December 11, 2010

Sweet Lois, update

Today I received a Christmas card from Catherine.   There is the cutest picture of a bald little girl, smiling.   Her little brother is grinning with his bright eyes.   So cute!

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of spending the night at the hospital with Lois.   I have to tell you how amazing this child is.   She had an off-and-on fever, living in the hospital for 10 days or so, with no real end in sight.  She was recovering from a strep infection which landed her in some serious danger--no immune system, so no easy recovery.   When I was there, she was bouncing back.  I couldn't believe how easy going she was!  She was pleasant and friendly to everyone who passed by her door.   She had the cutest little twist of her hand to wave to everyone.  She never complained.   She was gracious to all who entered, even though they were wrapped in disposable plastic gowns. masks and gloves.

This is an honorable child.  She carries herself with dignity.

I had been a little worried since Lois doesn't really know me much at all.   I've kept my physical distance through all these months of chemo treatments since I never wanted any of my potential germs (or Hannah's) to reach her.    But she was just as pleased sitting in my lap as if we were old friends.   Of course, I did bring a bribe.  I didn't need it, but she did really enjoy the new Elmo book.   We sang songs, read stories, talked about dogs (a favorite topic), we cuddled; she smiled!  I tried to take a self-portrait with Lois (didn't come out so well, but at least you can see her sweet smile!).

It was bedtime, and she pleasantly snuggled down with her dolly and her blanket.  Never made a peep.   All through the night.  The IV machine was beeping (VERY LOUDLY).  Vitals had to be taken.  Blood draw. Diaper change.  Oral medication.  Adjustments to the IVs.   Plenty of interruptions, but Lois slept through nearly all of it.  And when she was awake, she didn't fuss.

Totally amazing child.

She wore a t-shirt that said "Fight like a Girl" on the front.  And on the back it said, "Win like a Woman".

A few days later she was well enough to go home.

The next week it was determined that the most recent chemo potion didn't do the trick.   So now she's getting a new concoction--this time it's outpatient.   The goal is to get Lois to remission, or close to it, so she can have her bone marrow transplant.   Lois is still moving forward.  

I am amazed at how much Lois has learned over this past year.  She's signing, saying words.  And she's mighty fond of medical equipment.  The girl knows her way around pulse-ox monitors like nobody's business.   She was working on taking my blood pressure when I was there.    She's got a sense of humor, like her parents.   She's got an easy smile.  And an extra portion of love.

Leukemia is awful.   There is nothing good about it.


Good news: There is something you can do!

Join the Bone Marrow Registry.   You could save a life.   It only takes a cheek swab to join the registry.  Totally painless.  Totally worth the 10 minutes it takes.  Go here to order your swab kit!

If you're local to Richmond, you can join the registry on January 8th at our Save a Life Like Lois's bone marrow drive at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church..   You can volunteer there too, if you want!  Hannah and I will lure you in with our baked goods...

If you won't, or can't, join the registry (you have to be 18-61 years of age), then please consider making a contribution to the registry.

Lois needs a bone marrow transplant.  So many other children and adults need transplants.  You really can make a difference.   Honor this remarkable child.  She's fighting hard and she could use some champions on her team.


Stephanie said...

oh sweet Lois! Thank you so much for the update, she is on my mind all the time. she is a gem. i was hoping she'd be in remission by now. We will keep praying!!!
Thanks again!

Stephanie said...

Glad to hear that you and Lois had a nice time together! She sounds like an absolutely delightful little girl. Ed and I got our notifications last week that our cheek swabs had been processed, and we're officially in the registry now. I was really excited! And I would love to help out at the registration drive. We are continuing to pray for Lois and her sweet family. Thanks for the update, Beth.

Melissa said...

I got my notice last week that I am now offically available to be a bone marrow donor and I immediately thought of Lois, Em, and Ella. Thank you so much for the update!!