God is good and has been so, so gracious to our family. We have a diagnosis. After over 12 hours in a children's hospital yesterday, we are home. This post is going to be medically detailed. I know hundreds of you were lifting up Cadi in prayer, and I want to give you the best explanation that I can. Cadi has Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (more commonly known as I.T.P.). She also has mono, but that is really secondary at this point.
I have a big pamphlet in front of me about Cadi's diagnosis, and I am using it to try to explain her disease to you. For most people, the normal platelet count is 150,000 to 450,000. A person is diagnosed with I.T.P. when leukemia and other cancers have been ruled out, when their white blood cell count is normal, and red blood count is normal, and when their blood platelet count is below 100,000. (The platelets are getting attacked and destroyed by the person's spleen.) A person with I.T.P. who has a blood platelet count of 10,000 is considered a severe and critical case. Our Cadi, as of yesterday, had a blood platelet count of 9. In some cases of children, no treatment would really be necessary, just monitoring of the blood platelets. But because of the dangerous count, Cadi had to begin treatment immediately yesterday.
She had a seven hour intravenous treatment of Gamma Globulin (IGIV) - this is basically plasma that people have donated. The hope is that her spleen will now go to work attacking and destroying that plasma and leave her blood platelets alone. She was also given Prednisone. Part of the reason for the Prednisone is to combat the side effects that come with IGIV - vomiting, severe headache, neck pain, and aseptic meningitis (from what I understand this is basically all of the symptoms of meningitis, but not the disease itself). Prednisone should also help the platelet count to begin to increase. However, it has horrible side effects - high weight gain, puffy cheeks, irritability, increase in appetite, etc.
IGIV and Prednisone are usually pretty beneficial in a patient with I.T.P., however it usually only brings the count up for a few days and then they fall again. After this happens a new treatment would take place. Cadi will get her blood drawn on Thursday to check her count, and we will go from there. Our prayer is that her count would go up and stay up. We serve a BIG God.
At this point in time we do not know the long term prognosis for Cadi. We are hoping that she has an acute case. What this means is that it was a sudden onset after a virus, fever, or immunizations (she had all three recently), and that it will go away in six months. We are praying against it being chronic - a disease she will fight her entire life. If the platelet count stays low for a period of six months, it is at this time she would be diagnosed as chronic. At this point of time there is no way to tell which it is. It seems it could be acute, but the doctors are very concerned because of how low her platelet count is. That is usually not the case in acute diagnosis, but we pray Cadi is the exception.
Here is where we still need major prayer - Cadi is at a huge risk for internal bleeding and hemorrhaging because of her count. She has to stay very low. She cannot get bumped or run into anything - especially in her stomach or head region. If she does, this could be life threatening at this point. Cadi also cannot get a cut right now, as her blood is not really clotting. This is the part that I am terrified about. Going out of the house is potentially dangerous for Cadi. If she were to slip or fall or bump heads with someone, it could be fatal. We need prayer warriors. We need wisdom. How do I hover over her 24/7? I don't. I have to do my best and trust my God, but friends, I am scared. Please pray. This is where we are right now. We will hopefully have new, higher counts by the end of the week!
Your prayers have meant more to our family than we could ever say. As we drove to the hospital yesterday, Jim and I kept remarking over the peace and calmness that we felt. Your prayers covered Cadi, and she was so brave and a shining little light on that oncology floor yesterday. Your prayers covered Scotty as he was with my parents, and Jamesy as he was so calm and well behaved during the long hours with us at the hospital. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Please keep praying for our Cadi. I will keep updating. Today I am just soaking in my children - this life is but a vapor.