October 8th, 2010-home at last   18 comments

Amy and I had a tough night sleeping last night.  We were worried about the blasts found in Thursday’s CBC.  We were worried that Dr Diamond was really wanting to see neutrophils today.  I was very concerned that we wouldn’t see any neutrophils today.  We had seen 0 for several days now…so why should it change today?

But it did.  Amy called me at work this morning and said that Charlotte’s neutrophils were back to 30 today and her platelets went up, and her white blood cells went up!  Good news and I was so relieved I cried.  Her blasts also said “present” so we weren’t sure what that meant.  They also said “suspicious”.  Again, we have no idea…

Then Amy called me after morning rounds.  She said they were brief and Dr Diamond was happy with Charlotte’s numbers.  She looked at Amy and said “How would you like to go home today?”  Amy said, through her tears, that we would love to.  Dr Diamond asked the rest of the rounds people if anyone had any issues with that-nobody spoke up and we were going to be cleared to go!

So Amy called me with that news and I didn’t cry a little.  I cried a lot!  I was relieved and overjoyed.  But we were both a little concerned because we would be leaving the hospital safe zone…where the air was filtered, sick people were wearing masks, and nurses and doctors were just a button press away…but we wanted to go home.  We know that Charlotte misses home.  She misses our yard, and our puppy, and her toys at home…so the worrying can wait.  At least until we see some real problems at home!

The going home plan was still being worked out.  Charlotte still needed a dose of antibiotic.  I needed to work.  Charlotte needed to nap.  We needed to pack up our home for the last 4 weeks.  Our house still needed to be cleaned a bit.  Charlotte’s big girl room furniture still needed to be assembled.  So there was lots to figure out yet.  We were not expecting this news today.  If you look closely in the first picture, you will see Charlotte not wanting to be photographed while we cleaned out the room.

Amy met with Dr Diamond after rounds and she had some time to explain the blast count.  She said the “present” was there because the technician had not yet done the total count.  But they estimate that less than 1% where yesterdays numbers were between 1 and 2%.  So she is happy.  She mentioned that the “suspicious” was a good label as they may not be leukemia cells at all-those may have grown into the new white blood cells they measured.  So she was still happy with Charlotte’s results today.  Obviously happy enough to let us go home.

So when I returned from work, Charlotte was still napping and Amy had started to pack up our stuff.  Dr Diamond stopped by one last time and she said she was very excited about Charlotte going home and still very optimistic about how Charlotte has done this first round.  We hope that means remission is a good possibility.  We spent the next two hours packing our things into bags, then into the van.  Finally Charlotte was subjected to one last “torture” as the nurse removed her needle from her port and she was completely unhooked, tubie and sticker free!!!  She was so cute at the end of the hall…where we usually had to stop and turn around (Charlotte was not allowed beyond those double doors once neutropenic)…she watched us open the doors and asked “Charlotte too?”  She was asking us if it was OK if she went through the doors as well!  As soon as we were in that hall, she was very observant about everything on the floors and walls…it was a whole new world to her, just beyond the doors she knew as home for four weeks.  We left the hospital about 5:30pm and headed home!

Traffic was the worst I had seen in Madison in 20 years (ok probably not, but it was not moving fast enough to suit me!).  We hit East Johnson Street and Charlotte noticed the trees all in a nice line on the sidewalk…she just started counting them as we drove past.  No fooling, Amy and I both listened to her as she counted from 1 to 15 perfectly!!!  We got to Columbus about 6:30 and Grandma and Grandpa E and Grandma W were there to greet Charlotte.  She was so excited to jump out of the van and start walking around the yard.

So the rest of the night was spent in the yard until dark, then we had a bite to eat and played with her toys and explored her new big girl room.  What a swell ending to a swell day.

Unmeasurable thanks to everyone who helped put our house back together in time.  Grandmas, Grandpas, Tom and Debbie, Yo, George…we would still be cleaning and assembling furniture if not for your dedication and help!

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for Charlotte.  We really feel like she won a little battle today.  We hope it is the first win of many that she will need on her long road of treatment.

She will have to go back to the hospital Monday for more blood work to determine how well she is rebuilding cells and if she will have enough to measure progress on the bone marrow biopsy.  We may have to change that date, but should know more on Monday.

It is 11pm.  And Charlotte has been sleeping well in her new room and new bed, all by herself for over an hour.  I am thankful for our time home already.  And we are thankful for all of you.

Posted October 9, 2010 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

18 responses to “October 8th, 2010-home at last

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  1. Welcome home Elske family!

  2. Can’t say it any better than Aunt Lynn!!! Now I can go to sleep happy since we first heard the news a month ago!! Best wishes Lon, Amy, Charlotte, and Broadway!!!

    Steven & Terry Licitar
  3. I couldn’t sleep – and decided to come back to the computer and check – YAY!!!! So happy you guys are at home!!!!

  4. Yea so glad to hear you are home for a little while!!!!! Enjoy it and enjoy Charlotte with her new found freedom!
    We love you guys and continue to pray for you all.

    Tim, Eileen & Johhny O
  5. I stay up late to read the daily blog. Soooooo happy to hear that you are home. You have completed the first hurdle and your days ahead will be filled with more. God bless you and your family.

    Love, Ma Kaland

  6. So happy to hear this news! Welcome home!

  7. YIPPEE!!! What wonderful weather to welcome you home. May you have a wonderful, exciting, uneventful stay at home.

  8. Hooray for the Elske family! I’m so glad you got some good news and were able to come home. I’m consistently amazed at your strength and optimism throughout all of this. Looking forward to and praying for more good news in the next few days.

  9. Thank you God and the happy news we are all still praying for you and Charlottes continued recovery. Love you all!
    Love Julie

  10. We are elated to hear the news! I’m sure the time home will be excellent therapy for Charlotte and Mom & Dad. Dean is working hard on putting together a “benefit for Charlotte” to be held at the Clyman Park on December 4th. He has secured a band that plays for benefits like this. Please spread the word that another benefit for our sweet little Charlotte is in the works! Love to you all. Auntie Sharon and Uncle Dean

    Auntie Sharon & Uncle Dean
  11. We are so happy to hear of your trip home! Nicole and Mark cheered when they heard the news. You are in our daily prayers. We hope you have a beautiful weekend.


    Lisa, Mike, Nicole and Mark

  12. My tears are for joy for all of you enjoy your time together now with home, puppy and family.


    Joe & Sue Kaminski
  13. I was so happy when grandma called this morning with the wonderful news. There truly is no place like home for a faster recovery. I know how nervous you are the first few days at home but enjoy being home. Prayers are coming your way for many more good news days and a complete remission.
    Love and prayers,

  14. The lights are back on at the corner of Hibbard & Sturges St!!! So good to have you back home. Always in our hearts and prayers.
    Love Tom & Debbie

  15. This is wonderful news! I knew Charlotte would be able to FEEL the warmth of this wonderful weekend. Hugs and Prayers.

  16. I got busy this morning and forgot to check the blog from past night. I went to the Badger game and they honored families from the Children’s Hospital, which reminded me I hadn’t checked your blog. I couldn’t wait to come home and get to my laptop! Hip, hip, hurrah! You did go home! How awesome it must have been to sleep in your own bed–knowing Peanut was safe in the next room and Broadway next to (or on?) your bed. Enjoy the summer weather this weekend!!!!

  17. It is so nice to see Charlotte doing things like riding in a car and being outside! I will pray for further good news!

  18. Yeah!!! We are so happy that you guys get to go home for a bit, and what beautiful days for you to spend outside. God is good!

    Darren & Vicki Weinberger

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