Where to begin? Katie was ill for about a week with fever and stomach pains. When it seemed that she was not getting any better, I took her to Bethesda West ER. There, the doctor told us that her white blood cell count was way high, as well as her spleen enlarged. She tested positive for Mono, but the count was even higher than normal for a person with just Mono. They transferred Katie to the Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Marys in West Palm Beach by ambulance (non-emergency) because there she would be seen be a Children's group of specialists to find the cause of her cell count and enlarged spleen. After waiting several hours in the ER, she was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care, so that she could be monitored closely. Several specialists came to see her and ordered many tests....Infectious disease, cardiologist, neurologist, gastro, and oncologists were all working to find the cause behind her symptoms. After a couple days in ICU, she was moved to the first floor for pediatric patients and more blood tests were sent out, along with additional scans being done. A special bone marrow test was performed to rule out Leukemia, which did come back negative. However, after 10 days of being in the hospital, the Oncologist received some results that showed Katie has Chronic Mylegenous Leukemia also known as CML. This type of Leukemia is rare, even moreso in children, but it is treatable. This form of Lukemia attacks the blood cells so it did not show in the bone marrow. Wednesday, the. Thursday, July 6th, the doctor and team met with Katie, her dad and I to discuss her treatment.
Katie was moved to the 2nd floor Pediatric Oncology Unit, where Friday, she was administered two different types of oral chemo pills. The first type stayed down, but unfortunately, the second med did not agree with her. Yesterday, the doctor decided to give her just the medicine that she will be on indefinitely, along with nausea medicine. She did well with this. Katie also had many visitors, along with various gifts of candy, chocolates, cookies, balloons, stuffed animals and cards, (flowers are not allowed due to potential bacteria growth in the water). The outpouring of love, care, thoughts and prayers have been so amazing, that we just cannot express enough, the appreciation, gratitude and love that Katie, her dad and I have for each and every one of you.
It is our hope that Katie will be returning home by the end of this week, We are feeling quite positive, and I have no doubt that she will be just fine, especially with all the contined prayers that she has been receiving.
Please feel free to add your well wishes for Katie through this site/blog, and also keep checking back for any updates, as Katie or I will be posting to this blog. Again, my sincere gratitude and appreciation to all for thinking and praying for our "Katie Girl"! Together we are "Katie Strong".