February 3, 2005
Mom's fine, Avalon's not
Sent: Thursday, February 03, 2005 3:19 PM
Subject: Avalon Feb 3rd


Hello my merry band of well-wishers.  I promised to be more timely in my updates, and for
today...I'm keeping that promise.

First of all, stop worrying about me!  Yes, I took a header off of a mother-hating stool.  Yes, I'm
not necessarily ready to dance the mamba.  NO, I'm not croaking.  In fact, my foot is rather
"purty-ful" with all of its colors, and apparantly, my rather generous derriere provides a lovely
built-in cushion against random attacks by the universe.  In other words...I'll be just fine!  In
addition, I am pleased to report that we no longer smell.  The lovely, blood-sucking,
account-draining, preying-on-the-smelly-and-cold, hot water repair people fixed us yesterday.  
May they find fleas in their shorts this evening...

If you feel the overwhelming need to worry about something...I humbly present Avalon's
numbers for your consideration.  Today was merely a clinic day, bloodwork and a physical.  
You wouldn't think something that sounded that simple could be so rotten, would you?  The
fact is, she has crashed again.  If you remember, the number we watch is her ANC (absolute
neutrophil count).  Anything below 1000 is dangerous and can leave her open to infections
and hospital stays.  Well, she was at an underwhelming 52 today.  Once again, all oral chemo
is now halted, until we get that number back up to 1000.

Again, we are housebound - and extremely paranoid.  We (with all of your help) made it
through this the last time - but we are painfully aware of how lucky we were.  Again, we've
been warned to pack our bags, take her temperature constantly and hold our breath.

As you send positive wishes our way, please hold another little person in your hearts.  Zayla is
3 years old and recently diagnosed with ALL.  We've come to know her family through a
mutual friend - and have found friends in an unexpected place.  Zayla's numbers have been
bad the past few weeks (ANC below 100) - and she is currently fighting two bacterial blood
infections in ICU in Children's Hospital in Chicago.  She's got weeks of recovery in the hospital,
and she's barely started this marathon.  Please send her a thought as well, she can really use
the boost.

I do have good news as well.  You may remember my mentioning Gage - our "neighbor" from
the unit.  Gage had a Wihlm's tumor.  We've been able to keep up with his family, because
they are in clinic the same days as us.  Gage had several bouts with infections, and more than
his fair share of complications.  But...he's done!  He had his last chemo yesterday!!   Wahoo!  
He's 19 months old, absolutely adorable, and finally on his way to a normal life.  I'd dance a jig
- if I wasn't afraid of busting what's left of my rear...  Aww, who cares, its not every day you get
to dance for something this neat!!!

So, there you have it.  We're back to embracing the hermit side of life.  No problem - I've been
accused of being a "crab" more than once in my life...I might as well revel in it.

Love to ALL of you!!!  You each hold a special place in our hearts.  

Love,
Alicia, Nick, Aurora, Ambrosia, and Avalon
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