Monday, January 14, 2013

Leukemia - How is Jemma? - Day 211

As we were leaving the hospital today after Jemma’s last dose of chemotherapy in phase 2A we were chased down by one of the junior doctors. The second part of Jemma’s blood test results had just come in and she was not fit to leave. Her fibrin level was extremely low and she needed medicine to prevent complications such as excessive bleeding and clotting. If we had left we would have had to return later in the day or the next morning. I’m glad they caught us.

She had the medicine for fibrin issues during the initial phase of treatment through her iv. So much was happening back then that I wasn’t even aware of it. Since she has only received two doses of her ten L’asparaginase she will likely need it again.

On a good note, since she doesn’t have a fever and her body is responding in a desirable fashion to the medicine, I consider treatment to be going well. Her energy is coming back and her hunger is decreasing - NOT GONE. She still has a lot of hunger. She ran out of olives, probably because she put so many on her Cheerios, and wanted some from the grocery store. She wanted a few other things so she made me a list. It's difficult to read because it's written by a five year old, but also because she used the German word for one of the items. The list was so precious I took a picture. 

Green and black olives
Bread with no seeds
Big fat white hot dogs (bratwurst)
Pretzels (these are the delicious pretzels from the German bakery)
Rinderhackfleich - this is ground beef - I always buy it at the German meat counter, so this is the word we usually use.

Today was her last dose of Vincristine and Doxorubicin, and tomorrow is her last dose of steroids. Now that the medicine is doing its job she is suffering several side effects. Climbing stairs has become even more difficult. She has to hold onto the railing and pull herself up with her arms. Her hands shake like a Parkinson’s patient, her hair is nearly gone, and her bottom is bright red. Thankfully all of these issues should go away within the next two to three weeks.


  1. This child is an inspiration! Each and every day it blows me away thank you thank you for keeping us up to date.

  2. Such a sweet child. The big fat white hot dogs made me laugh. How on earth did she come up with that olive and cheerio combination ... erk ;)

  3. Isn't this the second time they stopped you from going home due to labs saying you needed to stay. Sounds like a great hospital and very thorough
    Loved her list and the fact Jemma attempted to spell Rinderhackfleich is to be commended, cause I copied and pasted that one:)LOL

    Speed review will be up this week, Friday I believe

  4. What a precious list. Her writing is FABULOUS for a five year old! (and her spelling better than one of my older children!) Loving the olives with cheerios - olives on their own are bad enough, but with cheerios......the mind boggles!!


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