Saturday, April 19, 2008

On the Upswing

Jilly has an ANC, doo-dah! doo-dah!
Jilly has an ANC, oh, doo-dah-dey!!!!

Jillian's Absolute Neutrophil Count (the part of the WBC that we really care about) is 300!!!! I'm thankin' the neupogin shot...the one we were pretty sure we'd never try. Every cycle so far has shown that once she hits a 2 digit number, she's up to 500 within 3 days. We would go home at 500, but for the fact that she's still not eating, has a bit of eye irritation that they haven't figured out, complaints of her head hurting, and the need to redo the chest xray for the third time to rule out any fungus or other infection. The doctor has ordered an MRI of her head (about the only part of her body that hasn't been scanned so far) to rule out anything in the skull/brain/neck. That makes me feel relieved as it would be terrible to go home only to come back in 3 weeks with a brain tumor.....may sound extreme, but it happens.

So, today, I came to the hospital with Anna. The Team in Training and Hike for Discovery Teams (marathoners/hikers who work incredibly hard raising money to benefit the Leukemia/ Lymphoma Society) came to visit (thanks for organizing that Alyce...the girls loved their balloons and little gifts). Matt then took Anna home to rest for awhile. He'll be back tonight to spend the night....and every night until she goes home (as there is very little chance I'd get any sleep here with all of the beeping and Matt can sleep through a lot more than I me, it's better for everyone involved if I'm rested :). Jill and I played for a good 3 hours. She's still a lot of fun, but very testy and argumentative a lot of the time. "No you can't touch my castle! It's MINE!" "Leave me alone! Go away!" She's doing a lot of throwing things out of her bed just so other people can't touch them, or hold them, or (God forBID!) look at them. She told one of the nurses today, very matter of factly, after the nurse made a comment on how cute Jillian looked in a picture, "Don't you talk about my picture. You can't see it. You can't have it. Go away." I think she's really sick of people just bothering her...asking her to pose for pictures (she hates that) or give them hugs or even say goodbye. I told her to stop picking the skin off her lips today (they are very dry no matter how much chapstick we apply) and she says EXACTLY these words, "Don't tell me what to do. I can do whatever I want." DANG! Don't get me wrong, she's still sweet and happy and fun to be around MOST of the time, but the baby's fed up. Can you blame her?

Please keep in your prayers/thoughts the family of an 18 year-old named T.J. He was diagnosed about 3 months ago with Embryonic Carcinoma. He's had this cancer since he was in the womb, but something triggered it and it flared up fast and horribly. When he came in, it was Stage 4. He is now in a coma..the cancer has spread throughout his body, and into his brain...he is dying. His parents, Jon and Susan, are two of the most kind and gentle people I've ever met. When Susan told me how T.J. was doing yesterday (and only because I asked), I could not hold back the tears. She and her husband both tried to comfort me by talking about how Jillian had perked up and was doing so much better. Susan apologized a number of times for making me feel bad...she said I didn't need to hear this given our circumstances with Jill. They are very strong people with a solid group of friends and family supporting them, but what a nightmare. T.J. is their only child.


Alyce said...

Hello Litton Family !

We are sending the most POSITIVE thoughts for Little Miss Jillian to be on her way home once and for all. =) We hope that you are all doing well.

Have a Happy Day,
Alyce and Family

Stella Boo said...

Dear Matt & Michelle,

My name is Michelle Litton. I contacted Jillian's Grandpa Hunn many months ago to tell him about how I found Jillian. One day I decided to do a search on my name and was suprised to see the name Jillian Litton. My cousin's name is Jillian Jones. Upon further investigation, I saw that Michelle and I are both Michelle Littons. Then I was struck by Jillian's middle name: my sister recently had a daughter whom she named Stella and I had though how nice it would be to name a daughter Luna. However it happened, I was drawn to Jillian and her fight. Her picture is precious and I find myself very emotional when reading about her and all of you. Even though we have never met, I feel very connected and intrigued by our connection in name. Next month I will be walking in the ACS Relay for Life. I have chosen Jillian as my reason for Relay. Please email me so I can send you the link to my Relay page so you can see her photo and what I have written. I hope it is ok I have done this. If you prefer, I will remove any info I included. I simply want to honor a beautiful and strong young lady. Please feel free to email me and tell Jillian that I am thinking of her!

Anonymous said...

Jillian! Way to go! I heard you got to go home Friday. i stopped by thurs morning but you were sleeping and i didn't make it over to the 'west side' before you left...
Enjoy being home w/ friends and family!
We miss you already!!:)
Take care
Erika Swiggum
and the CHILD LIFE Staff @ Millers