Looks Can Be Deceiving


Last Week's Blog > "The Corporate Traveler's Wife"

A big thank you to both of my guest writers who filled in the last two weeks; their entries were wonderfully entertaining. Chelle will soon be writing her own blog on ChicagoNow.com called, "The Sunny Side of Naperville", and I'll be inviting Angi back to tell us how life is going as "The Corporate Traveler's Wife" with a newborn. 

In the meantime, let's get back to my story. Last we met, Asher had just been released from the NICU and Atia had just completed Delayed Intensification (click to read).

Here's what happened next...  

The weekend of Asher's homecoming my sister Julie and her family came to visit. It was late October and Asher was already two weeks old, but no one except my mom had met him...

I'm typically a pretty good hostess. I engage my guests, making sure they are enjoying themselves and are comfortable, but that weekend I could have cared less. It turned out to be a pretty rough visit for me; I was just beginning my journey as a "mother of two" and I was still fighting postpartum depression.

I barely talked to anyone. I moped around and when I did join the group, I just sat there silently - sometimes with tears running down my face. It was an uncomfortable, awkward weekend for everyone. Thank god it was just my sister and her family.

I would have been so embarrassed if it'd been anyone else.

Even though I was an antisocial zombie, we were able to accomplish one thing - taking Halloween pictures. Each year, Julie and I had tried to get a picture of our kids together (a somewhat challenging task since we live in Chicago and her family lives in Springfield, IL).

For the last several years it'd just been Julie's daughter, Cierstin and Atia, but now we'd added two boys to the mix (Julie had just had Paxton twelve weeks earlier). It was fun getting the babies in their adorable little costumes, and the big girls were excited to get dressed up too; they had matching witch costumes.

Atia was thrilled to wear her pretty dress, shoes and big pointy hat. The icing on the cake was that Julie had picked up some little brooms for the girls. Atia carried hers around like it was her job; she was serious about that thing. The photo shoot was significance for many reasons, but for Atia it'd be the only time she'd be dressed up in costume; we weren't taking her Trick-or-Treating that year - she was still neutrapenic.

As mentioned in a previous entry, Atia had completed the Delayed Intensification phase; it was a HUGE milestone. She was moving onto the Maintenance phase, but not before taking a two week chemo-free break. Her body had been savagely attacked for the last several weeks and she desperately needed a chance to recover.

It was wonderful not being a slave to a medication schedule; we took full advantage of our freedom - she was feeling better than ever - Atia and Asher had some good, quality bonding time and we even ventured out and went shopping (taking tons of antibacterial foam along!).

It was the first time I used my gigantic double stroller; that thing was a beast! Thank goodness my mom was there to help.

I was grateful that Atia's recovery was going so well. By mid-November, at the end of her two week hiatus, she had a blood draw and I just knew her counts were going to be stellar; continuation to the next phase was dependant on her blood count results. They had to be a certain level. I wasn't worried at all, based on her appearance and behavior.

It's pretty incredible how looks can be deceiving.

The results showed that she was still immunosuppressed! I was stunned, shocked and in disbelief. No way! NO WAY!  But, she looked so healthy, she had so much energy!

She was prescribed seven additional days without chemo; there'd be a blood test at week's end.

Scheduled time off of the chemo regimen was welcome, but an extra week was frightening. What if the window was too wide? What if the rogue cells started growing again?!?

Always a chronic fear of mine.

Next Week's Blog > "She Has To Take What?"


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