March 17, 2015


Delayed Intensification Day 43: Infection

Since I am exhausted in mind, body, and spirit this post is going to be rambling and full of medical terminology.

Scarlett was scheduled for a routine appointment. The chemo she was to get today was a 2 hour infusion followed by 2 hours of monitoring. We were guessing she would also need platelets again since she had a couple of bruises on her legs. She had the same cold that everyone in the family has and those sores in her mouth. When she left our house, she seemed fine.

By the time they got to the clinic, Scarlett had a fever of 102.5. I guessed she would end up with a fever due to this cold/flu going around the house. We still weren’t too concerned. Within an hour, her fever was up to 104 and the doctors were inspecting those sores in her mouth. They immediately knew what it was.

The red sores are a sign of ecthyma gangrenosum. It is a pseudomonas infection. This is the worst kind of infection in immunocompromised patients. It is the scariest and most dangerous type of infection. The doctors are pretty sure that this is what the sores are. The question is whether it has spread to her blood stream. Cultures were taken immediately and will grow for up to five days to see whether the pseudomonas is in her blood. She was immediately started on two antibiotics.

Her hemoglobin was down to 5 so she had a blood transfusion. The low hemoglobin made her very tired. Her platelets were less than 2 again so she got a platelet transfusion with Zyrtec and Benadryl (both cause drowsiness). Her ANC is at zero so she has no infection fighters. You know, to fight this infection. She was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit this afternoon for close monitoring of her vital signs (pulse, blood pressure, oxygen levels). Her chemo will be delayed until she is more stable. She is also unable to take anything by mouth. They want her stomach empty in case her vitals crash and she has to be intubated. She hasn’t eaten anything since 7:00 pm last night. She’s hungry and crabby.

I just spoke to Brock at 8:00. Her fever is holding steady at 99 without Tylenol. She is still sleepy and she is still getting her blood transfusion. We are hoping to hear tonight or tomorrow morning about her initial culture results. We are expecting at least a two week stay. I am also hoping that I am feeling better tomorrow so that I can go visit and stay with her.

Updates will come as often as energy and time allow. But please keep Scarlett in your thoughts and prayers. This is her most difficult challenge yet and we just want her to make it through.

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