June 1, 2023

"Now We Got Bad Blood"

Whew! Dusting off the 'ole blog which can only mean we're back at the good 'ole Baptist Hospital.  But this time it's not Clara; Mommy is getting a turn at being the patient.  I've just been diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Some of you have heard bits and pieces along the way the last few days, but I was really trying to get a better picture before I shared more widely and completely.  And although I've always had some mixed feelings about this blog, it's the easiest way to update people en masse.  Tonight's post will be lengthy while I catch you up to speed, but I'll try to give much briefer updates going forward.

Timeline:

Saturday 5/27 I started feeling puny.  Kids and Robert had had colds and tested negative for COVID at home over the past couple of weeks, so I didn't worry too much.

Sunday 5/28 I woke up feeling worse, but tested for COVID myself before going to church.  Came home from church and stayed in bed until

Tuesday 5/30 I made a doctors appointment because I was feeling so awful.  I hate going to the doctor.  She swabbed and tested for everything and it came back COVID positive (apparently the home tests now are 30% accurate so not super helpful).

Wednesday 5/31 I got really weak, was having trouble staying awake and desatting in the 80s with any movement.  A physician friend came and checked on me (how brave!) and suggested a visit to Davie Medical Center ED for fluids and oxygen which I did (how brave!)  They took bloodwork there and began to piece together that COVID was hitting me so hard because I had basically no platelets or hemoglobin and my white and red blood cells were behaving in ways to indicate leukemia.  They immediately transferred me to "Big Baptist" oncology suite where we've since been trying to learn more (and get me better!)

Interventions & Procedures:
So many blood and platelet transfusions
Lots more IV fluids
Antibiotics, Antifungals, Antivirals, Steroids, Potassium, plus who knows what else I'm forgetting
One zillion sticks and draws and one shiny new PICC line ready for chemo soon! (And an end to sticks)
An echocardiogram
Head and chest CTs
Lots of meetings and conversation with doctors, residents, med students, dieticians, nurses, and more!

Still pending for tomorrow morning: bone marrow biopsy.

Got to meet the attending oncologist tonight and get lots more info like an official diagnosis: Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  This is the most common type of adult leukeumia (average age is 65 and y'all I'm 42. Overachiever much?).  It is treatable and can be curable.  Cure will be our goal!  I AM SO YOUNG!   I WILL DESTROY IT!   There are many paths and variations within this type and the biopsy tomorrow will give us more information about what path(s) to take, but we will likely have a 4-6 week hospitalized chemo round starting this weekend followed by three more rounds of "booster chemo" done mostly at home, but with a few in-patient days for each cycle (4 weeks each; 2 weeks between).  We don't know yet whether a bone marrow transplant or stem cell transplant will be recommended.  Tomorrow's biopsy will tell us more about how aggressive a path we will need to take based on the gene/chromosomal abnormalities of my particular AML.

Dr. Bhave is brilliant and kind and patient and an excellent teacher and I already trust completely that she'll provide excellent care.  

I got to talk with the girls on video chat tonight.  I hadn't seen them since they left for school Wednesday morning (kudos again to the village for picking them up from school and keeping them for a surprise overnight while we were at the hospital!).  I gave them a brief rundown of the sickness without using many buzzwords (especially with Eloise) like cancer, leukemia, chemo.  That will come..... They each took it as I expected that they would.  Eloise began singing Taylor Swift


Clara retreated and became quiet, but has texted me questions tonight and I've given her a little more info as she's asked.  She knows that in this family, we beat medical obstacles and she'll be my inspiration to fight for that cure every step of the way!

Fortunately, their summer was overscheduled anyways and they'll still get to attend all their same camps, overnights and trips.  Grandparents have been amazing, as always, and our community of friends and family has only grown over the past twelve years so we're so grateful to each of you for reaching out in love over the past few days as you've heard news.  Now that I have my laptop at the hospital, it will be easiest for me to update this blog when I have news to share, so feel free to subscribe, share with friends, or whatever it is people do to blogs created in 2010.  

I'm glad to have a diagnosis, a skeleton of a plan (oh, how I love plans; it's gonna be hard to remain flexible and go with the flow) and to - for now - be feeling so much better from the treatments I've already received.  Onward! 

Let me know what questions you have and I'll try to answer them tomorrow....

These are not the most fun photos, but they are ACCURATE!  Maybe I'll share one with me smiling tomorrow. :)

Baptist ED

First Ambulance Ride! (I didn't get to go with Clara on her birth day.)

So. Many. Sticks.

Bright and shiny PICC line so many fewer sticks ahead.


49 comments:

  1. Mary Beth HendersonJune 1, 2023 at 10:03 PM

    Praying for you and the fam. Tie knots and hang on, friend. You and God and the village have this!

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  2. Chrissy, I am so sorry about your diagnosis. We will be praying for you! You are strong and will beat this!

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  3. Prayers abound for you and your family, Chrissy. Each of you is so dear to us. We are all by your side through this. The Hemphill family loves you so much. πŸ’—

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  4. Chrissy, you are an amazing person to be counting your blessings in the midst of a difficult diagnosis. Sending all my love to you and your precious family. -K. Neal

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  5. You’ve got this Chrissy! You are strong and God is stronger! According to drs and statistics, I should have left this earth 5 years ago. Maybe they just didn’t know my God and how amazing He is! During my first Chemo, a man came up to me with his guitar and sang “ Leaning On The Everlasting Arms “. I cried. Just Lean Chrissy. Just lean. You are in my prayers❤️

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  6. Oh, Chrissy!! My heart hurts with heavy for you and your family. We will be praying for you all everyday in this journey. You are in good hands. You can do this, one step at a time. - Alex

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  7. Prayers for you and your family as you begin your journey to recovery!

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  8. Prayers for you and your precious family as you fight this battle and walk this journey. NCBH has such a wonderful hematology/oncology department and I know you will get the best treatment there. Know you will be glad to have your sweet mama back home too! Love you and will pray for you daily.

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  9. We are praying in northern Illinois.

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  10. Oh my friend, I do not like this news! I love you and am so sorry you're having to deal with this. Thank you for making sure those of us who love you stay updated. I will definitely be praying and sending you tons of love! FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!!!

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    1. This is Margaret. I do not wish to remain anonymous πŸ™‚

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    2. Hi Chrissy! Just call me the Leis Queen!! I just want to say we are praying for you and we KNOW that God is holding you in the palm of his hand. "If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me fast." Psalm 139 Verses 9-10.
      God Bless you on this journey... Connie Kirkman

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  11. Chrissy, you are one of the strongest, bravest people I know. Praying from afar for good news after the biopsy, the peace to rest and heal, and grace for the frustrating days. - Lauren Raimer Goodman

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  12. Sweet friend, I was unprepared to read this blog this morning. I had not heard the tiniest peep...my heart hurts as this blog send me right back to Baptist and miracle Clara. She is her mother's daughter which can only mean you are also plenty strong, brave, and stubborn enough to look this disease in the face and say NO WAY are you winning! You know I am on the sidelines from this moment forward praying for all things - so many moving parts and yet, I rest in knowing God has all of it firmly in His grasp. Much love to you and I you know I count myself part of your village!

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  13. Precious Chrissy!!! Gene and I will hold you in special ( even more special than usual) prayer and love! We had no idea you were going through so much. But now we do and are here for you in any any way we can help. God is certainly good and will ride this one with you. He has been so good to us with Gene’s second battle with cancer…we got clear MRI of head spot last Friday and significant improvement in lung pet scan. We are thrilled. I tell you this so you know good things happen!!!! We love you precious girl!!! Ellen and Gene

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  14. Praying for you Chrissy and your family. Thankful you live so close to an excellent medical center that will help you through this. Sending love, hugs and prayersπŸ™♥️

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  15. Chrissy, I am so encouraged after reading your blog that you will fight this “bad blood” and be well soon. Thank you for being so transparent and this way, we know how to love on you. Praying fervently for you, family and your upcoming treatments.

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  16. Chrissy, you are a strong woman. Right now, rest in the knowledge that your village has you and your beautiful family. Your village extends to people who can "only" cover you in prayer. I believe we've got this, together. Hugs to all.

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  17. We are sending you and your family our love. God bless and lead you all, along with your medical team. You've got this!

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  18. Been praying for all of you since Cliff brought home this news after a KBC meeting yesterday. Thank you for these updates. We love you!

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  19. Kerri just shared this with me. We are so very sorry to hear. This is curable, and the Chrissy I remember NEVER gives up. Holding you in love and prayer. Linda McDermott

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  20. Miss Davis, Mrs. Hardy, Chrissy,
    I remember this blog well and am crying now as I read this. BUT, I will continue to read and pray for you and your sweet family! Clara is a fighter and so are you! This world needs you.

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  21. Wow -- and thus begins my daily prayers for all of you!! I remember being on a 24 hour prayer chain for Clara! With all of the friends and family you have, it will be like a 24 hour prayer chain again! I know you are clinging to Him -- Keep on clinging!

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  22. Such difficult news! Sending love and praying in Virginia.

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  23. From Phyllis, My heart is hurting for you. Thank you for communicating with your tribe. Praying and trusting that God will heal you.

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  24. I am not sure if this is anonymous or not, but you have the prayers of many, many people who wish the best for you in the midst of “bad blood.” Sweet Eloise knows how to call it. Thank you for sharing so that we can be helpful in prayer and in daily living needs. Thankfully we have strong medical folks to take care of you and get this fixed. God will take care of all. Love, Jodi

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  25. Chrissy, thanks for devoting some precious energy to updating all of us via your blog. Melanie and I will be praying daily for you and your family and for the medical team who will be caring for you. Lots of love also sent your way.
    - David Wilkinson

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  26. I am so sorry to read this recent setback in your life, Chrissy, but you are young, strong, and have one of the most curable types…we know know several people who have licked this. I still envision you reading the Easter story just two months ago with such enthusiasm to the children at the wonderful KBC Sat. event, and that energy will take you a long way as you start to heal. Prayers and hugs to you and your family…Kathy Robinson

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  27. We love you, brave woman, and it is obvious that God is with you. Thank you for teaching us through this challenging journey. ❤️

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  28. Oh Chrissy - so much love to you and your family. Prayers for all of you as you tackle this new mountain.

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  29. Chrissy - You are in our thoughts. We were exactly where you are the same weekend, 7 years ago with our son. You are in fantastic hands. He is doing fantastically now and cancer free! You've got this!!

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  30. Chrissy,
    I, and a Multitude, Will Be Praying For You!!! Big Hugs and Love!
    Kathy Lee

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  31. Adrienne and I join what we know will be / is a multitude of friends and family - PRAYING for you, Chrissy, and your dear family. This is not fair so count on us asking for your comfort, peace, and healing. I am recalling your wedding as Trey and I tied the knot. Good know. Good husband. Good children. You are amongst wide bandwith of love and care. Thanks for keeping us updated...

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  32. My younger brother was diagnosed with this in his early 50s. He getting ready to turn 70 and us doing great! Prayers for you and your familyπŸ˜˜πŸ˜˜πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™πŸ™

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  33. I am praying for you and your sweet family. I adore the lot of you and I’m here if you need anything…if the girls need anything. Eloise and I have a special friendship and if I can help her in anyway along this journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
    Much love and thoughts of strength, Missy Warren

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  34. Chrissy, I knew your mom growing up. Buddy is my age, your grandmother, Mary Doug, taught me, and we all grew up 3 doors from each other on Turnpike Road. I will be praying for you and your family. I will also add you to our prayer list at church. πŸ™πŸ’•πŸ™

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  35. You are in my thoughts and prayers! So sorry this ugly disease has found it’s way into your life. You have always been such a fighter! BEAT THIS!!

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  36. Chrissy, I am praying HARD for you. Praying for complete healing, praying that you start to feel normal again sooner than later, and praying for those sweet souls who are worried about their mama, wife, and daughter ❤️
    Much love to you all ❤️

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  37. Praying for you Chrissie πŸ™πŸ™❤️

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  38. Prayers for you and your family.. God’s got this!

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  39. The Hughes are praying for you, your medical team and your entire family. We will not stop!!

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  40. Our dear friend. Sending prayers and hugs for all of you.

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  41. Chrissy, I’m praying for you and your family. You will beat this! I have faith in the Great Physician. I’ve experienced a miracle with my niece and witnessed another with Clara! Love you and your family! Patti

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  42. From Ada Shields: Chrissy, your mom and I were classmates at Salem. I have such a high regard for her and her devotion to all of you. She loves all her girls!!πŸ’• (and her son too, of course!πŸ₯°). I know how dear you are. I will be sending many, many prayers your way throughout this very tough time. Like you said, YOU ARE SO YOUNG and YOU WILL DESTROY IT!! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! You will definitely WIN!!!❤️ πŸ™❤️πŸ™❤️πŸ™❤️πŸ™❤️πŸ™❤️πŸ™

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  43. Chrissy…… Bella, Elizabeth, and I join the host of others in sending Love, Strength, and Hope. Along with the much repeated certainty that … You’ve Got This. ❤️πŸ’ͺπŸΌπŸ™πŸΌ

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  44. Prayers for a full cure, Christy. God is with you every step of the way.

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  45. Keeping you and your family close in our daily thoughts and prayers!

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  46. Praying for the journey!! I know you’re glad to have a diagnosis. Praying for you to continue feeling better and for complete healing!!

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