Friday, July 6, 2012
So, many people are asking how all of this happened. It is probably a good idea for me to give a brief recap from the beginning considering there may be some big changes tomorrow regarding her treatment and therapy. Timmie played five basketball games the weekend of June 1-2. On Monday, June 4, she went for a run to begin her rigorous soccer summer regiment. After running less than a quarter of a mile, she blacked out. Feeling frustrated, she walked home. She had dealt with this feeling before because she had been fighting anemia for a couple of years. She called me to tell me what had happened after she had worked a morning session of basketball camp up at Highland. I was definitely concerned because she had recently found an iron pill that had been appearing to be effective. I told her to meet me at the Children's Clinic on her lunch break so we could get a quick blood count. We had been through the routine dozens of times. She got her finger pricked and while waiting for the results got a little impatient and headed back to Highland for little girls camp because she just "couldn't be late for ball handling drills." For those of you who know Timmie, she is driven by responsibility. Dr. Yost, an old friend, walked in and sat down on a chair. He walked in and asked where my daughter was, and I explained. His words still ring in my ears: "I'm concerned with her numbers. There is something wrong with Timmie." I began to cry and replied, "I know. I have known." things went quickly from there. Her platelets were dangerously low which was disturbing for everyone considering her five basketball games played 48 hours earlier. A bump to the head could have been fatal. Bo went to pick her up from Highland - driving herself was definitely out of the question. As calmly as he could, he told her we needed to get back to dr. to run more tests. When she realized we would be at Primary Children's the next day for a bone marrow biopsy, she cried. I am sure she sensed the urgency being driven by her father and being greeted by her grandpa as she walked in the door. My red and swollen eyes may have been an indicator as well; although I was trying so hard to be strong. At Primary's, they ruled out leukemia by the numbers; in fact, they almost didn't do a biopsy because they were 95% sure this looked like a blood disorder called ITP that could be treated with steroids. I was a little uneasy at the idea of not doing the biopsy and expressed that if there was a one in a million chance something else was wrong, I wanted the test done. As the doctors deliberated, I prayed they would make the right decision. Five minutes later they walked in and had decided to go ahead with bone marrow biopsy just to be sure there was nothing else was going on. I guess at that point I should have realized the test was needed. It was a Tuesday. On Friday morning, June 8, I got the call that there were virtually no white cells in her marrow and she had been diagnosed with aplastic anemia. It was a life threatening illness that could perhaps be treated with immunosuppressant therapy or a bone marrow transplant. I rocked back and forth on my front porch, the place I had retreated to for the call. I was frantic and the journey had begun. Later that day after preparing for blood and platelet transfusions, Timmie sat on the bench cheering her team on in their summer tourney. I knew she was hurting, and I was amazed by her loyalty, selflessness, and courage.