery and procedures are on the 5th floor, so we travel there and wait until he gets to the recovery room.

Out in recovery, and he wakes up pissed off. He said it hurt like crap, and he was so mad because we were told that it wouldn't hurt as much as the bone marrow aspiration afterward. It hurt much worse. The nurse gave him some morphine and in a little while, he felt some better. When I had the opportunity to talk to the doctor and staff, I told them that BJ was pretty mad about what he was told, and that he needed accurate information and no sugar coating. 

A short while after getting back to his room, BJ received his first IV chemo treatment. It infused through his port, and he had no immediate reactions.

Later that evening, he was nauseated and started chattering teeth, and developed a fever of 103.0. This scared me to death. We were told that we need to watch for fevers, and anything over 100.4 is a cause for concern. They drew blood from this port IV and sent it in for culture. We won't know for 48 hours if he actually has an infection or not. They gave him Tylenol (Motrin/ibuprofen is prohibited for BJ now), some Zofran in his IV line for the nausea, and started an antibiotic in his IV as well.

Around 11pm, his temp was down to 99.4. They hung another bag of platelets to transfuse, because his platelet level had dropped again.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 1 of 29 day Induction Phase



BJ was diagnosed with B-cell ALL type Leukemia. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a form of leukemia, or cancer of the white blood cells characterized by excess lymphoblasts.

Dr. Oesterheld said he wanted me to hear these words...cureable, cureable, cureable. He said that 98% of their patients are in complete remission in 4 weeks. He said BJ would continue treatment for 3 years because there is a high rate of recurrence. He said that I got him in there when he needed to be there, and there was nothing that we did to cause this or nothing we could have done to prevent it from happening. Based on BJ's presentation, he believed that he has had the Leukemia for 4-6 weeks. 

BJ would not be able to attend school for 6 months. He would also not be able to finish out this football season. BJ cried over these two things. He really wants to play football with his team, and doesn't want to get behind in school. I reminded him that he is still a part of the team, and that when we can, we will go watch them play. I also told him that we will do what we can to make sure he doesn't fall behind in school.

This morning, after I signed the consent forms for the procedure, I 
talked to BJ. I told him that the doctor thinks he has leukemia. He 
asked what it was, and I told him that it just meant that his blood was 
sick, and that they were going to do what they could to fix it. And that
they said chances were really good that they could fix it. That was one
of the hardest conversations I have had to have. I couldn't bring 
myself to tell him that it was cancer. I didn't want to say that word, 
and I didn't want him to think for one minute that he would die from 
this. 

BJ was scheduled for a bone marrow aspiration and a spinal tap, where they inject Ara-C (a chemotherapy drug) into his spinal fluid, and also remove some spinal fluid for testing. He had never been under anesthesia before, so I was concerned about his reactions to it. We were able to be in there with him while he went under the anesthesia, and he just rolled his eyes backward and said "oh my gosh"... 

He did well with both procedures. Later we were told that there were no abnormal cells in his spinal fluid. That was incredible news and I thanked God for that.

He finally got to eat something after we got him back to his room. He was starving and ate pretty good. It was good to see him sitting up and eating well, and still with good color in his face.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Bad news and beginning of a traumatic journey



I took BJ in to the doctor on Wednesday, 9/12 for blood work. He just looked so pale lately, and he just wasn't improving in the exercise part of football practice. I had been communicating with his home base teacher and she reported that he had laid his head down on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, he looked so pale, he even looked greenish. He had also complained of leg cramps that didn't get better after eating bananas), pounding headaches when he was exercising, shortness of breath, and dizziness. They are all signs of anemia. I asked Dr. Schrader to test him for anemia, and she threw in several other blood tests (mono, thyroid, B5, B12, etc.) 

About 15 minutes after I got to work on Thursday 9/13, I received a call from Dr. Schrader saying BJ was very anemic, and I needed to take him to the Emergency room. His hemoglobin is 5.8...supposed to be between 12-16.

I left work and raced to North Lincoln Middle School to pick up BJ. We had to find out why he was so anemic.

We were delayed at every stop light down hwy 16, then right after we got on Brookshire blvd, my back passenger tire went flat. I've never had a flat tire in my life, and it had to happen now....


AAA wasn't coming fast enough...  A nice man named Ryan, who works for Habitat for Humanity stopped to help us. He helped find the spare in the car, and put it on. The spare was flat. He took it back off and took it to his warehouse and pumped it up. He brought it back shortly and put it on. He wouldn't take the money I offered, so I just thanked him and we were back on our way to Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte.

We got to the Children's ED about 11:00 and saw Dr. Weekes.

They drew labs and Dr. Weekes brought in a sonogram machine to look at BJ's
heart. It was pumping as it should. Then he put the wand on BJ's spleen. He
said..."well that's not what I wanted to see." He looked at me
intently. I asked him what that meant. Why would his spleen be enlarged? He
told me there are several things that could cause that, and offered up a short
list that included Leukemia. I didn't hear anything but Leukemia. I fought back
tears that wouldn't stay in and we just stared at each other for a few minutes.
Looking back, I think he knew right then what was wrong with BJ.

A short while later, Dr. Javier Oesterheld came into the room and
asked to speak with me outside. I noticed his "Pediatric Hematology
Oncology" name badge and my heart fell. This was a nightmare and I really
don't know how I even walked out of the ED room where BJ was and down the hall into
a conference room. We sat down, and he said "I am 99% sure that BJ has
Leukemia". I wasn't going to let myself believe that...I mean, he didn't
say he was 100% sure...I held on to that 1% with all the might I could muster.
He talked some more, and we went back into BJ's room. I walked in and he knew I
had been crying, and he wanted to know what was wrong. I just told him that
everything was going to be OK.

A while later, we were admitted to the 11th floor at Levine's. That night BJ got a blood transfusion. It was 2 units of blood and 1 unit of platelets. It takes about 2 hours per bag of blood to transfuse through the IV, and about an hour for a bag of platelets. They have to monitor his vitals every hour during a transfusion to look for any reaction. It was a long,
sleepless night for both of us. Not that I'd get any sleep without the hourly intrusion.
I was on automatic pilot and doing what I had to do for my baby, and trying to be as strong as I possibly could. I couldn't let the fear take over. BJ has always looked to me and gauged my reactions on how he should respond to things. I know that God is in control of this and so I started texting all my friends to let them know they needed to pray for BJ.

During the night, the monitor would alarm, because BJ's heart rate would go down into the 50s. The nurses said that BJ is so athletic, that a heart rate in the low 50s is nothing to be worried about. It took a few times of this alarm going off, for me to realize that she was probably right. By 3am while the last of the second unit of blood was infusing, you could see a difference in the color in his face.

He was sleeping peacefully for this moment, and he had the same glow in his face that he had before the Leukemia invaded his bone marrow. The transformation was amazing. They came in around 3:30am and hung the bag of platelets. Thankfully, there were no adverse reactions to him receiving the blood products.