Childhood Cancer, Children's Hospital Colorado, Inpatient Cancer Treatment

Chloe without Mommy

My sweet little desk nook at Brent’s Place.

Today is Thursday, and I haven’t seen Chloe since Saturday. It turns out that I’ve got the flu. It has been an exceedingly miserable week for me. However, today, without fever, I am starting to feel human again. When I came down with a tickly cough on Saturday, I assumed that I was catching Chloe’s cold. In my last post, I mentioned that I was hoping to get to the hospital that afternoon (that was Monday). After talking with the charge nurse that day, he said that it would be best to wait one more day, and that they could postpone doing her dressing change until the next day (Chloe very much wanted me to be there for the weekly dressing change on her Broviak IV line, which happens every Monday). In retrospect, I am very grateful that I didn’t go in on Monday and see Chloe, as I definitely would have exposed her to this flu (as it stands, I’m hoping she didn’t get exposed on Saturday when I first started coughing).

I spent the day on Monday still not feeing great, but thinking I was getting better. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling all kinds of terrible. I decided to go to urgent care. But it turned out that I wasn’t even able to drive myself to the doctor, so I am very thankful to Allen from Brent’s place for driving me around all day. I tested positive for flu at the urgent care. There’s more to all of the health issues I had going on than that, but I will save everybody the details. Tuesday was a long day of doctor visits and pharmacy stops.

A very happy Chloe hanging out in her hospital room with Becky from Brent’s Place. Becky brought her a game of Sorry so they could play.

Wednesday I lay in bed all day, catching up on rest after not getting enough the day before. I was still quite miserable, although a little less so.

In the past few days I have also been wrestling with the stress of being so sick under these circumstances, with a child in the hospital and my being all alone, away from home and my family. It turns out that, for me, being sick at home is much more grounding. It was a wake up call for me, to realize just how much stress I’m still under in this situation, even though I have gotten used to it. Anyway, today I woke up after a terrific night’s rest with no fevers. I am still quite “out of it”, as this illness will take more than a couple of days to recover from. But I am up and about today, at least in my little apartment. I do not yet have plans to get to the hospital. It will probably be tomorrow or Saturday (however on Saturday if I’m up for it, I have a free ticket to see the Rockies vs. the San Francisco Giants, which would be worth going to, for this Coloradan/former bay-area resident).

Skyping with Chloe. SO grateful that she is doing so well in my absence.

Chloe has handled all of this quite well. She has had her moments, especially on Tuesday, when she has worried about me. She called me when I was at the doctor’s office, waiting to be seen, and shivering with a 102 fever. She was in tears because I was shivering and she couldn’t understand why they weren’t giving me a blanket. Her empathy touched me. She certainly has learned how to be comforted through her process in hospital. And she couldn’t accept that I was uncomfortable and not being cared for! Tuesday was her most emotional day (and mine, although I managed to keep my emotions from her, I was not able to hide my misery).

The staff and volunteers at Children’s have kept Chloe very well cared for and very entertained. She has also been visited by the staff at Brent’s place. We are lucky to have had the support of both Children’s and Brent’s, who are used to filling in the gaps when a parent gets sick. Yesterday Becky, one of the staff at Brent’s, helped Chloe and I skype each other, and that was therapeutic for both mother and daughter. Chloe looks like her normal vibrant self, and is as happy and content as she ever has been.

In the past couple of days Chloe has barely even called me. This is because she is so busy and also because she is doing alright without me. I call her a couple of times per day to check in. This morning when I called, not only did she not ask when I was coming in, but she ended our short conversation by asking, “Can I eat my breakfast now?” And so I know that she’s doing quite well, and especially since she’s more interested in eating than in talking with her mom.

Craig’s back continues to improve. Jordan is in the last couple of weeks of his routine with preschool. And I will be back in action very soon. We are thankful that Chloe is not sick while I am also sick. We are grateful for every day that she remains well while we await her final white cell count recovery (of which there is no sign of just yet).

Thank you to those who have supported me during this illness- and also to everybody, at the hospital and otherwise who has stepped up the extra mile to be with Chloe (whether by phone or in person) during my absence.

Steph and Family

Dr. Stephanie is a chiropractor, writer, mom, and wife who lives and plays in Durango, Colorado. Her passion is empowering people to discover their truth and express optimum health.

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