There's great value in being 'real' not only with oneself, but with others. I invited all of you to follow along on this journey we're taking for two primary reasons -- to keep you updated on Logan's progress and to ask for prayers -- but I've found that the exercise has turned into something else that I hadn't expected it to be: A personal honesty challenge. It would be easy to follow the usual course of the blogger and just report on the day to day life of a pediatric cancer mom and her child, but that's not my call here. I feel that I'm intended to bring the struggles, the pains, the victories and the eventual joys to LIFE one day, and that's what I'm working on right now.
I'll be the first to admit that sometimes, my thoughts aren't pretty. They're angry and frustrated and confused and twisted and at times, convoluded, even to my own mind. Some of them embarrass me. But I also think that it's essential that I jot them down, if only so I can go back one day, years from now, re-read, cry, and think wow, that was an awful time. I'm so blessed that we were able to get through it. It's imperative that I be 100% truthful so I can trace the progress of not only my thoughts, but of my faith. All of these notes of mine -- the upbeat and the profane -- are integral marks on an epic connect-the-dots puzzle, and I'll need all of the points in place to create the full picture some day.
Further, I want to let anyone who happens to find him or herself on this path in the future -- and cancer happens, folks - no one is immune -- know that at least one other person out there has felt these crazy ups and downs; the sadness followed by hopefulness, just the surreal strangeness of it all.
As I've gotten older, I've come to believe that you have to experience faith in very real -- and often painful -- ways in order to understand it. A pastor or an elder or the like can be a great resource in times of trouble, but if you don't come to your own conclusions in your own time, it's worthless. In short, book knowledge is virtually useless if you don't have the personal chops to back it up; it's hollow because it's rooted in someone else's experience and not your own. You don't really grow in the deepest way possible by watching someone else suffer; you grow from suffering yourself.
That's not to say that all of this doesn't suck, because it definitely does. And yes, I absolutely question God. I wonder where He is. I wonder why He's letting Logan, my sweetheart, suffer as intensely as he's suffering right now. I wonder why He lets evil run so rampant among His people. I wonder why He seems to dangle a carrot of a hope in front of my nose, just to rip it away a few hours later. I wonder why we're on this awful journey. And I wish to God Himself that He would answer me. But if I know anything at all about God, it's that I can't force His hand; the idea is ridiculous. So for now I simply kick and scream and beg for relief, and pray that eventually our family will be granted some, and that it will be much better than anything I could ever imagine with my paltry little brain.
As for Logan, things settled this morning after he was given Benadryl and Tylenol. Although it's not a certainty, they're now treating him as 'allergic' to platelet transfusions, which basically means he'll need to have Bendryl and Tylenol prior to any and all future transfusions. The retained fluid, increased heartrate, chills, fever, shallow and rapid breathing, and low pulse ox are all indicators of an infusion sensitivity. He received half of the bag of platelets this morning before they stopped to treat his symptoms, and by mid-afternoon, he was resting comfortably. His heartrate decreased to a much more 'normal' 130-150 baseline, his pulse ox returned to almost 100% (with the aid of a nasal cannula), and his fever actually broke. His respiration rate was still too high for his age (at 30-40 breaths/minute), but progress is progress, and we have some with the other factors.
Adam's mom is staying the night with him, and said that he'd started a second platelet transfusion -- after receiving the Tylenol and Benadryl combo -- and he seemed to be handling it just fine this time. They ran a late-afternoon CBC on him and the platelet count was still low, his hemoglobin had dropped down into the lower 9s, and his WBC count was still at .5. It's really crushingly disappointing that he hasn't crossed the 1.0 threshhold yet since it means he's way behind last cycle's progress and the transplant is breathing down our necks. It's an awful kind of discouragement to feel. And it feeds my hopelessness.
That's it for now. Just pray for all of these things... the healing that feels so elusive, the WBC count increase so we can get this show on the road already, everything.