Our drive down to Primary Children's Medical Center was pretty uneventful. It's weird how we go there for the same labs we've been doing in our hometown lab, but it's always waaayyyy more emotional for me to go to Primary Children's. If I was just going to the local lab I'd hardly bat an eye, but driving down to PCMC gets me thinking about how horrific it was to be thrown into childhood cancer with my sweet little air bear. I got a little teary eyed as I recalled some of those emotions the first time we took her there after learning that abnormal cancer cells were found in her blood. These are feelings and emotions that will never leave, most of the experience is pretty blocked, but there are some that will remain with me forever - which I think is good - we need to remember the bad with the good to be able to learn and grow from our experiences.
We got to Primary Children's and took a picture by the "Rainbow Horse" that Erin loves to greet.
We got to the lab right on time only to find out that no one was expecting us. As sometimes happens, you don't get put in the computer. Hematology/Oncology didn't even have us down on their calendar. Everyone was really accommodating and after an hour of figuring out registration and getting paperwork faxed to the lab we were finally able to get Erin's blood drawn for her CBC.
Last time Erin was a star during the poke and blood draw, only shedding a tear and not having to be restrained. This time she was a real stinker! It was four against Erin: Me, two nurses, and a child life specialist and she was still screaming and thrashing. It's amazing they got a good poke and blood draw done!
But, all was better once we got to the Hem/Onc Clinic and got the usual Cheetos, Root Beer, and Chocolate Pudding.
We got a real treat when Dr. Barnette bounded into our room. We haven't seen him since Dec. 2010 when Erin finished treatment. He was one of the Oncologists who cared for her during treatment, but he's not our primary Oncologist so that's why we never see him anymore. He had seen Erin's name on the list for today and was so excited to see her. Erin doesn't remember Dr. Barnette, she was only 2 when she last saw him and now she's 4, but he will forever remain in our hearts. He is amazingly fun and energetic at all times. I bet it is VERY rewarding for a Pediatric Oncologist to visit past patients who have remained in remission from their cancers and see them grow and be healthy.
We got our check-up visit with Dr. Verma (whom we LOVE) and all looks good. She recommended we bank our upcoming baby's cord blood and I was excited to tell her we already had the kit ready to take to the hospital with us in 3-4 weeks. Of course, we all hope that we won't need the cord blood for Erin (if she relapses we would use the cord blood stem cells instead of doing a bone marrow transplant), but it is wise to collect it if we are capable of doing so.
Erin's blood work looks great! Apart from having many colds and coughs and a broken collar bone (pictured below), she has remained relatively healthy these last 3 months!
Our next clinic visit will be at Primary Children's in December for our 2 YEAR....did you hear me scream that?....TWO YEAR post treatment follow-up!
As we were leaving the building, Erin asked if she could throw a coin into the pond. She threw her penny into the pond and made a wish on it. As we walked to the car she asked me if we could drive to Disneyland instead of going home. I said, "no, it's too far, but we'll go again someday." She said, "Darn it, that's what I wished for!"
Labs from 21 Month Clinic
White Blood Count 8.2 (normal 6.0-17.0)
Hematocrit 40.4 (normal 34.0-40.0)
Platelets 273 (normal 150-400)
ANC 2900 (normal 1500-8500)
Previous Labs from 18 Month Clinic
White Blood Count 8.6
Previous Labs from 15 Month Clinic
White Blood Count 9.2