December 17, 2004
The continuing saga...
Sent: Friday, December 17, 2004 9:37 AM
Subject: the continuing saga...

Hello everyone!

Well, your collective good will has had amazing affects on my little person.  Even though
we've been at nearly zero ANC for three weeks now, she has remained healthy.  She does
have a runny snoot - but a simple cold isn't life-threatening.  The doctors can't believe her
numbers have been so bad, and yet we're at home and reasonably healthy.  I thank each of
you directly for that one.  If love were a physical entity - you would have filled the astrodome
by now - you are all amazing.

Unfortunately, Avalon's numbers were not high enough to restart chemo quite yet.  She did
have a remarkable jump though.  One week ago, her ANC was 46.  Yesterday, it was 909!  
Everyone considers that to be astounding.  She's not ready for chemo, but she is certainly
causing mommy fewer stress gray hairs at that number.  

Thanks to Christmas, our appointment has been moved up to Tuesday next week.  There is
no foreseeable reason why she shouldn't start phase three of her chemo then.  It will be
rough...slamming her with 5 drugs all in one day - but at least we will be back on the front
lines of the battle again.

Apparantly Avalon is enjoying her little hiatus in more ways than one.  She gained nearly half
a pound last week!  She is a whopping 21 pounds 4 ounces now.  Move over Santa, she has
quite the belly.  It amazes me that her little body is continuing to grow through all of this.  Our
forms really are little miraculous machines.

Avalon was the belle of chemo yesterday.  She wore her best Christmas finery, her velvet
dress with matching Santa hat.  She was supposed to get her picture taken with her sissies,
see Santa, go to the Christmas party in the dress...well, none of that is happening.  So, I
thought - why not show it to the people who are working so hard for her?  She was a huge
hit!  The nurse kept us in the exam room, until she could get the doctor to come see her.  
He, in turn, went and pulled another nurse out of a consultation to show her off.  A male
nurse tracked down an older patient to come smile at her...and on and on.  

Nurses, aides, secretaries, social workers...I'm telling you they came out of the woodwork to
grin at her.  Literally, several dozen different people through the course of the day.  Weird
thing is - they all knew her!  I may not have met each of them, but they all have a hand in
this process, and they all feel as if they know the children, even if only by a name on a chart.
 Once again, I have to say how unbelievably impressed I am with this entire department.  We
are the luckiest people on earth to have found such a wonderful place to heal our child.

Face it, we are the luckiest people on earth...we have all of you!

Love,
Alicia, Nick, Aurora, Ambrosia and Avalon
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